Tag Archives: music

Take part in the 30 Day Music Challenge

Over the last 30 days I’ve been taking part in the #30DayMusicChallenge over on Twitter. It’s something I’ve enjoyed doing, it’s made me listen to more music than usual and it’s made me think a bit more about things. The 30 Day Music Challenge is pretty easy, the hard part is remembering to do it each day. 

30 Day Music Challenge

To take part, you will need the list of prompts and each day you tweet a link to the song which fits. Just for my own interest, I’ve kept a record of the songs I’d chosen for my 30 Day Music Challenge. The list in full is below. What songs would you choose?

Day 1. A song you like with a colour in the title – The Stone Roses – Fools Gold

Day 2. A song you like with a number in the title – The Wonder Stuff- Room 512 All the news that’s fit to print

Day 3. A song that reminds you of summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Summertime

Day 4. A song that reminds you of someone you’d rather forget about – Nine Inch Nails – Closer

Day 5. A song that needs to be played LOUD – Rage Against The Machine – Wake Up

Day 6. A song that makes you want to dance – The Smiths – This Charming Man

Day 7. A song to drive to – Utah Saints – Something Good

Day 8. A song about drugs or alcohol – Oasis – Cigarettes and Alcohol

Day 9. A song that makes you happy – The Frank & Walters Fashion Crisis Hits New York

Day 10. A song that makes you sad – James – Protect Me

Day 11. A song that you never get tired of – The Stone Roses – I Wanna Be Adored

Day 12. A song from your pre-teen years – Duran Duran – Rio

Day 13. One of your favourite 70’s songs – Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen In Love (With Some You Shouldn’t)

Day 14. A song you’d love played at your wedding – Oasis – Married With Children

Day 15. A song that is a cover by another artist – Codeine – Atmosphere

Day 16. One of your favourite pieces of classical music – Claude Debussy : Clair de Lune

Day 17. A song you’d sing a duet with on karaoke – Islands In The Stream – Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton

Day 18. A song from the year you were born – Abba – Dancing Queen

Day 19. A song that makes you think about life – Bastille – Good Grief

Day 20. A song that has many meanings to you – The Verve – The Drugs Don’t Work

Day 21. A favourite song with a person’s name in the title – The Specials – A Message To You Rudy

Day 22. A song that moves you forward – The Wonder Stuff- Room 512 All the news that’s fit to print

Day 23. A song that everyone should listen to – The Baghdadies – Shri

Day 24. A song by a band you wish were still together – Aztec Camera – Good Morning Britain

Day 25. A song by an artist no longer living – Wham! – I’m Your Man

Day 26. A song that makes you want to fall in love – Elbow – Gentle Storm

Day 27. A song that breaks your heart – Johnny Cash – Hurt

Day 28. A song by an artist with a voice you love – Faith No More – King for a Day

Day 29. A song you remember from your childhood – The Rolling Stones – Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Day 30. A song which reminds you of yourself – Echo & The Bunnymen -Nothing Lasts Forever

I’ve created a playlist of my 30 Day Music Challenge if you’d like to have a listen to the songs I chose for this. I realise now I’ve written them down that I have chosen the same Wonder Stuff song twice, but it is one of my favourite songs, so I’m not surprised.

If you like music, then doing the 30 Day Music Challenge is an interesting thing to get involved in. What would you choose?

Learning: Encouraging Creativity in Kids

When I was pregnant with the boy we sat down and had a number of earnest discussions about how we would bring him up. We made many decisions and made plans for him, whilst understanding that if he was like us he’d be stubborn and stick to his own path, so we’d let him follow that, but we knew we wanted to encourage some creativity in him. So we did.

We both love music and we knew we wanted to encourage a love of music in him, we’d love him to play an instrument and enjoy playing for himself, but we would be happy if he just enjoyed listening to music. He does love listening to all kinds of music. He has a few small instruments, he likes his guitar, but he’s developing a real love of the drums, so much so we’re taking him African drumming over the weekend. Drumming gives him a lot of pleasure, though less so the people around him but I’m sure he’ll find his rhythm eventually.

We knew we wanted to encourage him to lose himself in a book. Reading is such a wonderful gift for the imagination. Since before he was born we’ve read to him nightly. When we have an afternoon together we often snuggle up with a pile of books. He’s too young to read by himself yet, but reading has given him such a wonderful, bright imagination, I love sharing that with him.

encouraging creativity in kids

It’s well documented that despite a three year stint in an art college (doing a journalism degree) that I am terrible at arts and crafts. I am comfortable with the shonky nature of what I produce and my main aim is to teach the boy that arts, music and general creativity are for fun and personal enjoyment. It doesn’t matter so much if it isn’t perfect, it matters more that you enjoyed doing it. If you happen to have a talent or a gift for the arts then so much the better.

One way we try and encourage his enjoyment is by taking him to various creative learning events such as arts festivals, the theatre and to see interesting and diverse things such as African drummers and such like. It’s lovely to see him respond positively and enthusiastically to the new, exciting and colourful things he sees, and the feedback from school nursery is that our efforts are paying off. We have a boy who gets stuck into music, dance and drawing, we couldn’t be prouder!

How do you encourage creativity in your kids?

Review: Jam Transit Wireless Stereo Headphones

I love music, always have. Music is a huge part of my daily life and I can’t imagine being without it. I listen to it when I’m out walking, on public transport, cooking in the kitchen, sat working and when I’m just chilling out. I’m aware that at times I do turn the volume up far too loud, thus annoying my neighbours. I try to use my iPod a lot, although it’s brilliant, the earphones are crappy and uncomfortable. Happily, I was sent some Jam Headphones to review. So I did.

Like any technology, I fear it, so I gave them to hubs to figure out (I am instruction leaflet phobic, it’s a thing). I knew they must be alright when I looked up ten minutes later to see him sat listening to his iPod with a massive smile on his face. It was an auspicious start.

He gave me a tutorial…
1. Put these on your head *hands me the headphones*
2. Connect it to your Bluetooth
3. Play music
4. The buttons on one of the ear-cups, control the volume and let’s you skip tracks.

It’s pretty much as simple as that. As a famous meerkat might say, simples.

jam headphones

Two things which weren’t part of my tutorial with hubs were, the on/off button is on the control panel on the side of one of the ear-cups, just hold it down and it switches on or off. The battery in the headphones is rechargeable and lasts for up to 11 hours, to re-charge the battery you just connect it via the USB cable supplied to your laptop or other compatible devices. So it’s pretty perfect for commuting to work and re-charging while you’re at your desk.

The headphones are comfortable, with an adjustable headband to suit even big heads, or those like me with unfeasibly small bonces. The ear cups are comfortable and sit over the ear, which for me is so much more comfortable than the horrible Apple earbuds I’m used to. They stayed on during some gentle, fast approaching middle age dancing around the lounge I did too.

The sound is good quality, it’s a definite improvement on what I have been using, decent bass and happy sounds bouncing around my ears. They’re a decent quality, everyday headphone. These headphones are wireless Bluetooth headphones and they’re good for up to ten metres from your Bluetooth device, I had a little wander away from my stereo and they had a good range.

These Jam headphones also come with a speakerphone, so if you’re using you phone to listen to music you can easily toggle between them and answer your phone. I don’t use my phone for listening to music, so I wasn’t able to test that feature.

Jam Transit Wireless Stereo Headphones are available in black, red and white. They retail at around £37 (current price on Amazon), which I think is a good price for these decent quality headphones, which I imagine most people will use on their daily commute, or like me, for not annoying your neighbours.

Note: I was sent these Jam Headphones free of charge for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.