Exercise used to be fun. Before it was called exercise and before anyone told you that you were supposed to do it. When I was a kid all I needed was a Hula Hoop and an episode of Soul Train to send me into a spiral of activity that burned all the calories in the world. At EPIC in Signal Hill I learned how to have fun exercising again and, I got the opportunity to share the fun of exercise and music with my friends at the Hour of Power. You’ll see the Hula Hoop and Soul Train influence in full effect in this video.
The Hour of Power can help free you from fear, stress and anxiety so you can experience improved physical and emotional health. Stay tuned to this blog for details on the upcoming shows or sign the mailing list at sherizampelli.com to stay in the loop.
Over the past 3 years or so I’ve been continually looking for ways to incorporate more music into my life and my career. Early on in this quest, I came across a video by Urban Voodoo, a Long Beach City College Student who is active in his community is using the power of words and music to help people heal through Hip-Hop and spoken word. It is one of the many things that inspired me to continue my search so I’ll share it with you.
Thinking of the power of words and music helped me to take a risk and try something new when I was teaching Helping and Listening Skills class. I decided that since I know communication is powerful and since I know I am the leader of my classroom, maybe I should use that power wisely. I decided to practice what I preach, in front of a live audience.
You really had to be there to “get it” but let’s just say I played two music videos in class as part of a lesson called, “How much can you tell about a person by looking at them.” I played the Dead Kennedy’s video (California Uber Alles) and scrolled the lyrics then played Grandmaster Flash doing The Message and scrolled the lyrics. Then I showed photos from my punk rock teenage years and talked a little bit about going to punk rock shows and seeing Grandmaster Flash in the 80’s.
The point I was trying to make is that many times we look at people and we make snapshot decisions about them based on how they look NOW and we don’t even listen to hear what’s going on beneath the surface or to find out the story behind the story.
The other point I’ve been drilling in people’s minds each week is that 70-90% of communication is non-verbal. I explained that the clothing and music a person chooses can tell you a lot about them, even if they won’t open their mouth and speak one word to you.
At 16, that was me. I wanted desperately to speak out about the domestic violence and child abuse that went on in my home routinely but I couldn’t speak. Even when I did, I was cut off. So, I spoke by chopping off all my hair, running away from home and listening to recordings of people who WERE brave enough to speak. I wanted desperately for someone to hear what I wasn’t saying, for someone to do something to help me.
Now, I’m brave enough to speak and I have a place to do it at. Don’t you think I should put it to good use? I believe my job is to help my students to help others in the most impactful way possible and if I have any knowledge about that, whether it’s personal or professional, it is my duty to make it available.
One of the things I’d like to start with is sharing information about music and healing. Music can help a person overcome obstacles and deal with grief, depression and physical pain. Choosing the music that expresses emotion and life-experience can be cathartic and healing in a way nothing else can.
I’m not sure what it takes to become an expert on the subject of music and healing but I can say that my personal experience is backed up by experts. If this subject intrigues you, a good place to get authoritative back up is via the Music and the Brain podcast series put together by the Library of Congress and available on iTunes. As I continue my quest to incorporate music into my life and my career, I will share additional resources with you. In the meantime, if you have resources to share, please leave a comment below.
The theme of music and dancing has been well established in my life now. It seems there is no turning back to the incredibly serious and stoic life-path I had planned for myself.
When possible, I like to enjoy some live music and a night on the town with my husband. In May 2011 we both visited the famous Sky Room in Long Beach for the first time. I must say the view is breathtaking and the club had a great vibe.
In the elevator ride on the way up we learned a little history about the Sky Room. For example, it was “a rendezvous for luminaries such as Elizabeth Taylor, Nicky Hilton, Charles Lindberg, Babe Ruth, Merle Oberon, Clark Gable, John Wayne, Errol Flynn, Cary Grant, and other celebrities.”
Here are a few photos from the evening. We were celebrating Linda Leek’s birthday and I got to hang out with some cool, creative, musicians and artists including jazz singer Linda Saito, aka Linderella.
Look for Linderella’s performances in Long Beach and surrounding areas or follow her on Facebook.
Last week, Valerie from Upstate New York commented on my blog about the Playlist that got me through the Honolulu Marathon. She shared some of her favorite workout tunes like Wish Liszt (Toy Shop Madness) Piano Tribute Players, Love Drunk Piano Tribute to Boys Like Girls and Diablo Rojo by Rodrigo y Gabriella.
I decided to explore a few of her selections just to see what I’d find.
What I found was a musical act called Rodrigo Y Gabriella and I found their performance mesmerizing. Being the rock and roll girl that I am, when faced with a choice of which of their videos I wanted to watch I headed for a cover of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven followed by a cover of Metallica’s Orion, which was worth sharing so here you go: (click here to watch on YouTube.)
Speaking of rock and roll girls, Gabriella definitely knows how to rock the guitar which she alternately uses as a percussion instrument.
Gabriella immerses herself in her art and is an inspiration to watch. By the time I got to the end of the video, I was roused, galvanized and a tiny bit teary-eyed. Check it out, it’s worth 2:46 of your time.
It was a day of innovation and learning for the hundreds who gathered in Arcadia on Saturday, November 23 for TEDX-PCC. The day was delivered by 16 top-notch speakers in 3 segments: education, science and social justice.
The event ended with a presentation by Josh Kun and DJ J. Period titled “Art of the Crossfade.” In a nutshell, Kun’s argument is that we would benefit as a society if we move away from the “melting pot” model where we all try to blend in and become one. Instead, he proposes that we’d function better if we adopted a crossfade mentality where the individual parts maintain their own identity while also coming together to create something new.
With the pictures, music and explanation, it was a pretty compelling concept. In fact, the day was filled with an abundance of compelling ideas which left me with a TED hangover on Sunday but a new lease on life today. Even if you never go to TED, we can all be better off if we choose to share ideas that are worth spreading.
When I’m at my computer surfing the web, I feel like I’m Captain James T. Kirk at the control panels of the Starship Enterprise. I speed past information at warp speed but some of it is worth looking at more than once. When that happens, I generally swipe the link, or click on “like” so I can at least be reminded of the information and go back to it later if possible.
One of the things I want to do is savor and share the things that inspire me and help me remember the “big picture” of interstellar connections for longer than 10 seconds.
One of the highlights of my week was watching the 2006 documentary: Scott Walker: 30 Century Man on Netflix.
This is one deep movie about a seriously talented artist. In the big picture, even if you don’t know Scott Walker, you probably listen to music that was heavily influenced by him including Brian Eno, Radiohead and David Bowie..
Since your work will undoubtedly influence someone, why not be wise and forward-thinking about what you put out there and what you share?
The Master Mind principle is based on the idea that we all share one mind and as more people share a similar belief, the cultural consciousness shifts. One of the places you can hear the direct relationship of influence is music.
Most music today is inspired by music from the past. Not everyone who listens to music knows this but people who produce it usually do and they often have a reason for being influenced by a certain artist.
Stevie Wonder has been an incredible source of influence for many hip-hop and R & B artists. Today when I was at the gym the song Rocket Love (1980) came on.
Starting at about 1:21 in the song and throughout the song is a lyric “Cold Cold World”. This same lyric and sound is a song by Genius GZA released in 1996. Today when I heard Rocket Love, I also heard Cold World in my mind which made me think of how and maybe why I discovered this song to begin with.
Do people unconsciously make their current music choices based on influences from the past? Are musicians consciously or unconsciously shaping our culture with their message? Does listening to old music keep you stuck?
As a person who’s been heavily influenced by music I try to make my selections consciously and as a DJ I also have a conscious intention to build unity and a family vibe. I got a chance to try this out on Saturday at EPIC Summer Night.
And yes, a group of people in a room listening to the same music, laughing and dancing at the same time is probably one of the most powerful Master Mind groups there can be. Whatever you say or play today, do it consciously, pay attention and play wisely. The words you share will undoubtedly impact the future.