Is live music under threat in the UK?

The Charlotte, Leicester

The Charlotte, Leicester

While London’s 02 arena has been named the most popular music venue in the world for the fourth consecutive year, fringe venues up and down the country are being threatened with closure.

The 100 Club on London’s Oxford Street has only just been saved, after a high-profile campaign supported by Sir Paul McCartney and Ronnie Wood. But the Luminaire, north of the city, is no more.

In 2009 Leicester’s iconic club The Charlotte, which saw early gigs from Oasis and Coldplay, shut its doors.

Manchester has lost Jilly’s Rockworld and the Music Box, although other venues have readily taken their place.

So how are other cities faring?

BBC 6 Music took a tour of the UK, speaking to bands, promoters and fans in five different locations to take the pulse of the live music scene.

Read the full article here

Some facts about sound

Sound WaveI thought it would be fun to explore some facts about sound that you may not have been aware of.

  • If you try to say the alphabet without moving your lips or tongue every letter will sound the same.
  • White cats with blue eyes are usually deaf.
  • Wind doesn’t make a sound until it blows against an object.
  • There is no sound in space.
  • Sound travels 3 times faster through water than in air.
  • To crack a whip the tip must be travelling faster than the speed of sound.
  • Dolphins can hear underwater sounds from 24km (15miles) away.
  • Most cows produce more milk when they listen to music.
  • Elephants communicate in sound waves below the frequency that humans can hear.
  • Sound travels 15 times faster through steel than air.
  • A cat can keep purring while inhaling and exhaling.
  • A whip makes a cracking sound because its tip moves faster than the speed of sound.
  • Sound travels 10 times faster through granite than air.
  • Dolphin’s can detect underwater sounds from 24 km (15 miles) away.
  • When baby polar bear cubs are born they cannot see or hear for their first month.
  • Acousticophobia is the fear of noises.
  • Melophobia is the fear of music.
  • Lion’s can’t roar until the age of 2.

Band Mate is 6 Months Old

6 MonthsToday marks 6 months of Band Mate being online! Yay.

Ok, I admit that it has been a slow 6 months for the site. The main issue is attracting more users. This whole concept of building a site and people just navigating to it is a load of rubbish. It simply doesn’t work that way. A lot of time and effort has to be put into promoting the site. It’s no doubt a lot easier if you have an advertising budget, but I do not.

I must say though, I think the first 6 months will always be the hardest, and that’s now behind us. Onwards and upwards!

I’d just like to say thanks to everyone who has visited the site, signed up, created listings, liked Band Mate on Facebook or followed on Twitter. You are awesome. Thanks very much!

Here’s to another 6 months.

11 Facts About Music Education

Here are some interesting facts about music that I found online. Source:

  1. Children who study music tend to have larger vocabularies and more advanced reading skills than their peers who do not participate in music lessons.
  2. Studying music primes the brain to comprehend speech in a noisy background. Children with learning disabilities or dyslexia who tend to lose focus with more noise could benefit greatly from music lessons.

    Facts About Music Education

    Facts About Music Education

  3. Research shows that music is to the brain as physical exercise is to the human body. Music tones the brain for auditory fitness and allows it to decipher between tone and pitch.
  4. Children who study a musical instrument are more likely to excel in all of their studies, work better in teams, have enhanced critical thinking skills, stay in school, and pursue further education.
  5. In the past, secondary students who participated in a music group at school reported the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances (tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs).
  6. Schools with music programs have an estimated 90.2 percent graduation rate and 93.9 percent attendance rate compared to schools without music education who average 72.9 percent graduation and 84.9 percent attendance.
  7. Regardless of socioeconomic status or school district, students who participate in high-quality music programs score 22 percent better on English and 20 percent better on Math standardized exams.
  8. Much like expert technical skills, mastery in arts and humanities is closely correlated to high earnings.
  9. A study from Columbia University revealed that students who study arts are more cooperative with their teachers and peers, have higher levels self-confidence, and are more equipped to express themselves and their ideas.
  10. Elementary age children who are involved  in music lessons show greater brain development and memory improvement within a year than children who receive no musical training.
  11. Learning and mastering a musical instrument improves the way the brain breaks down and understands human language, making music students more apt to pick up a second language.