Our Brain-computer Interfacing Technology Uses Music to Make People Happy



Whether it’s the music that was playing on the radio when you met your partner or the first song your baby daughter smiled to, for many of us, music is a core part of life. And it’s no wonder – there is considerable scientific evidence that fetuses experience sounds while in the womb, meaning music may affect us even before we are born.


Music can leave us with a sense of transcendental beauty or make us reach for the ear plugs. In fact, it is almost unparalleled among the arts in its ability to quickly generate an incredibly wide range of powerful emotions. But what happens in our brains and bodies when we emotionally react to music has long been a bit of a mystery. A mystery that researchers have only recently started to explore and understand.


Numerous studies have shown that listening to music leads to changes in activity in core brain networks known to underpin our experience of emotion.  We also know that music has the ability to affect the way in which the body behaves. Our heart rate rises as we listen to exciting music, while our blood pressure can be lowered by calm, soothing music. Scary music, on the other hand, can make us sweat and raise goose bumps.


To read the entire article click here or on the picture


Pancake Art with Jasmine




OK, we admit it, we’re venturing off the path of music & technology.  This also has little to do with STEAM education, but it’s so creative, we had to share.  Please watch this amazingly creative video!


To see the video click here or on the picture


Why Scientists Benefit from an Arts Education




In 2015, there were over nine million workers who occupied STEM-based careers, up over 5% from the previous five years. Additionally, the STEM field is the fastest growing job sector and is estimated to have similar high growth for the next ten years.


A STEM education is highly critical to your children enjoying a lucrative and successful career in the future, but focusing on only STEM skills in school is not enough. Incorporating an arts education is essential in teaching children soft skills that are necessary for their future careers in science-centric fields.

Arts education includes subjects like theater, music, drama, creative writing, sculpting, and painting. Integrating arts into a curriculum, as the STEAM philosophy does, plays a critical role in preparing students for success in more technical fields, including science. Arts can help to:

  • Enhance creativity
  • Build confidence
  • Foster visual learning
  • Introduce decision-making skills
  • Teach perseverance


To read the entire article click here or on the picture


Sunhouse Wants To Empower Musicians With AI




Much of the technology built for music creators in the last 30 years hasn’t been made with the musician in mind – unless you’re thinking about DJ’s or producers. If you’re a drummer, guitarist or a flautist, there are limited tools available that speak the unique musical language you may have already learned with the mastery of your instrument.


Advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) do exist in music, however, many are focused on automation, not collaboration. PopGun, a venture-funded startup uses AI to aid in pop music songwriting, while Ampr, another company in the space focuses on music solutions at an enterprise level generating content for film and commercial work.


One company started by musicians and technologists is creating AI tools to empower musicians, not replace them – starting with drummers as the entry point. Sunhouse, started by 3 Chicanx siblings from Los Angeles are using their experience as outsiders to welcome musicians into the fold.


The Sunhouse trio, Tlacael, Tenoch and Tonantzin Esparza founded the company in 2015 via Kickstarter. After raising over $94k in less than one month, the team began production of their first product, Sensory Percussion – a machine learning-based system turning drum sets into entire production suites. Players for Maroon 5, Herbie Hancock, Panic at the Disco, Common, and Nas now use Sensory Percussion for touring, composing and jamming.


To read the entire article click here or on the picture


Children Learn How To Make Music Thanks To Denver Startup




A Denver startup is hoping to revolutionize how kids learn to make music. Musiquest has now reached more than 300,000 students.


“We sort of did the easier thing first; in showing we could build a product that would work in schools where there were teachers. Now, we’re doing the harder thing, which is supporting a child learning about music in their own home whether there’s an adult present or not,” Zax said.


“What technology allows us to do is actually compose or produce or create songs. But that’s very new because before we had technology, we had no ability to offer that to beginners,” Zax said.


To read the entire article click here or on the picture


Are ‘Microbe-Grown Headphones’ the Future of Sustainable Audio Technology?



Korvaa headphones were grown using fungus and a yeast-based bioplastic grown by microbes.  Biodegradable, landfill-free electronics sound like a good idea for the future.


Finnish studio Aivan worked in collaboration with scientists to create the microbially grown headphones. There are six different substances at play here, and they were designed to showcase the potential of synthetic biology to create a sustainable future.


The idea is to move away from the culture of planned obsolescence in electronics, where old is disposed for new on a regular schedule.  Finnish design house Aivan said nature produces some of the most durable and most versatile substances known to man, so they set out to figure out how to harness that power.


To read the entire article click here or on the picture



FY2019 Annual Report is Out!


Fiscal year 2019 has passed and it’s time to report on how Texas Music Partners did in its second year (first full year) as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.  It’s a short read so you don’t have to shy away.


To read or download the annual report click here or on the picture.

A Farewell for iTunes




iTunes was surrounded by family and friends at Apple’s annual developer conference when Apple executives announced that it would be dismantled, and its features would be split among three apps: Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV.


iTunes entered this world 18 years ago as a “digital jukebox” that let users import their favorite CDs, organize their libraries and burn custom mixes. It then became a music store of its own — a magical, one-click emporium where 99 cents could get you almost any song under the sun. Steve Jobs heralded its birth as the dawn of a new age of media consumption, one in which consumers would own the digital rights to their own music.


But nothing gold can stay. And in the early part of this decade, subscription music services like Spotify and Pandora, which offered an all-you-can-eat bacchanal of music for a monthly subscription fee, began to eat away at Apple’s advantage.


Ultimately, Mr. Jobs’ prophecy was wrong. People wanted to rent access to a centralized streaming library, not pay a small fee to own every song. As streaming services grew, sales of music downloads plummeted. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, downloads now make up a smaller percentage of recording sales than physical albums


To read the entire article click here or on the picture


Class of 2019: Marcha Kiatrungrit’s Pursuits Fuse Art and Technology



Marcha Kiatrungrit has a three-pronged approach toward living life to its fullest: persistence in everything she does, a willingness to always try something new, and determination to never over-think what she does.


It has served her well. The soon-to-be University of Virginia graduate has pursued many passions, including music, sound engineering and acting. Later this month, she will graduate with degrees in engineering science (including minors in computer science and astronomy) and music.


This semester, Kiatrungrit is teaching a one-credit music engineering course, focused not only on techniques, but also on examining creative career paths for engineers in media production.


“There are many opportunities for engineers in the entertainment industry, from coding and animation to sound and music editing,” she said.


To read the entire article click here or on the picture.