The magic in music

We are all musicians at heart

Music exists in every culture, and infants have excellent musical abilities that cannot be explained by learning. Mothers everywhere sing to their infants because babies understand it. Music seems to be part of our biological heritage, it can be used to help heal a closed chakra, to unwind after a long stressful day, to help heal a broken heart and so forth.

When you play an instrument you’re transmitting an emotional expression to others, as well as to yourself.  Playing and listening to music can be a form of mindful meditation in itself.

 

Learning to play an instrument as a child may even predict academic performance and IQ in young adulthood. If you are interested in learning an instrument the best place I would recommend starting, with an extensive list of instruments and instrument part’s is at musiciansfriend.com midi controller to cajon drums, to electric keyboards and so forth the list goes on.

 

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Mindful listening

Music has been used as therapy for thousands of years. The ancient Romans used music to heal the sick, and Native tribes used drum circles to connect with the Divine.

Mindful listening can give you a deeper appreciation of the music you already love, and even bring back those feelings of excitement or relaxation that you had when you first heard it. You may also hear things in the music that you never heard before, such as how the different harmonies intertwine to make the sound that pleases your ears.

Have you ever just felt connected to a certain song? Maybe a favourite song that you never get tired of ? Whenever it is playing even just the beat alone resonates with your soul? There is a reason behind feeling like this. Our bodies are constantly emitting waves of frequency and tone. And these beat’s and melodies, they vibrate along with our inner frequencies. They speak to us in a cosmic language, on a cellular level. They are within you, and without you. They are you. so sit back and let your favourite songs heal you.

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Benefits of learning an instrument

While listening to music has beneficial effects for your body, learning to play a musical instrument has incredible effects on your mind. Children who undergo musical training have better verbal memory, second language pronunciation accuracy, reading ability and executive functions.

Shankar Mahadevan is a noted singer, musician and Bollywood film music composer who believes that it is essential for all children to learn an instrument.
Here are ten reason’s why.   kidpiano

1. Playing a musical instrument relieves stress 
Researchers studying the benefits of music have reported that playing a musical instrument on a regular basis can help bring down stress. Studies show that playing an instrument helps in lowering the heart rate and blood pressure, which in turn lowers the stress hormone cortisol, thus making us feel relaxed. While just listening to music also helps, learning to play an instrument brings with it a comforting routine of daily practice that helps in keeping the stress hormones away. Michael Jolkovski, a psychologist who specializes in musicians, feels that music also helps in bringing down stress by helping people connect with others. “It (music) can satisfy the need to unwind from the worries of life, but unlike the other things people often use for this purpose, such as excessive eating, drinking, or TV or aimless web browsing, it makes people more alive and connected with one another.”

2. Playing a musical instrument makes you smarter
People who have received a music education are generally smarter than their non-musical counterparts are. Extensive research done in this area has proved that children who learn to play a musical instrument do better in academics. Shaw, Rauscher, Levine, Wright, Dennis and Newcomb, in their research paper titled Music Training Causes Long-Term Enhancement Of Preschool Children’s Spatial-Temporal Reasoning, speak about, “a research team exploring the link between music and intelligence reported that music training is far superior to computer instruction in dramatically enhancing children’s abstract reasoning skills, the skills necessary for learning math and science.”

3. Playing a musical instrument improves your social life
Music helps you connect. Learning an instrument enlarges your social circle since you get to meet more people than you usually would. In children, music can help develop social skills. Maestro Eduardo Marturet, a conductor, composer and musical director for the Miami Symphony Orchestra, who also oversees the MISO Young Artist program in South Florida, has observed the effect that music has on a child’s social skills. “Socially, children who become involved in a musical group or ensemble learn important life skills, such as how to relate to others, how to work as a team and appreciate the rewards that come from working together, and the development of leadership skills and discipline.”

4. Playing a musical instrument helps build confidence
Choosing to take music lessons can help build confidence. Once you are aware that you are able to do something well, like play the flute for instance, you naturally become more confident of your skills. Learning to play an instrument can help both children and adults who face confidence issues. Elizabeth Dotson-Westphalen, a music teacher and performer, has found that music has helped many of students develop confidence. “They find that once they can develop a skill by themselves that they can get better and better.”

5. Playing a musical instrument teaches patience
Music teachers feel that music can help teach patience. In a world of instant gratification, learning to play an instrument is not something that can happen overnight. It is the daily effort of everyday practice that can help a musician learn how to play without mistakes. This is turn develops patience. Most musicians go through years of regular practice that includes daily musical exercises and the tackling of progressively difficult musical pieces, which in turn helps them conquer the virtue of patience.

6. Playing a musical instrument fosters creativity
Stuck in everyday routine lives, many of us lose touch with our creative side. Learning to play a musical instrument, especially when you reach advanced levels, can foster that lost creativity. Since music education plays on your mental, emotional and cognitive abilities, the brain is stimulated to think out of the ordinary, which results in improved creativity.

7. Playing a musical instrument improves memory
Music and memory go hand in hand. Learning to play a musical instrument makes you use both parts of your brain and this in turn boosts memory power. Maestro Eduardo Marturet, reiterates this point when he says, “Further research has shown that participation in music at an early age can help improve a child’s learning ability and memory by stimulating different patterns of brain development.” Music education is also linked to higher IQ levels and the physical development of certain parts of the brain.

8. Playing a musical instrument develops discipline
Music requires dedication and regular practice. Allotting a specific amount of time to practice music daily develops discipline in the learner. This can prove to be extremely advantageous in children. Mira Stulberg-Halpert, of 3D Learner Inc., who works with children who have ADHD, has seen music discipline children when everything else fails. She has this to say on the effect of music on kids.”Exposing kids to musical instruments is the key. They are naturally curious and excited about them-and the discipline that parents and kids learn by sticking with it is a lesson in itself.”

9. Playing a musical instrument gives you a sense of achievement 
Learning to play a musical instrument gives you an immense sense of achievement. Pianist Emily Singers, in her article titled, 12 Reasons You Should Learn to Play the Piano, writes that piano playing can bring true satisfaction. “It’s truly one of the most satisfying things you can do,” she says. “There’s no feeling like playing a difficult song and playing it flawlessly. (It is) Quite an ego-boost.” This feeling of satisfaction leads to a tremendous sense of self-achievement that can help you accomplish more in other areas of your life.

10. Playing a musical instrument is fun
Lastly, learning to play a musical instrument is fun. “The art of music is so deep and profound that it has to be approached with a bit of intensity laced with great affectionate joy”, says noted singer, musician and Bollywood film music composer Shankar Mahadevan. Playing a musical instrument can bring back the fun factor into your life. Music has the special quality to bring joy, peace and fulfilment that helps lift the spirit and make life enjoyable for everyone involved.

 

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Why all parents should NEVER use Johnson & Johnson baby products

Great marketing for a likely carcinogen product

When I had my son I was so conscious of what I used on his skin. Whilst he was newborn I would only use water wipes on his skin. If I had none I would use cotton wool and water. I had done my research when I was pregnant and decided I would only use burts bees natural skin care on my son when he was born. This was not the case.  I have friends who were self disciplined enough to only use natural organic skincare products on their children everyday regardless. With myself however being a new mum I would often forget things when travelling with the baby, such as wipes and I eventually would just start picking up the next best thing in the local shop’s and use that. After all, who has time to find a big supermarket that stocks all the natural holistic brands you are used to when you are on the go? When I look back quite frankly I got lazy. There is no excuse. Especially when skin is one of our biggest organs and not just our skin but our babies skin.

 

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I remember being giving a baby hamper as a gift it had everything from shampoo, lotion, baby powder and baby oils. At the same I was on holiday and I remember thinking how handy it was to have everything all together.

This was the start into my Johnson & Johnson ordeal…

I regularly started to purchase Johnson’s night-time bath and bathe my son every night before bed. I did this for just over two months and I started to slowly notice changes in my baby’s skin. His arms and legs seemed a lot more dry than usual, over the week’s it got worse.
I took my son to the doctor and it turn’s out the Johnson had caused him to develop eczema. I was prescribed something to treat the eczema and my doctor gave me a long talk about how dangerous Johnson’s are and how sad it was that Johnson’s are able to market their products for babies when they are so awful for their skin and can potentially at the least make your child’s skin sensitive for life.
My mum used Johnson and johnson baby products on me all the time growing up and now I have such sensitive skin, that I only use cotton wool and water to clean my face. If I use a baby wipe my face feel’s like it is on fire. It literally burns. 

 

 

The truth behind Johnson’s

The last thing you expect when buying products for your children is for them to have dangerous cancer causing ingredients. This is the case when it come’s to Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo, moisture care baby wash and oatmeal baby wash just to name a few. One of these ingredients is Quarternium -15 ,  which releases formaldehyde; a skin, eye, and respiratory irritant, and a known carcinogen (formaldehyde exposure has been associated with leukaemia specifically).
The other ingredient is 1.4 – Dioxane – “probably carcinogenic to humans and is toxic to your brain, central nervous system, kidney’s and liver.

Johnson’s baby shampoo sold in the U.S. contains two hazardous ingredients 1.4 – dioxane and quaternium – 15. Which are not found in the product sold to certain other countries.  Johnson and Johnson also have a “natural” brand that does no contain these ingredients, yet the company still claims they’re working on reformulating their baby shampoo  “as quickly as we can safely and responsibly do so.

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Johnson & Johnson admits: “Our baby products contain cancer-causing formaldhyde.”

 

Why are Johnson and Johnson still risking the health of their customers?

Last year Johnson and Johnson had to pay out £60 million in damages to a woman who contracted cancer after using the firm’s famous Baby Powder. It is crazy that they are still able to sell their products.

On October 31, The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics sent Johnson & Johnson a letter signed by 25 environmental and medical groups, demanding they “commit to removing the chemicals from all of its products by November 15.” The Campaign also urges everyone to boycott Johnson & Johnson until it complies.

Johnson & Johnson recently responded, stating that:

“We have been phasing out the use of preservatives that release tiny amounts of formaldehyde to guard against bacterial contamination. These preservative technologies, which are used widely in our industry are all safe and approved in the countries where they are sold… Over the past couple of years, we already have reduced the number of formulations globally with these ‘formaldehyde releaser’ preservatives by 33% and in the U.S. by over 60%.

We are completing this reformulation as quickly as we can safely and responsibly do so. As part of the manufacturing process, we have extensive monitoring to ensure that the amount of a trace byproduct known as “1,4 dioxane” in any of our products is well below the level that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and regulatory agencies around the world consider safe.

…We have introduced new product formulations for consumers who prefer natural products, such as JOHNSON’S® NATURAL®, a line that is 98% natural, and contains no formaldehyde releasing preservatives or traces of 1,4 dioxane.”

It really does show you that big brand’s such as Johnsons only care about one thing and it is not the health and safety of their customers. Which I find disgusting considering they are marketed at children.

At the end of the day children are our future. We should all be doing the most when it come’s to protecting them and their future.

 

Continue reading “Why all parents should NEVER use Johnson & Johnson baby products”

From Jerk chicken to Beans & greens – How I turned into a vegetarian overnight

Let me start by saying this is not a blog trying to convince you to stop eating meat and to turn vegan. This is just my story and what made me stop eating meat overnight and what kept me from eating any meat, eggs or diary (with the exception of cheese… guilty pleasure!) for the past year now. There is no need to just suddenly become a vegetarian overnight if you are looking to stop eating meat, I recommend slowly cutting down either by having a meat free lunch or dinner then moving on to maybe one day a week with no meat and then slowly challenge yourself to a weekend with no meat and so forth. 

Why did I go green?

Funnily enough me turning into a vegetarian was completely subconscious. Everybody who knows me can not believe that I do not eat meat anymore. I would eat so much meat; burgers, meatballs, ribs, pulled pork, just to name a few.

I was on holiday in Wales and we had just packed out the fridge full of everything I loved. Steak, burgers, chicken, gammon, sausages.  I am a big foody, the sort who get’s excited about eating, and to be honest I could not wait to divulge into that steak, cooked medium rare covered in peppercorn sauce.  However the strangest thing happened when I ate it…

Prior to me having my steak dinner I did an extremely deep guided meditation where I met my spirit guides, it was completely life changing and amazing (More on that later.)  The reason I am mentioning my meditation is because I do believe it had something to do with what happened when I was eating my steak dinner in Wales that night.

So I just got a great big fork full of juicy succulent steak and was using it to soak up the peppercorn sauce on my plate, as I took a bite, something happened that had never happened before, I could taste past the flavours. Don’t get me wrong there was absolutely nothing wrong with the steak but for the first time ever I sat there thinking I am chewing dead flesh. However, I still ate all of my food and did not think much about it.

The next meal…

The next day I had Jerk chicken and rice and peas. One of my favourite meals that I grew up on. I took my first bite not even thinking about the night before because of how hungry I was. It went down fine, however my second bite was even worst than when I had eaten the steak the night before. It did not matter how good the chicken tasted I could taste right past the flavours once again. I was chewing a dead chicken. My partner was eating BBQ beef brisket at the time so I decided to have some of his… it was exactly the same. Straight past all the hickory BBQ flavour’s and right into “the flesh.”
It was carnage. I could not finish my meal.

Continue reading “From Jerk chicken to Beans & greens – How I turned into a vegetarian overnight”