Tag Archives: Technology

Women in the Music Industry are Making Some Noise!

Blog Post by Reggi Hopkins

Reggi HopkinsChicago has always been a force in the music industry.  Countless independent record labels, pop-up venues, and popular record stores have been a strong foundation for artists looking to make it, and Chicago is always looking to support and promote its own artists.

Lately though, which may come as a surprise, is the number of strong female artists up-and-coming on the Chicago music scene.  Record labels, music stores, and various other music-related businesses are being run by females in Chicago.

The director of “Girls Rock! Chicago,” which is a music camp for young girls ages 8-16 is directed by Melissa Oglesby, and is meant to teach girls to express themselves creatively, trust their instincts, boost their self esteem and make them aware of their community needs by way of rock music.  Oglesby says the program is incredible in that these young girls uplift one another and are able to find themselves as musicians and as individuals.  Not only that but they area also given female role models by way of their camp counselors, who teach them music and mentor them.

Melissa Oglesby acknowledges that the music industry can be a tough place for young women to get involved in, but through programs like Girls Rock, young women are able to come together and learn from one another- learn music, learn strength and learn to collaborate with one another.

With a bunch of strong women in the community, such as Nan Warshaw, the co-owner of bloodshot records, Kelly Nothing, of Animal Kingdom (an up-and coming music venue), and Heather West, the owner of Western Publicity, the women of the Chicago music scene are a force to be reckoned with.  They are driving the business today, and in the future we can only expect to see these women continue to develop and grow the industry.

via Reggi Hopkins Music Page http://reggihopkins.org/2013/11/20/women-in-the-music-industry-are-making-some-noise/


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Video Technology Helps Nebraskan Music Students

Reggi Hopkins’ New Blog Post

Reggi HopkinsMusic should be accessible to all students.  However, for those living in extremely rural areas, it can be very difficult to find the quality of teaching needed to guide them in learning an instrument, not to mention a wide variety of instruments that students may be playing.   Areas of Nebraska have recognized this problem and have come up with a solution to begin to help these students by video conferencing their students with specialized music instructors at the Manhattan School of Music in New York.

In a small town called Neligh, the school band was able to have one of their students qualify to make the all-state band, something that has not happened in 12 years.  Along with school band practice, this gifted young clarinet player took weekly 50-minute video sessions with an instructor at the Manhattan School, enabling her to take her abilities to the next level and succeed in her goals.

At another Nebraska school, Kearney High School, eleven of the students in the band made the all-state band, a whopping double the number of students as in previous years.  The band teachers say they owe it to the specialized, direct instruction.

The video technology that is connecting these students and instructors is called Polycom.  These machines are made for videoconferencing and have an omnidirectional microphone built in, which helps for eliminating background noise and allowing the focus to be completely on the music instruction, with little interruption.  The sound is crucial because of the nature of the lesson- focusing on fine-tuning and perfecting musical sound and ability.  Other video-chat programs cannot offer this same quality.  Similarly, an HD camera allows instructors to zoom in, so they can better instruct students on their physical technique with an instrument.

The dean of distance learning and recording arts at the Manhattan School of music said it best, “We’re able to leverage 21st century technology to keep music alive.  This is a phenomenal way to do it, and the folks in Nebraska get it.”  Thanks to this technology and the coast-to-coast camaraderie, students are able to better themselves at their instrument and become the musician they had always dreamed of being.

via Reggi Hopkins Tech Page http://reggihopkins.net/2013/11/17/video-technology-helps-nebraskan-music-students/

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Technology Improvements Help Africa to Stay Connected

Reggi Hopkins’ New Blog Post

For many who don’t know, the country of Africa struggles to keep its population online connected to the internet.  Many of us take the internet for granted today using it with our cell phones, tablets, or laptops.  In Africa, if you’re not in the center of a major city, you may have to travel tens of kilometers to the nearest internet facility.  Microsoft believes it can help through the use of TV white space that has since been dropped by television users with the recent migration from analogue to digital.  I believe this is a brilliant idea by Microsoft to help a continent try to stay connected through the use of an idle entity.

Microsoft plans to launch this initiative in October in Limpopo, one of the country’s poorest regions.  This is a great move on Microsoft’s part.  We all know Microsoft to be such a powerhouse in North America, but with its reach out to Limpopo, it shows that the company through all its fortune is willing to help those in need.  There’s actually a university located in Limpopo that struggles to get its students connected to the internet, which is vital to students to complete assignments, projects, and get in touch with professors and other students.

Microsoft is not the only American company to help the people of Africa.  In March, Google launched a similar project to help the schools in Cape Town, Africa.

Now there is another way of looking at this.  Mark Graham, director of research at the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute, raises a point.  He believes that while Microsoft is helping people get connected, there are people in Africa in need of other resources ahead of the internet.  He points out that schools are still without electricity, toilets, teachers, and textbooks.  While I believe Mark raises a great point, I think those needs are out of Microsofts reach.  It’s great in itself that Microsoft has decided to step up and try this initiative out for Limpopo but they should not by any means feel obligated to have to try to provide these people with textbooks and teachers.  That’s something another company or group of people should step up and try to provide if they wanted to.

Overall, I believe this a great PR move for Microsoft.  Not only are  they helping those in need in Africa, but they’re also doing it rather inexpensively.  Through the use of TV white space, just one broadcast station covers ten kilometers in any direction.  It’s cheap, efficient, and great press for Microsoft.

via Reggi Hopkins Tech Page http://reggihopkins.net/2013/10/08/technology-improvements-help-africa-to-stay-connected/

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Reggi Hopkins’ New Blog Post

First test post for Reggi Hopkins

via Reggi Hopkins Tech Page http://reggihopkins.net/2013/10/08/test/

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