Thursday, December 15, 2016

Mozart and Finals

The most dreaded week of the school year is upon us, much quicker than expected: finals week. And well some students might feel confident going into it, most of us are pulling our hair out, trying to figure out how we can compensate for the lack of work we did all semester. Thank you, Roger Hub, for that Final Grade Calculator. Music has always been a satisfying de-stresser and in times like this, we could all use a little less stress in our lives. Although students are allowed to listen to what they want while they study (the sound of rain, jazz, screamo, silence perhaps), there have been studies that listening to classical music while doing school work is immensely beneficial for their grades and their mental well being. Beethoven is great, don’t get me wrong, but research has shown that it is Mozart that contributes the most to the brain.  It can give one short term improvement on performance in tests, cognitive skills, and have a beneficial impact on one’s mental health.
Named The Mozart Effect, this hypothesis was first introduced into the world in 1991 by a French researcher Alfred A. Tomatis in his book Pourquoi Mozart? (Why Mozart?): He claimed listening to Mozart’s music can raise one’s intelligence quotient (IQ) as well as “increase verbal, emotional, and spatial intelligence, improve concentration and memory, enhance right-brain creative processes and strengthen intuitive thinking skills”.  This seems very odd, however it does make sense. Symmetries and pattern characteristics of music are fundamentally connected to the symmetries and patterns researchers are tracking in brain waves. Music consciousness and spatial cognitive skills and long term sequencing operations are all worked out on the right side of the brain. So, while you are cramming facts in your brain in preparation for finals, take a breather. Remember to relax, study but stay calm and treat yourself to the beauty (and benefits) of Mozart’s music.

Side Note: We created two playlists for you. One of them is our favorite classical music (heavy on the Mozart of course). If that doesn’t quite do it for you, then check out our de-stressing playlist for some mellow tunes.

Favorite Classical Playlist: Requiem: Lacrimosa- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Apres Une Reve- Gabriel Faure, The Nutcracker - Ballet, Op.71, No.12- Arabian- Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Piano Sonata No. 12 in F, K.322: 2. Adagio- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,Symphony No. 83 in G Minor, ‘La Poule’: III. Minuetto (Allegretto) & Trio- Franz Joseph Haydn, Sonata in F Minor, K.466 (L. 118)- Domenico Scarlatti, The Moldau (From Ma Vlast)- Bedrich Smetana, Due pupille amabili, K. 439- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Sonata K331 First Movement, Impromptu No.4 in C sharp minor, Op. 66- Chopin

De-stressing playlist: Cherry Wine- Hozier, Emerald and Stone- Brian Eno, Time Wind Down- Brian Berger, Northern Lights- Lights & Motion, All Will Be Well- The Gabe Dixon Band, Telescope- Mandy Smith, Drive- Oh Wonder, Caving- Seavera, In Dreams- Ben Howard, Untitled- Matt Corby

Upcoming Concerts:

Ellie Goulding- Allstate Arena- Chicago, IL- 12/14/2016-9:00pm

Twin Peaks- Thalia Hall- Chicago, IL- 12/18/2016- 8:00pm

Snoop Dogg- Riverside Theatre- Milwaukee, WI- 12/22/2016- 8:00pm

Audacity- The Metal Grill- Cudahy, WI- 12/30/2016- 5:00pm

Flume- Donald E. Stephens Convention Center- Rosemont, IL- 12/30/2016- 7:00pm

Diane Coffee- Schubas- Chicago, IL- 12/31/2016- 7:00pm

Ezra Furman- Lincoln Hall- Chicago, IL- 1/12/2016- 9:00pm

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


Tis’ the season to celebrate the holidays! Every year as December 25th rapidly approaches and Macy’s decorate their venue with festive lights and magnificent trees, radio stations begin to play sweet notes and carols day and night. While some love to join in on the tunes, others are critical of why Christmas music dominates the holiday season. Whatever your preference may be, the “fa la la”’s of the season are being sung wherever you go.

Pro-Christmas Music: Christmas music is so much more than just music. It represents happiness that only comes once every year. It represents people coming together and singing loudly about joy. The familiar, loveable songs ring in the background as families decorate the tree and get cozy around the fire. It can also be versatile to fit any occasion. You want to jam? “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey.  You want to chill with a cup of hot chocolate admiring the snow? “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby.  It is more than just sound, it is a feeling that can only be felt around Christmas time. It is music for happiness. Whenever Christmas season rolls around, excitement fills the air. The music is just a reminder of the excitement and joy that happens when the season comes around.

Anti-Christmas Music: Does the music industry realize that Christmas is not the only holiday in December? Of course, Christmas music means so much for people who celebrate Christmas, but what about those who don’t? The only song I can think of that doesn’t have to do with the coming of Christ is the “dreidel song, ” and I’m sure that the Jewish community would want so much more from their holiday than just a song about a wooden toy. Not to mention that for how much Christmas supports modesty, all of the female pop stars who decide to sing a Christmas ballad to make a little money always seem to find their way into Santa-themed lingerie. But the worst part of Christmas music, no matter how much you hate it, there is no escape. It plays in the doctor's office, it plays on every radio station, it plays in the park. It’s everywhere.

Slow Xmas Playlist:  Carol of the Bells,  White Christmas-Bing Crosby, Silver Bells, Christmas Lights-Coldplay, River-Sarah McLachlan, White Winter Hymnal-Fleet Foxes or Pentatonix, The Christmas Song-Nat King Cole, Walking In the Air, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas-Frank Sinatra, Baby, It’s Cold Outside- James Taylor

A get-away-from-Christmas discovery playlist: Hunk Beach- the Walters, Mysterious Power- Ezra Furman, Needle- Born Ruffians, When I Get Older- Wild Party, Call Me in The Afternoon- Half Moon Run, Lonesome- Dr. Dog, Greek Tragedy- The Wombats, Long Distance- The Districts, When I Get Home- Post Animal

Bastille- The Rave/Eagles Club- Milwaukee, WI- 12/8/2016- 7:30 pm

G-Eazy- All-State Arena- Chicago, IL- 12/10/2016- 7:00pm

The Oh Hellos- Thalia Hall- Chicago, IL- 12/10/2016- 7:00 pm

Snoop Dogg- Riverside Theatre- Milwaukee, WI- 12/22/2016- 8:00 pm

Flume- Donald E. Stephens Convention- Rosemont, IL- 12/30/2016- 7:00pm