21375267655_2cda964dec_bSo all I really want is for some 16 year-old kid who’s down and out to put on a song that I helped make and feel inspired to keep going and be happy.”
– The Strumbellas frontman Simon Ward

Some line samples from “Spirits,” the first single on HOPE, the band’s new release:

I got spirits in my head and they won’t go.
And I think oh I’m lost and can’t be found.
But something inside has changed.
I just want to be alive while I’m here.
I don’t want to see another night lost inside a lonely life.

Dearly beloved: The death of our icons reminds us we better live now.

In those lonely years when it is easy to feel alienated music can get you on your feet again and back out into the callous, cliquey high school hallways, where we could enact the life lessons we had extracted from our music collection.

“At the end of the day what really matters is the people we have around us, and the gestures that eke out some hope from tragedy and grief: someone to cry with over coffee or to hug us as we head out the door. And some music to put on when all seems lost”. Marsha Lederman, Globe & Mail.

Kids involved in music do better at learning

In 2013 Dr. Gottfried Schlaug, a recognized expert on music, neuroimaging and brain plasticity at Harvard Medical School, summarized the new research that suggested potential new roles for musical training.

“Listening to and making music is not only an auditory experience, but it is a multisensory and motor experience. Making music over a long period of time can change the brain function and brain structure,” according to Dr Schlaug. The research found that music engages areas of the brain involved with paying attention, making predictions and updating existing knowledge – all critical aspects of learning.

There is a positive relationship between music and learning. Geoff Johnson, retired superintendent of schools in the Times Colonist, June 28, 2016