Thursday, January 21, 2016

Journalism Final (Rogerian)

Kathryn Ward
Journalism D
January 21, 2015
Music in the Community
Art commonly falls to the idea that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, however the innocence of this saying becomes barely apparent with the societal views of today. Whether it be paintings, poetry, or music, art can fall victim to the bandwagon effect. While opinions are part of any kind of art form, the persuasive pull they create can form a social construct on something that was made to be free of rules. Especially with music, an ego can appear superficially on what music should be respected and what music should be undermined. However, there are positive effects that come from opinions, like the spread of new ideas and music, which ultimately betters the industry. Yet it is the social pyramid we establish in music that can ultimately deter the music from being something purely for the individual. It can be thought of as another way, as humans, we can not escape conformity.
Primarily, I do not believe people shouldn’t hold opinions on music and should not share them. Instead I believe we should reflect on how we approach our opinions of music and be conscious of not letting others sway us or being close-minded to our own opinions. Since music is essential to culture and has, “important in formation, and remembrance, of a wide range of social movements” in society (Eyerman). Music is another form of communication and spreads ideas of humanity making it a very important concept of culture. Therefore by limiting our opinions on music, we are limiting our communication and freedom of speech only to fit in with our community. We must not take it for granted by letting society have a stronghold on making our opinions for us. To accept that having others decide what the opinions of music should be is not a form of culture and community, it should be thought of as a form of oppression since it deters our own form of expression. However, we do not need to make a complete stand against society, but we should be aware of especially when it comes to art that was not made to have only one viewpoint. There should be a respect for music, that has evolved humanity, that allows us to understand the importance of our own expression of it. It is the open mindedness music brings to our lives should be valued enough that we do not take for granted the freedom of expression. Music is too important to let society take hold of it and oppress the listener through a social construct that limits an art form.
With “1,264 genres of popular music”, it is actually quite an impressive feat that our society can have a collective idea on which music should and shouldn’t be listened too (Fitzpatrick). Yet, the problem arises when we allow our society to shape an opinion on something that was made to effect the individual. Using music, “tastes to function as markers of ‘class’ and allows a “socially recognized hierarchy of the arts” that “corresponds [to] a hierarchy of the consumers”, should be something we are trying to avoid (Bourdieu). With this “hierarchy” we absolve to society rather than enforcing our own personal preference. It causes the market to gain control by recognizing what “sells” in music and making the art become commercial. Yet, a person can still have a favorable opinion on what could be considered “commercial” music, the goal of the market is based on greed rather than passion. Not only can the consumer be negatively affected, but also the artist. With the pressure to please an audience that shares the same opinions an artist must find a pattern to appease everyone. This creates a sense of responsibility to the listener not to make “good” opinions but to not be afraid to think of a different opinion. At the same time opinions should be shared and not everyone will have a different opinion otherwise we fall back into consciously making our views on other’s point of view. We should want to form our own ideas rather than piggyback of the ideas of others. Music should not have to follow the unspoken rules of society, but roam free and explore the limitless possibilities of expression. Ultimately the distinctions we make on music should be made by our own view rather than blindly agreeing with society’s view.
To lead towards a goal of maintaining music as a personal experience rather than something dictated by what others believe is “good”, we must first realize the problem in ourselves. We should still be able to listen to different opinions, yet our ultimate opinion should come from our own thought since music is a paradoxal art that can be shared and taken personally. To continue an evolution of limitless expression we must spread it in our community and let an open mind be appreciated when it comes to music. By not being fixed in our opinions or changing others views we can show a respect for not only the art form but also the people around us and by not jumping on the bandwagon of what others listen too and not forming own own opinions we reveal a respect for our own though. Therefore, as individuals it becomes a self respect to listen to ourselves rather than a communal opinion when it comes to viewing art and appreciate it to it’s fullest extent.
Work Cited
Eyerman, Ron, and Andrew Jamison. Music and social movements: Mobilizing traditions in the twentieth century. Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Bourdieu, Pierre. Distinction: A social critique of the judgement of taste. Harvard University Press, 1984.
Fitzpatrick, Rob. "From Charred Death to Deep Filthstep: The 1,264 Genres That Make Modern Music." The Guardian. Guardian News, 4 Sept. 2014. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Personal Commentary

For ten years I played soccer, and quitting the sport still haunts me. I remember since I was in elementary school, the soft grass, sharp scent of paint, and thud of a ball as it connected to my cleat. As children we simply ran around in circles “playing” soccer, but as the years progressed our “circles” became disciplined to patterns. Soccer is an intellectual experience and I still respect the game since it mirrored me as I matured through life. I still share a special bond to the girls I played with even though I am no longer part of their team. Sports can help a person learn important life lessons and can be crucial to a person’s development, however I left the sport even with the understanding of these values.
I didn’t know it at the time, but my last game was the same as all my other games had been. After playing soccer for so many years, the games start to blur together in a montage of memories. I remember the celebrations of scoring a goal, where my ears would be buzzing from the cheering and muscle fatigue seemed to vanish for a moment; the upset of a loss that came with a frustrated silence where you could feel the anger and regret in the air. The friends I made and the rush of excitement were all too familiar; however, I don't remember the score of the game, which town we had played, what position I was playing as, or the girls on the other team we were supposed to be pitted against. All the information I believed to be so important at the time.
The day after I decided to quit, I had gone outside and tried to play with the ball that dictated my life for so long. The autumn air was crisp and the leather ball felt cold against my hands. Signed with my name with sloppy penmanship amongst several grass stains, the ball had gone through a beating from years of playing. A feeling of betrayal came over me from just holding the soccer ball, so I ditched it in the wet grass and went back inside. When I was younger soccer had defined who I was and really became my only discernible personality trait. For a while when people thought of me they thought of a plot of grass lined with paint and decorated with two nets. Before I left the team I had started to find myself with people other than my teammates and involved in activities that expanded more on the creative side of life. I had been so devoted to the game, these new experiences felt fresh and exciting. Possibly, I could have found balance between soccer and my new hobbies and friends, but when you commit to a team half of your heart can’t be separated from soccer. I felt bad for the girls I had been playing my whole life with since they still loved the game with an intense passion, but I just couldn’t connect to it anymore. Soccer had become a job rather than a game which caused my love for it to shatter away.
Ironically, after I left soccer I got a job. Even more irony, my job felt less of a job than playing soccer did which reassured my decision to quit. However, I missed my friends deeply, and I missed the all the personal highs that come through soccer. Either way I realized I would be unhappy, but since I’m only in high school I decided it would best for me to be selfish on this decision even if it meant leaving my teammates.
In the end, it felt like  bad break-up, but leaving soccer has expanded my horizons and I will always be grateful for all the sport has done for me as I’ve grown as a person. The experience was a reminder to me that every choice must bear a consequence.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Album Review

Artist: Florence + The Machine
Album: How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Date Released: May 29, 2015

In a raw transition of acceptance, Florence + The Machine utilizes the imagery of the ocean to reveal a deeper meaning of finding the strength to love yourself. To begin with, the album has a definite setting, the British sea coast. Dark and stormy mood is set with an image of religious figures looking down from above, mirroring the underlying Christian values. The album begins with “Ship to Wreck” which nicely sets the scene for the whole album. It questions the choices we make in life comparing it to building a “ship to wreck”, which becomes the conflict that the album looks for resolve. While the ocean theme is more obvious in songs such as “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful”, “Various Storms and Saints”, and “Caught”, the dark and powerful mood that mirrors the sea is present in each song of the album. The artist tends to look for answers through a higher power and religion becomes a major theme in the album. In addition, the album displayed the opposing emotions that develop through her journey of self-acceptance. In “What Kind of Man” Florence + The Machine create a rush of anger for the lover that has devastated her, opposite to the sadness revealed in “Long and Lost” that is so slow it emulates a poetry reading, which also contrasts the upbeat song “Delilah”, full of joy and hope. The three feelings of anger, sadness, and joy are the emotions the artist shifts from. There is no order to the sequencing of emotions which makes the album seem more human rather than a pattern. It is a roller coaster of the human heart and rashness of feelings we try so hard to control. Florence + the Machine end the album on “Mother” where the artist comes to realize her place.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Research PowerPoint

Go to the Presentation

Research Project Process

Kathryn Ward
Dr. Kefor
Journalism D
December 13, 2015


Problem Statement:
Determining whether or not there is a correlation of similar zodiac signs in successful musicians based on their genre. I will be looking at specifically sun signs since they are “considered the twelve basic personality types” (Zodiac). Andrew Fraknoi states: “Many astrologers insist that a person’s Sun sign is strongly correlated with his or her choice of profession”. Although some claim that the zodiac has, “has no plausible explanation for its claims” the belief system still has a large following (Kelly). Tests have also been done where the astrologists could only predict 50 percent which is makes it a chance and not accurate (Carlson). However there have been connections made between both astrology and economics throughout history and in modern life (Adams). To understand if there are significant traits in a person that could to lead to their success in life would give us beneficial information on what traits have an appeal to our emotions.


Research Questions:
Would there be a correlation of zodiac positions in the music community?


Data Collection:
I will be using direct observation to gather information that will then be translated into statistics. On google spreadsheets I generated three columns that show the musician’s name, zodiac sign, and genre. I also will be collecting the zodiac signs of students in band and chorus. After I gather enough information I will create percentages of each sign for the total musicians, famous musicians, and students and l then compare the signs and similar traits in the most common signs.
Data Spreadsheet


Analysis:
The zodiac sign most frequent in my sample of musicians was Gemini (17%) followed by Taurus (14%) and Aries (13%). The least frequent signs were Virgo, Scorpio, and Capricorn with 4% of the population. For famous musicians the most frequent signs was Pisces (15%) and the least was Leo (2%). Musicians in the school (band and choir) had their most popular sign Aries (18%) and the least was Virgo (3%).


Findings:
With the high percentages and low percentages of each sign, we can generalize the traits of these signs to understand if there is any specific correlation with the type of sign. To begin with, the most popular sign was Gemini which is known for wanting to please people, good communication, and creativity. The next most popular sign is Taurus which is generalized as stubborn, loves the finer things, and artistic. Aries being the third most popular, is most known for their aggressive manner, fiery demeanor, and independence. Taurus and Gemini correlate with their creative natures, Taurus and Aries show ambition, and all three don’t display shy qualities. On the other hand the less popular signs should correlate as well. Virgo is known as a quieter sign, observant, and creative. The traits that define Scorpio are a manipulative, passionate, and has a sense of reason. Capricorns are known for ambition, intelligence, and introversion. All three signs show a quieter and more controlled personality than the popular signs. While Virgos are creative and Capricorns have ambition, similar to Gemini, Taurus, and Aries, they lack outwardness needed in the follow a passion in music. However, not all my findings follow the assumptions made in common astrology. The sign Libra is known for being musical and is usually thought of as the musician of the zodiac yet they had less than significant percentage (7%) in my data collection. It should also be noted that the trends in band astrology and famous astrology had similars trends. Gemini and Taurus were both top three popular signs and the only variation was Aries being more popular in school musicians and pisces being more popular in famous musicians. Both Virgos were uncommon in the statistics however there was a significant difference in the higher amount of Leo’s in school (10%) rather than in fame (2%). While there were extremely high differences in the percentages there were still notable trends in the data.


Discussion:
With the quantitative data collected from this research, we can look into how this effects the music industry as a whole. Using common traits in our top zodiac signs we can see how one can be successful in that field and form a deeper understanding of the musicians. We can use astrology to get a deeper understanding of society in general so why not use the same techniques on a smaller group of people.


Work Cited


"Zodiac Signs Explained." Zodiac Signs Explained. Astrology Insight, 2015. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.


Kelly, Ivan W. "Modern astrology: a critique." Psychological Reports 81.3 (1997): 1035-1066.


Fraknoi, Andrew. "Your astrology defense kit." Sky and Telescope 78 (1989): 146-150.


Carlson, Shawn. "A double-blind test of astrology." Nature 318.6045 (1985): 419-425.


Adams, Dear Miss, Jacob Stout, and Stock Exchange. "The Dignity of an Exact Science: Evangeline Adams, Astrology, and the Professions of the Probable, 1890-1940." (2014).


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Problem Statement and Research Question

Problem Statement:
Determining whether or not there is a correlation of similar zodiac signs in successful musicians based on their genre. I will be looking at specifically sun signs since they are “considered the twelve basic personality types” (Zodiac). Andrew Fraknoi states: “Many astrologers insist that a person’s Sun sign is strongly correlated with his or her choice of profession”. Although some claim that the zodiac has, “has no plausible explanation for its claims” the belief system still has a large following (Kelly). Tests have also been done where the astrologists could only predict 50 percent which is makes it a chance and not accurate (Carlson). However there have been connections made between both astrology and economics throughout history and in modern life (Adams). My objective is to understand if there are significant traits in a person that could to lead to their success in their musical profession that would ultimately give us beneficial information on what traits are able to make an appeal on the audience of the world.

Research Question:
How is it possible to correlate a musician’s success to their position on the zodiac?


Work Cited

"Zodiac Signs Explained." Zodiac Signs Explained. Astrology Insight, 2015. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.

Kelly, Ivan W. "Modern astrology: a critique." Psychological Reports 81.3 (1997): 1035-1066.

Fraknoi, Andrew. "Your astrology defense kit." Sky and Telescope 78 (1989): 146-150.

Carlson, Shawn. "A double-blind test of astrology." Nature 318.6045 (1985): 419-425.

Adams, Dear Miss, Jacob Stout, and Stock Exchange. "The Dignity of an Exact Science: Evangeline Adams, Astrology, and the Professions of the Probable, 1890-1940." (2014).

Monday, November 16, 2015

Student Problem Statement Research Peer Review

Kristin researched the effects of long-lasting traumatic effects on an adult from a tragic childhood experience through literature. She collected data through a survey with her soccer team which allowed her to gather information from different types of people. Through her data she resolved that trauma can come from more than just childhood trauma.