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MusicChakra.com – the technical history – Part 1
Music Chakra website and all the nuts and bolts behind is as fascinating as the business idea. When Music Chakra idea was conceptualised about a year ago, the presence of a technical partner founder did helped in integrating the concept with the technology that will eventually drive the idea.
As the idea was talked upon, we realised it was getting huge in terms of resources and effort required to technically execute it. We had to limit the scope of it and divide into phases for real, happening journey. But should I tell you, it was not easy at all. So many questions were being raised, so many thoughts going on. Choosing what to have in each phases, how many phases to have, what should we start in phase 1... And can you believe we spend about 3 months on this..oops.
After deciding what will be in phase 1, designing the website architecture and the whole technical flow of it, we suddenly realised this won’t be turning into live thing with kind of money or skilled technical people we had. And with no investor in sight around, even the things included in phase 1 were trimmed down to;
- A clean simple website with easy flowing text to read and grasp.
- The concept behind the idea in easy to understand text with no flash or complicated animation
- A roadmap page cleanly showcasing the next 3 months features that will be added to the website.
- Free anybody to view Opus/Music based Applications with a profile page and other related pages.
- Atleast 2 opuses to start with upto 2 in each chakra in 3 months time.
- Use of social tools to spread the content easily in the online world
So to move things forward we chose few features in Phase 1 which we have to eventually call as Phase 0.5a due to the very few things added to make the website live. After deciding on the features, things came to deciding very technical requirement of achieving those features. The architecture or the website framework was not difficult as we were not looking for the complicated features at this time. Still a framework was designed which we will talk more in second part of this article. Next, technical requirements like which platform, Linux or windows, which programming language, Mostly Microsoft .Net or some Open source like PHP Language was to be made. Just to remind, it was decided right from start that the website would use different technologies to provide different features needed and would be able to connect with different technologies to make a highly interactive platform. However in Phase 0.5a, due to the available resources in terms of an existing Linux Server, available PHP/MySQL skilled developers, the technical platform chosen was;
- Linux Server and Apache Web server
- PHP 5.2+ scripting language
- MySQL 5.3+ database server
This was the introduction of how we came up with the technical map of musicchakra.com website. In next part, I will show you the framework or architecture designed for phase 0.5a along with kind of reusable shared code used (due credits to the people who wrote that codes).
To summarise, MusicChakra is an idea in continuity.. as the river flows bringing new life ..new air along with it..Music Chakra as an entity, as a Music platform will usher in new music inspirations, new music ideas, new technical learning to enable spreading the magic of music.. Please enjoy the ride.. and do contribute in whatever way you can....see you soon
The First Baby to Pre School Music Classes - Where it all began.
Many parents ask me if their baby is too young for music classes.
Of course, the answer is emphatically, ''No.'' Ever since I began teaching music to children of 18 months old I began to notice their baby brothers and sisters in arms were following my voice with their huge eyes. Even before these infants could sit up alone they were taking a full part in the activities of the older siblings.
It should not come as a surprise since all human babies spend nine months at close quarters to a regular beating pulse and recent research has proved that unborn babies 'hear' external sounds.
So I present in this article of ideas for extending the abilities that very young babies have and gradually moving on to teaching older infants more about rhythm and intonation.
I have discovered that more and more parents are keen to introduce their children to music at an early age but they do not feel confident to set about it. Music teachers, can build upon this desire to enjoy and share all aspects of music-making: singing, rhythm, dancing and listening. It is our job to develop the skills that each child has so that he or she can express him/herself musically.
The music sessions must be relaxed in atmosphere and the parents must feel at ease whilst being encouraged to join in with all activities. This is a sharing experience and much of what goes on in the half-hour class will be taken back into the home. Every effort and contribution is warmly accepted and the parents play an active part in creating this positive atmosphere.
With children aged from three to nine months the parents are encouraged to sing rocking songs (traditional nursery rhymes) and games and rhymes that involve touching parts of the body (toes, ears, cheeks, etc.). Marching round the room to either recorded dance music or piano accompaniment is also a way of reinforcing a sense of pulse and gives the parents the enjoyment of sharing activities. Small bells are an ideal instrument to attract the baby's attention and train his/her ear to sounds. Small maracas provide a contrasting sound. Singing and experience of rhythm through body movements are the basis for these lessons.
From 9 months old
The child can sit up and begins to enjoy songs that are a little more active- galloping (dotted rhythms) to accompany songs with a strong pulse and rhythmic meter. Tambourines and tambours become interesting instruments to beat as are maracas and drums. Home made instruments are even more fun for children to use. The child of this age needs limitless experience of feeling pulse whilst sitting on a parent's knee. The '' Oxford Nursery Songbook'' has an excellent range of rhymes and traditional songs for this purpose. 'Songs Children Love to Sing' also has an extensive range of rhymes and games.
Each lesson lasts for half an hour and contains the same format each week so that the tiny child begins to anticipate the activities. We always begin with a 'hello' song and then three or four clapping reaction songs, a rhyme and then a circle activity, such as walking to music. The content remains the same for three weeks and gradually one new song or rhyme is introduced over the forthcoming weeks. The session ends with a goodbye song and then a quiet few minutes listening to gentle recorded music. The selected piece will remain the same for two or three weeks.
From 12 months to 2 years old.
More finger games are introduced; i.e 'Tommy Thumbkin', 'Five little ducks' etc, and we begin to trace patterns in the air to describe the music we are listening to.
Further repetitive rhymes are introduced gradually more humorous ones in order to sustain interest and surprise. By the time the child can walk we are beginning to move in a circle with parents supporting each child in order to do simple clapping and slapping knees to country and dance music, or singing looby loo whilst doing the actions (but one foot in as opposed to left or right).
We can begin to make a chain and move round the room to music with a strong pulse and we can also move freely to music whilst waving ribbons or scarves. The child is beginning to become more independent of his/her parent. He can move to the instrument table and select a small drum, bell, maracas or claves and can return them, gently when asked. I use soft toys to encourage tender feelings at the end of a session when we lie down to listen to recorded music.
They quickly become accustomed to the lesson structure and therefore feel secure enough to learn new skills. By two years old, if not before, I have begun to introduce a specific repertoire of songs that are designed to encourage good intonation. Traditional nursery rhymes contain a pitch range too wide and too difficult for children under the age of five to attempt. However songs built on the falling minor third (so and mi) and then adding 'la' and later 'do' (building up a pentatonic scale) give very small children the opportunity to sing a variety of songs in tune. Many of the songs are about animals and all are introduced with a large picture and a simple story to give the children as many memory clues as possible. All the senses are involved in committing songs to memory. If we also sing hello and goodbye together with questions and answers, on 'soh', 'mi' and ‘doh’ the children find it perfectly natural to sing both tutti and solos.
After all, what is the musical interval of that ubiquitous whine "mummy"?
Every song is accompanied by a pulse kept on the knees or hands and parents are encouraged to help the child keep this pulse.
Claves are an ideal instrument for this age group as they act as an extension of the hands in keeping a regular pulse while we sing questions and answers to each other.
Anticipation of the beat is encouraged through songs such as:
• Two fat sausages frying in the pan,
• one went sizzle (child shakes maracas)
• And one went bang (child bangs on drum)
A typical session would end with each child selecting a soft toy and rocking to and fro to "row row row your boat". We then sing a "goodbye song" and lie down with the toys to listen to some music. By two and a half to 3 years old the children can concentrate long enough to lie down and listen to several minutes of recorded music. I use many styles of music from baroque to modern female vocal but the common factor is high-quality of intonation and tranquillity. The teacher must lie down with the children and be seen to be enjoying and sharing this precious experience.
After one or two years of musical activities, besides having a working knowledge of a variety of nursery rhymes, action songs and rhymes these children can sing in tune on a pentatonic scale, they can recall a repertoire of up to twelve songs from aural memory, they can keep a regular pulse and can discriminate between fast and slow, high and low, loud and quiet and sound and silence. They can handle simple percussion instruments and use them to keep a pulse or tap the words of a known song. By three years old most children are more than ready to enter the music class without the support of a parent.
Why do you use Sangeet Chakra on Facebook?
Music Chakra is owned by Chris and Nagesh with it’s content from the UK and its technical side from India. When looking for a name to use in our Facebook profile Sangeet seemed the most appropriate. Sangeet is the Indian (Hindi) word for Music therefore Sangeet Chakra = Music Chakra.
From the profile page you can access all the groups and applications we currently have planned. At the moment we have Angelic Tuning, Angelic Tuning in Tameside and Music Chakra
Shortly we will have other pages which will be added here as and when they are available.
Why have you released the site so early?
www.musicchakra.com is growing naturally, and as a plant is placed in the ground at a young age to grow into a tree, this sapling shows echo of what it will become with care and attention.
The site today is just a seed of what is to come; giving an indication or reverberation what is ahead.
Growing through the care of the development team and the attention of the visitors. Thank you for your patience and visits; every time you return their will be a little more growth.
Can I contribute something to share on the site?
Yes, contributions are welcome for current opuses. All contributions should be emailed to ask (at) musicchakra.com as a zip/ compressed file.
If you have a musical craft, for any age group, please include photo’s 300 pixels wide in jpg or png format and instructions as a text file.
If you have a lesson plan, please include all parts, diagrams, worksheets etc clearly itemised along with recommended age group etc. We will then format these to be added to the site; you will be mentioned as contributor and, if required, holder of the copyright.
What is an Opus?
In music an opus is a generally referring to a work by a composer. On musicchakra.com an Opus refers to an application or module available on the web site. Each application has a specific user, some Opuses are sponsored by music partners and bear their branding, some opuses are designed by our in house team, and, in time, users will be able to upload their own opuses.
New opuses are being released every month we aim to have released 2 opuses in each MusicChakra within 12 weeks. Yopu can find more information about our plans on the roadmap we have on musicchakra.com
What is MusicChakra about?
Music Chakra in its current form is phase 0.5 we are introducing opuses and increasing our content over the next few months.
In the fullness of time MusicChakra.com will be new approach of integrating Music to one’s life, “The Seven Music Chakras”; Know, Appreciate, Learn, Create, Teach, Promote; Enjoy.
We aim to bring a complete interactive musical life cycle. A totally new and innovative approach of bridging the musical world with the common user Multi Level Interaction Engagement Model.
There will be 3 user types, these being Free Visitor, Registered User or a Paid Subscribed member. Musicchakra.com will be an innovative, buzzing platform for Music Community.
Rich with social media features, socially integrated music applications called ‘Opus’ and ‘Mudra’ virtual currency. There will be many options for interaction among music users based on their profile types as student, teacher, parents and musicians.
What is a MusicChakra
www.MusicChakra.com is a point which every musician passes through. Music is, in our opinion, an essential part of life providing an energy that affects every part of your life. Therefore a journey though music is a lot like a wheel, so we have taken the concept of Chakra and added a little musical colour and characteristic.
We have found that there are 7 points or MusicChakra's that everyone will pass through on their musical journey. These are Know, Appreciate, Learn, Create, Teach, Promote & Enjoy. We see the journey as a constant cycle or wheel where you pass through each point time and time again.
To start your journey you must KNOW music, the sounds and the feelings. You will KNOW how it makes you feel and you will KNOW you enjoy listening to it. As this grows you begin to APPRECIATE different styles of music and nuances of sound. You know what you instantly APPRECIATE or like, and you know what you don’t. This often stems from the music you instinctively know from your childhood. From this point you can start to LEARN more about the music you appreciate or start to understand and therefore appreciate music you are not too sure about on first hearing. This will lead you to CREATE new sounds and styles with the new knowledge. As you become confident with this new knowledge you will start to share it with others and TEACH it yourself. Your new understanding has led you to find a new style of music you enjoy and you will start to tell others about it, to PROMOTE it, this is natural as we all like to talk. At the end of the journey, we have found we ENJOY something new; something that at one time was not understood but through the natural journey through the Music Chakras has grown in understanding and you are ready to start again, to begin to KNOW something new....
What does the Chakra part of the name mean?
A Chakra is derived from the Sanskrit word for wheel representing the cycle of life. In the many faiths the chakra’s are wheel like energy centres within the body. These energy centres, according to Indian medicine, are said to influence all functions of the body. A chakra is considered to be the nexus of the life force of a human body. They are often symbolised by crystal spheres or flowers with increasing numbers of petals.
You can find out more about our logo on the website in about our logo and tag line, for music, balance and harmony.