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Recent news, commentary, and ideas.

Why Music Education Actually Matters
Trust Me I’m a Scientist: Blake Madden
If you’re looking for a rich overview of current thought and research on the connection between music education and societal development, this might be the one you were after "In order to improve the reading, science, and math skills of American children, and to improve their overall chances in life, we should be providing them with more music education, not less of it."


Obama to Nominate Jane Chu to Chair National Endowment for the Arts
The Washington Post: Katherine Boyle
President Obama announced Wednesday that he plans to nominate Jane Chu as chair of the National Endowment for the Arts — a position that has remained vacant for more than a year. Since 2006, Chu has been president of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City.

The Met’s Big Problem
The Guardian
The Met “filled just 79% of the seats in that huge, red-velvet covered house, and made only 69% of their projected box-office revenue. For all the millions who watched the cinema broadcasts, those are astonishingly low figures for the world’s most expensive opera house.”

The Man Who Runs Arts Council England Has Some Ideas About “Subsidy”
New Statesman
Just compare us to Paris, Rome or even New York. The arts are cheap – 14 pence a week per taxpayer goes to the arts, a third of what the French spend. It’s a tiny sum of money.” But the subsidy is shrinking. “I don’t use the word ‘subsidy’. It’s a wet, tedious word. I use ‘investment’. ‘Subsidy’ sounds so passive.”

His Legacy in Mind, Paul Taylor Plans Center for Modern Dance
New York Times: Michael Cooper
Paul Taylor, who is among the remaining pioneers of the modernist movement that transformed dance in the mid-20th century, is shaking up his company as it celebrates its 60th anniversary — in the hope, he said, of keeping it going for “at least” another 60 years.

Instruments on planes policy supported by EU parliament
The Stage UK
Heading to Europe with your instrument? Musicians have moved one step closer to securing a uniform policy that would allow them to take their instruments on planes after the European Union’s parliamentary body voted in favor of a legislative reform.

US DoT Fails to Issue Rules on Musical Instruments
Associated Press
Two years after Congress directed the DoT to outline regulations to protect musicians traveling with instruments, it appears the department will not enact any regulations before this coming Friday's deadline.

Japan’s “Beethoven” Can Hear And His Recordings Are Selling Like Crazy, Despite Scandal
Associated Press
Despite astonishment and outrage to the ghostwriting scandal, music credited to Mamoru Samuragochi is surging in sales. “Hiroshima” was No. 1 in classical CD sales in the latest Oricon weekly ranking and surged to No. 27 overall in Japan, selling more than 2,000 copies over the past week. His label has said it will stop sales.


New Musical is first West End Show to Raise £1 million using Crowdfunding
The Stage (UK): Alistair Smith
The forthcoming musical adaptation of The Wind in the Willows has become the first West End show to raise £1 million using online crowdfunding technology. With a goal of £650,000, demand was so high that the available sum was extended to £1 million.

Why Aren’t More Arts Festivals Crowdfunded?
StartSomeGood: Tom Dawkins
Unsure of how popular film will be at a festival? Crowdfund beforehand to allow your community to demonstrate demand before events are scheduled or, as they call it at the Transitions Film Festival in Melbourne, Cinema by Demand.

1,000 True Fans
The Technium
Here’s an interesting hypothesis Jacobs doctoral student Ezra Donner reminded us of recently. A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author - in other words, anyone producing works of art - needs to acquire 1,000 true fans to make a living.


Dressing for Success Sometimes Means Defying the Norm
Pacific Standard
They argue that dressing in an unconventional way “signals that one has the autonomy needed to act according to one’s own inclinations.”

How to Compose Music With Your Brainwaves 
BBC: LJ Rich
A brainchild of a composer who has made a living out of his fascination with what he calls music neurotechnology. His device reads thoughts, with the aid of a brain cap, and promises to translate those thoughts into music - a world away from the traditional composition process.

Using Music’s Patterns To Create Stronger Spider Silk
It might seem like an unlikely place to find structural inspiration but the mathematics and designs of music make sense and as the author says “Nature does not distinguish between what is art and what is material, as all are merely patterns of structure in space and time.”


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