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Musical Resources
We Love Helping New to Music Families Get Their First Instrument!

A little note from our owner Mary:

As we were helping what felt like the ten thousandth child try an instrument that we help the teachers in schools with their recruiting process with hundreds of hours of staffing, it occurred to me this fall.
Parents are able to give their children a gift through Golden Music's rent-to-own program, through the time and exposure in finding the instrument they are passionate about. It is a lifetime gift of music!

It takes several important steps to finding the RIGHT instrument. 
1) Have the ability to trade to other instruments when trying out as sometimes the first one picked isn't the one that creates an intrinsic love or passion. (FYI: You can trade instruments through our rental program!)
2) It is important to have a high quality & well maintained instrument that will always be serviced. It is easy and less stressful for the student to receive a loaner instrument while repairs are being done by our shop!
3) Make practice time a habit & have patience! Music is a progressive journey through the squeaks and squawks, changing instrument decisions, and taking the time for lessons, rehearsals and personal practice.

Pictured here is Golden Music at Arrowwood Elementary School in Highlands Ranch, CO last year, helping kids tryout instruments. Golden Music helps over 100 schools this time of year, so their programs can be up and running!

What Is Music?

Golden Music staff works everyday with musicians and families and friends of musicians, we often think about the nature of music.  What's it's purpose, what is it exactly?

A very interesting article came across my desk today*.  

Flutes were discovered made from bone found in Germanymusic, the earliest recorded instruments placed at about 200,000 years old, meaning our species as we are developed today were music makers.  What was music's role in our ancestors' lives?  What is it in our lives, in our community?

Music establishes COMMUNITY.

A mother humming to her child (probably came before language), ancestral men dancing and singing before a hunt.  Researchers state “By establishing such a bond between individuals, music created not only the family, but society itself...  Our Ancestors' lives depended on the hunt and used music in the ceremonies. It paved the way for us to communicate with each other and to share emotions."

As centuries went by, Music's ability to communicate emotions was precisely what made it persist after the development of language.  On top of that, there is an instinctive function of music--to make us feel good.  Songs activate the frontal lobe, produce dopamine and act on the cerebellum, which is able to “synchronize itself” to the rhythm of the music, which causes pleasure. “It’s like a toy for the brain,” that also stimulates creativity.  For years, we've been quoting the influence of music study on the develop of children, that's old news.

What's so interesting is this research that music is about bonding and communication.  We strive to create music community thrives on the bonds we develop.  We have four community groups right now as well as our private lesson program, where wonderful music mentors work with developing musicians.  I would also say that we strive to bond with you when you come to our store, as we discuss your music needs and dreams.  

Golden Music supports your music connections!

All data for this blog came from:  https://www.bbvaopenmind.com/en/what-is-the-purpose-of-music/  Joana Oliviera

 

Golden Music donates $60,000 worth of band instruments to the non-profit Music in World Cultures, Inc.

(http://www.miwc.org).  MIWC works in over twenty countries establishing schools of music in locations where a music education is otherwise inaccessible to most children; but the Golden Music instruments will mostly likely go to Eastern Europe or other former Soviet states

 

World renowned Music Advocacy expert, John Benham, founded the non-profit, now administered by his son Stephen Benham, in 1989.  Golden Music Owner, Mary Qualtire and John Benham have worked together in various capacities in the past for music advocacy efforts in Colorado.  Through this relationship, Qualtire learned of Benham’s non-profit and his need for instruments in his work with children and adults around the world.   The Music in World Cultures staff has found that a team of skillful vocalists and instrumentalists are greeted graciously in foreign cultures.  At Music in World Cultures, their mission is to equip, educate, engage and envision.

Glden Music also gave $16,000 dollars of instruments in December 2015, band and string to several local charities including the Anchor Center for the Blind (violins for the children), Judi’s House (a place of refuge for grieving children), and to Cameron Powers of Musical Missions of Peace, an organization that local professional clarinetist, Meg York is affiliated with.  She recently traveled to Turkey with the Golden Music instruments to teach and provide the instruments to the Turkish people.

Musical Missions of Peace

Golden Music gives five clarinets to Meg York to take to Turkey.

Musical Mission of Peace champions a non-violent way to peace worldwide through the power of music.   They believe:

1) People who have learned and sung each others' popular love songs together are less likely to war with one another than those who have not.
2) Music fosters sincere, heart-to-heart communication which goes beyond treaties or political agreements.
3) Musicians make ideal international diplomats and ambassadors because they know how to work together in unifying and intuitive ways.
4) International cross-cultural sharing of popular songs easily dissolves fear-based perceptions.
5) Musical sharing promotes a healthy spiritual life, replaces materialistic orientations and is available to all, including children.
6) Musical proficiency opens the door to creating deep and trustworthy friendships across language and cultural boundaries and can heal the wounds of war.

School Reform...

Sam Chaltain is an innovator in school reform...  one of the umbrella topics that comes up when we talk about saving music programs.  The value of Music is often overlooked in favor of hard numbers, testing, double dosing students (remedial work in addition to regular classes).  We can all learn from the writings of Sam.  He is the author or co-author of six books: The First Amendment in Schools (ASCD, 2003); First Freedoms: A Documentary History of First Amendment Rights (Oxford University Press, 2006);American Schools: The Art of Creating a Democratic Learning Community(Rowman & Littlefield, 2009); We Must Not Be Afraid to be Free: Stories Of Free Expression in America (Oxford, 2011); Faces of Learning: 50 Powerful Stories of Defining Moments in Education (Jossey-Bass, 2011); and Our School: Searching for Community in the Era of Choice (Teachers College Press, 2013).

His web page has many videos about students and the reforms he purports in action.

Summer Concerts Overlooking the Garden!

One of the most beautiful gardens in Boulder

We have been playing eclectic summer concerts at the home of Bev and Rose Robinsons' now for several years. This concert series has GROWN! In order for everyone to see and experience the music firsthand, we have expanded to 2 afternoons with LIMITED seating. So RSVP NOW!!

What: A fun group of musicians playing 'Not Your Typical' Chamber Music! Classical, Folk, Jazz and Flamenco sensibilities melding everything from Old English Folk tunes, Debussy and Faure, Barber to Gypsy Jazz- Chic Corea and Ralph Towner as well as a few originals. Tea, Lemonade, Cookies and Treats served-Wine available also

Music Day at the Capitol - a Resounding Success

April 24, 2013 Music Day at the Capitol, Denver Colorado

After interviewing numerous legislator about their interest in music education and finding they all really support it, it seems the problem is a lack of communication. If the kids love music in schools, the parents love music in schools, the teachers want music in schools, and we found the school administrators want music in schools, and legislators want it… what is the problem? Perhaps there is a communication breakdown? We scheduled a day where kids, parents, teachers and legislators can come together. We rented the church right across the street from the capitol because of their nice space. The basement there has a nice stage, audio equipment, warm up rooms, parking, etc. and is affordable. We advertised the event to all schools in the area. We have 8 schools come with over 200 kids! Fox 31 News came and filmed the event. Twenty legislators and/or their staff came for the free lunch we gave them. Over the noon hour, we had speakers address the legislators on their topics of concern and music education in general. We had representatives from Colorado ASTA (the President), CMEA (the membership chair), and Great Ed Colorado all speak. The kids came on buses and all had a free tour of the capitol to boot. It was a great civic lesson for them. All-in-all, it was a resounding success and we plan to do it again in the future.

Golden Music $7,000 Donation to Denver Public Schools

In April 2014, I met with John Epps, Denver County Schools Arts Coordinator. We discussed his challenges in the Denver Schools with the Arts. We visited his offices where they have all the costumes for the County as well,as all the props (see pictures). Golden Music donated 10 violins to John valued at over $7,000 as well as accessories. When I saw the shelf for the music supplies, I was shocked! There was two cakes of rosin and three old worn our shoulder rests! He came by a few days later and we filled them up with stuff we had. Denver Public Schools has 83,000 students at 185 schools: 85 elementaries, 18 K-8, 4 K-12, 26 Middle Schools, 14 6-12th grade schools and 35 High Schools. It’s not a small district. Seventy-two percent of it’s students are on Free and Reduced Lunch, so it’s not a rich district. There are 15,000 employees.  They feed 20,000 breakfasts per day, 46,000 lunches, and 5,200 snacks. So that is 60,874 free lunches per day… sounds more like a food service rather than a school! Anyway, the music programs are on the upswing with the county putting resources toward them.

Music Advocacy Symposium

Dear Friend,

We have a strong interest in strengthening the Public School music programs in Colorado, as you might too. After two years of research, we believe creating Music Advocacy groups mainly from our parent community is the means to achieve this.

We are holding a meeting to brainstorm ideas to create a state, and district-wide network of parent groups functioning on the ideas of Advocacy pioneer John Benham. Our special guest for this symposium is Scott McCormick, CEO American Music Parents (AMP).

We extend an invitation to you and anyone interested to give ideas for this endeavor. An open house will be held at Golden Music Center on August 13 and 14th, from 3-6 pm. If you cannot come to Golden, please let us know you would like to participate through a web conference from 2-3 pm either or both days.

Sincerely,

Mary Brainerd, Owner & Jill Moynihan, Outreach Coordinator
Golden Music Center

John L. Benham is the author of "Music Advocacy-Moving from Survival to Vision"

AMP is a one year old organization in place to organize parents in the support of music programs. There will soon be thousands of members in the Denver area as all new rental customers of several music stores get free membership and current customers get a reimbursed membership (more info to follow).

Music Advocacy

We created a video for parents to understand their importance in the process of music advocacy:  The short version is here on youtube:

The longer version has 5 more minutes that describes further detail mainly of the forming and operations of a music advocacy committee. The longer version on youtube is at:

After reviewing all the material available for music advocacy operations, there is tons of studies and articles on the importance of music in terms of research done and testimonials, but all this seems to fall on deaf ears sometimes. This video goes into the inner political workings of the school systems and how it's usually as simple as just becoming involved in the political process. The structure is set-up for the people's involvement.

Please send any comments or questions to mary@goldenmusiccenter.com