Friday, 4 December 2015

Is Our Favourite Music Genre Linked to Our Personality?

Could our preferred genre of music really link to our personality?

A study conducted by Professor Adrian North of Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK, believes that our musical tastes and personality types do, in fact, link. Professor North carried out extensive research on the social and applied psychology of music, specifically the relationship between pop music culture and deviant behavior in young adults, music and consumer behavior and musical preference in everyday life.

The study was conducted over a course of three years where the Professor asked over 36,000 people in more than 60 countries to rate a wide range of musical styles in order of preference - there was also a questionnaire that measured certain aspects of personality.

The results showed:
  • Blues fans: have high self-esteem, are outgoing, creative, gentle and mostly at ease
  • Jazz fans: have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing and at ease
  • Classic music fans: have high self-esteem, are creative, introverted and at ease
  • Rap fans: have high self-esteem and are outgoing
  • Opera fans: have high self-esteem, are creative and gentle
  • Country and western fans: hardworking and outgoing
  • Reggae fans: have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle and at ease, but not hardworking
  • Dance fans: creative and outgoing, but not gentle
  • Indie fans: have low self-esteem and are creative, but aren't hardworking or gentle
  • Bollywood fans: creative and outgoing
  • Chart pop fans: have high self-esteem, are hardworking, outgoing and gentle, but not at ease or creative
  • Soul fans: have high self-esteem, are outgoing, creative, gentle and at ease
Professor North said that his objective was to study why music was such a significant part of people's identity.

He said, "People do actually define themselves through music and relate to other people through it but we haven't known in detail how music is connected to identity. We have always suspected a link between music taste and personality. This is the first time that we've been able to look at it in real detail. No one has ever done this on this scale before."

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Thursday, 29 October 2015

The Power of Music: Can Music Reduce Stress?

Music has a unique link to our emotions and can affect our moods. It is proven to be a successful stress management tool.

Listening to different genres of music which we enjoy can have a huge effect on our bodies and minds, for example slow, classical music has a relaxing effect on us, slowing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure and decreasing stress levels. Music has the ability to grab our attention, distract us and help us explore our emotions.

Everybody has a different musical preference so only you can decide which music you would prefer to suit each mood however, classical music is definitely worth a try when selecting calming music, especially before bed as it is peaceful and will help to induce sleep.

When people are stressed they tend to not listen to music as they feel this is even more aggravating and a waste of time, but when stress is reduced productivity is increased, so it is definitely worth a try.

Try to incorporate music into everyday life whether it is putting a CD on in the car or in the shower, or even listening to the radio whilst you take the dog for a walk. Singing can also be a great release of stress and tension, so give it a try!

Research on music

For hundreds of years, music has been used to treat illness and connect the body and the mind. Scientific studies have tried to measure the potential benefits of music, their results have shown:

·         Music can bring order to distressed or disabled children by encouraging their coordination and communication.
·         Listening to music on headphones reduces stress and anxiety in hospital patients.
·         Listening to music can help depression and self-esteem in elderly people.
·         Music reduces emotional distress and helps the quality of life among adult cancer patients.


Certain music can be used for meditation to help the mind slow down and relax, however not all music is appropriate and the same music may not work for everyone and music with no structure may irritate some people.
The sound of nature is often used for relaxation for example the sound of water so people can build an image in their heads to reduce stressful thoughts.

Progress Academy offer many different music lessons for those who are wanting to learn to play a musical instrument!

Friday, 25 September 2015

Learning to play music can help your hearing

Did you know playing music can improve your ability to discern certain sounds?

Nina Kraus, a neuroscientist from Chicago has found still more positive effects on adults that received early musical training - in the realm of communicating and hearing. Kraus measured the activity in the auditory brainstems of 40+ adults, between the ages of 50 and 76 tested on their response to the speech syllable 'da'.

The subjects hadn't touched a musical instrument in roughly 40 years, however those that had trained for a long period of time (between four and fourteen years) responded faster than others.

Kraus says this is 'significant'. Our hearing does decline as we get older, and with it the ability to distinguish consonants - a crucial skill for the participation and understand of a conversation.

Nina Kraus says, "If your nervous system is not keeping up with the timing necessary for encoding consonants - did you say pill or fill, hat or that - eve if the vowel part is understood," you are likely to lose out the flow and meaning of the conversation at hand, possibly leading to an individual feeling socially isolated.

Her hypothesis is that musical training allows the individual to focus on accurate connections between a sound and a meaning. Learners are able to focus on the note in front of them and link it to the sound it represents, continuing to be able to recognise which sounds do and don't go together, on passages that are played when associated with a specific emotion. Furthermore, the students will be using their motor system to create the sounds through their fingers.

There are also other possible benefits to a person's listening skills and hearing skills when playing music, she says, "Musicians throughout their lives, and as they age, hear better in noisy environments. Difficulty in hearing words against a noisy background is a common complaint amongst people as they get older."

Learn to play a musical instrument the right way with Progress Music Academy!

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Why it's never too late to learn a musical instrument

There is an art to learning to play an instrument; some would say it's passion, others may say dedication or discipline.

What has not been said is needing experience. This because it is never too late to begin playing a musical instrument, Whether you favour string instruments or brass, drums or piano, music lessons can be taken at any age.

There could be tons of reasons why you're starting lessons when you're starting; maybe when you were younger it wasn't the right time, you were too busy, or you couldn't find suitable music teacher. Either way, if you've wanted to learn to play guitar, you can do so today:

Easy beginnings - Guitar lessons begin fairly easy and within a few weeks, you should be able to play a couple of songs. The more practise means you can play more challenging pieces.

Fun - Learning to play an instrument can be extremely fun, but there is a lot of dedication that is needed. You will be expected to practise, but this will only lead to more fun when you begin to familiarise yourself with the instrument.

Experience - As we age, we gain a lot of life experiences which can lend themselves to our playing abilities and even songwriting. Through expression, you can play unique pieces that will impact others.

Socialising - Bringing up that you ar learning to play an instrument can be a great way to socialise. You can meet other learners, those with experience and take advice and tips from them.

Benefits wellbeing - Learning to play an instrument can actually uplift your spirits. We understand that different types of music can make us feel different emotions, so learning to play an instrument can only heighten those emotions and relieve stress and tension!

For further information about Progress Academy's music lessons in Birmingham, please visit our website!

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Interest music facts

There is undoubtedly a mass of weird and wonderful facts about music and some we're going to share with you!

Did you know?

Listening to music during a work out measurable improves someone's physical performance.

A person does not essentially like an original version of a song because it is better; they like it because it was the version they heard first.

It is possible that one of your favourite songs is such because it is associated with an emotional event that occurred in your life.

There wasn't one member of The Beatles that could read music.

Heartbeat can mimic the music that you are listening to.

The inventor of the Telecaster and Stratocaster, Leo Fender, couldn't actually play guitar.

The much-loved Christmas carol Jingle Bells was initially written for the American holiday of Thanksgiving.

Loud music can influence a person to drink more in less time.

A song that is repeatedly playing in your head has a name: an earworm.

Listening to music triggers the dopamine chemical in our brains.

Anything more to add? Post them in the comments! Visit our website to view all of the academy's music lessons and more!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Half Term at Progress Academy

Progress Academy is opening its doors this half term for a week of music and fun.

You could have a chance to play on our Natal Drum Kit!

If you didn't know, every half term Progress Academy in the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter open its doors for children everywhere to come and use the equipment and produce videos using the instruments. We host song recordings and video production for them to watch and potentially take home.

It's a great opportunity for children to learn about musical instruments, music and develop their technical skills - no matter the experience, and most importantly have fun.

You can find Progress Academy at 35 Northampton Street in the Jewellery Quarter, B18 6DU.

For further information about Progress Academy and if you're interesting in developing your musical skills, please visit the website!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Musical Instrument Facts

Brass horn

The oldest brass instruments can be dated back to 500 BC, and have been found preserved in bogs across Scandinavia. The instruments were called lurs, essentially a long, elegantly curved brass trumpet and had been recovered in batches of two.

Lurs have been used for the crest of Lurpak butter.

The word remains in the Swedish language as something that broadcasts sound, hÖrlurar meaning headphones, along with a mobile phone frequently called a lur.

Stone horn

The precise use of an ancient bronze lur remains a mystery, however, according to the Icelandic sagas the lurs’ later wooden relatives (lurar) had been used for the gathering of troops and scare away the enemy. The Saxons did not require an instrument, they simply used a sizable stone.

The Blowing Stone, at Kingston Lisle, is a large sarsen boulder with a number of holes in it. Blowing into the correct hole creates a loud, penetrating note. Alfred the Great had used said stone to gather his troops prior to the battle of Ashdown.

Universal organ

Rewind to 2004 when astronomers at the University of Virginia measured background radiation from 400,000 years preceding the Big Bang and described the ‘music’ the universe made while it was being created.

For the first 400,000 years it sounds like a scream declining to a dull roar,” explained Professor Mark Whittle. “And over the first million years the music of the cosmos changed from a bright major chord to a sombre minor one.

Singing sand

Sand dunes can actually play a ‘tune’, or rather a loud, resonate note that can last for 15 minutes and heard from approximately 6 miles away.
Studies that have been conducted in the Sahara presented that the booms are caused by avalanches on the dunes, often occurring after rain, when the lower layers of a dune are still moist (sometime clumpy) and the top layers are dry. The falling sand makes vibrations in the same manner as the membrane of a loudspeaker.


An abbreviation of the correct name ‘violoncello’ – literal translation of ‘little big viola.
Cello would have been written with an apostrophe preceding it in the past.

Hard cases

Chicago gangsters wouldn’t have been partial to carrying around machine guns in violin cases. Rather they opted for a ‘hard case’ that resembled a musical instrument carrier. It would have been compartmentalised in order for it to hold various parts of the gun easily.


Salvador Dalí, in the Christmas of 1936, sent Harpo Marx a harp that had barbed-wire strings to which Harpo sent back a photo of himself bearing his bandaged fingers.

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Friday, 20 March 2015

Why music is important

Not only dies every culture make music, but every past culture has had or made music too.

The musical instrument is amongst one of the oldest man-made objects ever discovered; as an example, there are some flutes today that are approximately 37,000 years old, possibly older.
Compared with reading and writing, the earliest recorded forms dating back about 3500 years - and there are presently some cultures in the world that cannot read or write.

Scientists have actually discovered, through research, music has an effect on different parts of the human brain quite deeply.
It's difficult to explain although a simpler way of understanding would be the emotions and memories and feelings felt when listening to a particular song or piece of music, whether it be from classical to heavy metal. You could ask yourself: "What do I feel when you listen to a Christmas song? Or when somebody is singing 'Happy Birthday'?"

Music can produce strong emotions and feelings; it is essentially a language a language that every human is capable of understanding, thus it is a form of communication.

In the year of 2009, November, the UK remembered two significant events; one being the passing of the generation of the soldiers who fought for the country during the first World War, the second the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall - both commemorated with music; in London, the Choir of Westminster Abbey sung 'For the Fallen' for the passing of the WWI generation; the 20th anniversary of the fall of Berlin Wall brought a free concert by U2.

Learning music could actually be considered a vital life skill as it is a form of universal communication - it's a form of expression without having to say anything.

Music is especially important for children as at their young age, their brain is constantly developing, thus giving them another form of communication they can use while they grow. The more music a child is exposed to, the more they will enjoy a variety of music when they are an adult.

Please visit our website if you'd like more information about the benefits of music lessons!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Music lessons: fun and stress relief

Finding a hobby can promote resiliency and is a great way of filling and enjoying your free time.

Learning to play an instrument opens up a lot of opportunities; playing an instrument could ultimately lead to joining a church music group, songwriting and even starting your own band.
It's a chance to build a career as a musician and have a little fun with it also.

If you're a person that enjoys learning and has an interest in music, learning to play an instrument could be the thing to do - Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix were self-taught, their careers evolving from the passion to pursue that love of music they both possessed.

How to get started:

Begin with the basics and then you can develop from there and enjoy playing for fun. Purchasing a guitar, and maybe an amplifier and some sound effect pedals will allow you to create a limitless amount of sounds and call it music.
Play along to songs that appeal to you; it'll be a great way of unwinding as well as learning how a song is constructed - the development of your talent lies at honing in the skills you are taught yourself, and helping them flourish, by taking lessons, which is where Progress Music Academy can help!

Playing a musical instrument is a brilliant stress reliever and way of having fun, you'll be fascinated with the music you can make.
Please visit our website for further details about the lessons and services we can offer you!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

The NAMM Show 2015

Our very own musical faces, Gaz and Steve, will be in Los Angeles this week after preparing for the event of the world's largest annual trade show - the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM).

They will be representing Marshall Amps at the show and believe it to be an excellent stepping down for Progress Academy and its clients by keeping the Academy at the cutting-edge of everything musical, including instruments, performance, technology and education.

The NAMM Show 2015 is being held at the Anaheim Convention Center in the United States, presenting exciting events and outstanding performances, including the NAMM TEC Awards, and an assortment of live performances throughout the Center and the surrounding hotels.
An exclusive opening performance will be executed courtesy of YAMAHA also.

To see the events that are happening now, and the upcoming, click here!
For information on our services, visit the Progress Academy website here.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Can music be used as therapy for autistic children?

Can music be used as therapy for autistic children?

It has been claimed that music has powers to heal the soul, but to what extent does ‘the power of music’ actually reach?

Music therapy has been tested on patients suffering from cancer, ADD and depression, concluding that it can actually be effective with helping people cope with their situation, mentally and physically.
There are some hospitals that do use music therapy as a way of assisting patients cope with their specific illnesses as research has confirmed that music does in fact calm the mind and help ease stress – it has even been found that a specific tone, not or pitch has a powerful effect on the body which helps improve emotional, physiological and psychological health.
Music therapy has also been applied to children suffering from autism.

As autism is a neuro-developmental disorder that affect children, its typical symptoms can include impaired communication and social interaction, repetitive behaviour, and limited interest.
The idea of music therapy helping autistic children should be done with the children kept in mind.
Music that encourages dancing and singing works very well with helping autistic children with communication and developing social skills. There could be a possibility of an autistic child choosing to communicate through singing.
The reason behind children having such a great response is because children with autism usually refrain from social engagement and music sessions give them a way of expressing themselves.
To see our music lessons and what we do, please visit our website.