The Music Theory Song
Happy holiday/application season, everyone!
New York City
Home to the Juilliard School, the Mannes College The New School for Music, and the Manhattan School of Music, New York City boasts an atmosphere of intellect and diversity as America’s artistic and cultural heart and hub. For their much-needed breaks after seemingly endless rehearsals, students at these institutions frequent popular eateries in The City that Never Sleeps.
Unanimously regarded as New York City’s #1 Ramen hotspot, Ippudo tops every New Yorker’s list of eateries. Despite the lengthy wait, diners rave about Ippudo— especially its pork buns and Akamaru Modern, among other tastefully piquant dishes.
Get ready to shake up your taste buds at Shake Shack, where carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores alike find themselves in burger heaven. Besides the traditional cheeseburger, Shake Shack offers vegetarian Mushroom Burgers as well— either of which is perfectly complemented by their famous Black and White Shake and Cheese Fries.
Don’t let the vernacular appearance turn you away; every New Yorker knows that the Halal Cart on 53rd Street and 6th Avenue is the best in the city. For merely $6, the legendary white sauce over rice and your choice of meat puts serious doubt to the old saying that money can’t buy you happiness.
Everyone enjoys pizza, but those who haven’t had Lombardi’s Pizza are about to learn a lesson in love. New York’s very first pizzeria, Lombardi’s is famed for its coal-fired ovens and thin-crust pizzas. Loaded with flavor from top to bottom, Lombardi’s pizzas leave even the most stubborn crust-haters begging for more. Keep in mind that they take cash only!
Team Lombardi v. Team Grimaldi.
These two pizzerias are indubitably the best New York has to offer, so be sure to stop by both to see which is your cup of tea—or rather, your slice of pizza. Beware, both accept cash only!
If you were to travel to London and visit the Houses of Parliament, this is what you would see.
Now close your eyes and try to picture this scene. Now try to draw it— from memory.
Artist Stephen Wiltshire is internationally renowned for his incredible ability to accurately recreate cityscapes after having only observed them briefly. With his photographic memory, Wiltshire garnered public interest as a young child and sold his first commissioned work, a drawing of the Salisbury Cathedral, to the late Prime Minister Edward Heath.
Even more extraordinarily, Wiltshire was diagnosed with autism at age three. Very soon after, teachers at his school in West London took notice of his interest in art. Beyond drawing, Wiltshire has also shown talent in music, having perfect pitch as well as an exceptional knack for memorizing music.
Between 2005 and 2010, Wiltshire created a collection of panoramas of major cities—all drawn from memory after 20-minute helicopter rides over the locations—including Hong Kong, Madrid, Dubai, Jerusalem, and New York, among others. Wiltshire also enjoys drawing caricature “snapshots” documenting amusing people and incidents from his travels abroad.
Stephen Wiltshire’s permanent gallery is located in London’s Royal Opera Arcade. He has received an Honorary Life Fellowship from the Society of Architectural Illustrators, and has been named a Member of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his services to the art world.
In literature, the term “synesthesia” is used to describe one sense through another. For example, I could say that someone has a “prickly laugh” or a “loud shirt.” Although I obviously cannot perceive sound through touch—nor can I hear a color—descriptions through synesthesia tend to be much more vivid and remarkable.
For a select few, however, the senses mix in ways that allow one to trigger another. These people are said to have synesthesia, though different synesthetes vary in the ways their senses combine. One MUSICCAS correspondent describes her visual and gustatory experiences that result from hearing music as “completely involuntary” and “profound.”
“When I listen to a symphony, I focus the front part of my mind to ride the wave of music. There is a point that engages with the shapes of the melody, and sometimes, it is like watching ribbons of color on a large canvas. Depending on the type of music, different internal spaces and experiences occur. Some pieces to me are like architecture. Faure’s requiem is one of my favorite places—a nebulous lavender cathedral with a spiritual smell. Handel is lovely, full of square, blocky shapes with lovely tall columns.”
“In certain instances when I am deep into the music, I feel as if I am tasting the note. It’s very particular, the way a note’s frequency and character feel on my tongue. E’s are tangy; F’s like a soulful, kind of awkward banana; A’s taste like a crisp apples, etc. For me, it is a way of really getting to know a note.”
Indeed, studies confirm that advantages of synesthesia include literacy skills (such as spelling), ability to learn mathematical concepts, time-management skills, and better memory recall. However, our synesthete friend, as well as reports from others, indicates that synesthesia can also be a distraction, as the senses may become overwhelming. Over time, many synesthetes learn how to control their unique ability, using it to their advantage when appropriate and blocking it out when necessary.
While synesthesia tends to run in families—suggesting a genetic link—the actual gene has yet to be identified. In any case, most synesthetes are grateful for their gift, while the rest of us leave it up to our imaginations to understand this extraordinary phenomenon.
The Pitfalls of Perfectionism and the Perks of Procrastination (to some degree)
A number of feelings are associated with this word, but to cut to the chase, you’re guiltily thinking “Uh oh….”
Procrastinators are the no-good shirkers, idlers, and dregs of society, while perfectionists—why, perfectionists are the diligent scholars and relentless workforce that uphold the structure of the modern world. Or at least that’s what Mom and Dad tell us in hopes of fishing us out of the ocean of distracting social networking and media.
But let’s be honest with ourselves. There are two parts to procrastination. One: The part you don’t do your work. Two: (and here’s the catch) The part you do do your work. Procrastinators don’t entirely shun their responsibilities; they just aren’t perfectionists.
As a perfectionist, you will spend a lot of time scheduling and re-scheduling. You will feel satisfied about cooking yourself meals that both taste and look good. You will complete all your assignments well ahead of their deadlines. By allotting so much time to each task, you can devote your undivided attention to all the details that guarantee high-quality work. You will feel let down when you realize that you just don’t have enough time to do the things you want to do on top of the things you need to do.
As a procrastinator, you will spend a lot of time playing catch-up. You will struggle to make room for your laptop on your desk riddled with empty Starbucks cups, loose papers, and that tangled mess of earphones and various chargers. You will break many a cold sweat over meeting deadlines, and you will pull just as many all-nighters to meet those deadlines. But nevertheless, you finish your work.
But not everything requires perfection. Don’t keep your commitments to a minimum. Distract yourself with the things that you love and that interest you— things that are worth your time and energy. Those bills can wait (not too long, though), and that essay due at midnight really can be finished at 11:59 PM. Give yourself permission to do a less-than perfect job on tasks that don’t require perfection anyway. You may find that—ironically—procrastination may help boost your efficiency. Neither extreme bodes well; strike a balance, and use your extra time to pursue what truly matters to you.