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Movement Playlist #6: Warm Up, Cool Down

June 14, 2016

movement playlist #6: warm up, cool down

About the Playlist

These tunes can be used for a warm up, a cool down, or both. Conveniently timed at just a little over 60 minutes, use half for a warm up and the other half for a cool down. The playlist was created for beginning with a gentle warm up of the entire body by articulating different parts of the body while gradually picking up the pace. The play list then slows down again to prepare the body the longer, slower movements and stretching.

Here are some key benefits of warming up and cooling down.

Benefits of the Warm Up:

  • Warming up should occur before any physical activity especially before stretching. This allows the body to increase circulation, body temperature, and heart rate.
  • Prepares for the body for explosive movements like sprinting or jumping
  • Prevents and reduces injury
  • Warm up for at least 20-30 minutes to allow the body time respond, this can also help mental preparation
  • Allows greater range of motion during the actual workout
Here are some examples of a warm up.

Benefits of the Cool Down:

Want something for your workout? Check out Movement Playlist #3: Repetition.
Happy Moving!
Dance Music

The Movement Playlist #4: DJ 2 Rooms

March 28, 2016

Favorite pastime: listening to music from different rooms.

About the Playlist

Have you ever listened to your favorite track in another room only to realize that there seems to be parts you haven’t noticed before? This could be referred to as ‘the other room effect’ or diffraction. This ‘other room effect’ is also a sound effect electronic musicians have been using for years. This playlist is made of longer, more bass-like tunes that are meant to be played from another room. Perfect for spring cleaning, perhaps?

movement playlist #4: dj 2 rooms

What’s in a Sound Wave?

A sound wave is longitudinal and is the physical sensation and vibrating object that stimulates the ear.

The reflection of sound can be classified as an echo or reverberation. An echo is considered to occur within long distances (e.g. the Grand Canyon) and reverberation to occur within short distances (e.g. Grizzly Bear… performing in a bathroom).

The refraction of sound happens when waves change over different mediums and/or properties, and therefore changes the speed of the wave. For example, the speed of sound is faster in warm air and slower in cold air.

Lastly, the diffraction of sound help sound waves bend around obstacles. Low-pitched (long wavelength) sounds carry further than high-pitched (short wavelength) sounds (e.g. an owl’s hoots carry farther than a birds’ tweets through a forest).

movement playlist #4: dj 2r ooms

Distorting or changing the acoustics of a room can further manipulate our perception of sound. Custom Audio Designs states, that there are three psychoacoustic perceptions: frequency response, size and position of the stereo, and spatial impression.Trevor Cox, an Acoustic and Audio Engineering Professor also states that “one thing our brain senses from reverberation [for example] is the geometry of the room where music is being played”. What we then perceive is timbre, ‘the colour’ or tone of the sound.

Try placing your music box in a bigger room, a smaller room, a different room from where you are, or just in a different position.

Have fun xo

Dance Music

Movement Playlist #3: Repetition

January 27, 2016

Check out this month’s tunes and quick facts on repetition.

About the Playlist

“Could you repeat that?” is a bit jazzy, a bit ‘gooey’ with some gentle repetition. However, it does not include the greats such as Steve Reich or Phillip Glass as the playlist is kept short and sweet. Originally created for teaching and movement devising purposes, its eclectic sound is quite seamless. This playlist ranges from deep electronic bass lines to swirling guitar riffs alongside tambourines.

movement playlist #3: repetition

Why is musical repetition often appealing?

Some say we are actually processing each repetitive moment differently allowing us to enjoying it almost as new. David Huron states that, “90% of the time spent listening to music, people are actually hearing passages they’ve listened to before.” There is also something called the exposure effect where the act of repeated exposure can actually enhance our feelings towards that something over and over again.

Ricky O’cannon reports, in a study found in pop music, that repetition can correlate with popularity. A song that repeats its chorus may mean that we want to hear over and over again. In another experiment, Elizabeth Margulis mentions that repetition is often registered as being ‘very human’. For example, a phrase that was once found as random may become clearer and more meaningful the second time around.

movement playlist #3: repetition

Why is movement repetition often appealing?

Think Twyla Tharp, Lar Lubovitch and Pina Bausch. In the response to the saying “you cannot bathe in the same river twice”, Anna Kisselgoff puts it nicely:  “In translation, this means that the dancer who seems to repeat the same step is different from the dancer he was a second ago […]”. In addition, repetition could make choreography more effective as the audience would need to see certain or movements again to connect with the work.

Dance also uses a repetition technique called retrograde where a phrase or a piece of choreography is performed in reserve order. A fun example would be the ending of Hofesh Shechter’s Political Mother (Director’s Cut), where the dancers repeat the entire performance from the end to the beginning. Retrograde can provide a new visual experience with it being somewhat recognizable which can enhance the viewers experience.

More on Music, Movement and Repetition

Your Brain on Music

Making Video Dance

Mesmerising or Maddening?

Ted Ed Talk

Robert Henke’s Take on Music

Dance Music

Movement Playlist #2: Short Days, Long Nights

November 26, 2015

 Presenting you the 2nd dose of my current musical rotation.

movement playlist 2

About the playlist

I wanted a mixture of tunes to serve as an alarm clock (especially in the pitch black), a motivator (within the 3 hours of sunlight), and a relaxation tool (once I’ve finally wound my self up). So I’ve put together a combination of both gentle and driving beats. The following facts and suggestions have also been an inspiration to organisation this month’s current rotation during these short days and long nights. Shuffle, repeat, keep, and delete as you may.

Morning exercise is often the best exercise

  • Using upbeat music can help motivate your movement and/or morning boogie routine.
  • Early morning exercise can also help lower blood pressure and provide a good night’s sleep later on in the day.
  • Not a morning person? Fortunately, it can take as little as 5 minutes for movement to improve your mood.
  • Make and keep a morning routine, even on the weekends if possible (having a good playlist helps too).

Keep moving

  • Music can help distract the mind from sensations of fatigue (especially during high intensity movements) by narrowing one’s attention.
  • While music may not make the movements easier, the mover is more likely to have more of a pleasurable experience.
  • Using music for exercise is not only good for cardio but for the brain as it enhances our vestibular abilities.
  • Music and rhythm can be used as a therapeutic tool as it works on our autonomic nervous system, which allows the body to subconsciously enhance our well–being.

Calm it down

  • Before bed, choose music with less key changes and slower tempos to help you relax says Dr. Williamson. Getting adequate sleep plays a key role in waking up more refreshed in the morning (obviously, but often difficult to achieve).
  • Modified and slow yoga poses/stretches can help induce the parasympathetic nervous system, which means letting your fast paced, stressful day all behind you.
  • Classical music was previously found to reduce sleeping problems in participants with sleep disorders (oh why hello, Bach).
  • Just like a morning routine, try to maintain an evening routine by creating a ‘wind down’ period because sleep matters… a lot.


Dance Music

Movement Playlist #1: A Musical Debut

October 29, 2015

Now introducing Movement Playlists–

for teachers, choreographers, movers, anyone.

What a favorite pastime– listening to music. Maybe I was a musician in my past life or maybe I will be a DJ in the next one (ha). Either way, I love making and sharing playlists. Along with sharing music, I’ll also dish out a few facts about music and movement such as the possible links between the two and what research has found.

Music + Movement 

  • When music enters the central nervous system, some information goes to the brain and some goes to our motor nerves and spinal cord. This means we tend to move to the rhythm without even trying.
  • Both music and dance deal with movements of the body measured in time. However, the body is often more time consuming than musical gestures (e.g. a violin trill).
  • Rhythm is classified in three groups: motor rhythm, breathing rhythm, and emotional rhythm.
  • Dance and movement may have rhythm in common, but it may not have melody in common.
  • An infamous research study has shown that music and movement do share a common structure that helps the brain process emotional expression due to their shared neural circuits, which became evident across cultures.

Stay tuned for more playlists and quick facts every month.