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Why does Taylor Swift write so many one-note melodies? Media playback is unsupported on your device It's easy to get distracted by her celebrity, but Taylor Swift is a once-in-a-generation songwriter. From the very beginning, she's displayed a knack for melody and storytelling that most artists never master. Take, for example, her first US number one, Our Song. Written for a high school talent show, it's a fairly typical tale of teenage romance until the final lines: "I grabbed a pen / And an old napkin / And I wrote down our song." That's smart, self-assured songwriting for someone who wasn't old enough to vote. But Our Song also establishes another of Taylor's trademarks: The one-note melody. These static vocal lines, where she sings at one pitch for a sustained period, crop up on all of her her albums - and increase in frequency when she switches lanes from country to pop. You can hear it on all four songs she's released ahead of her new record, Reputation, which comes out this Friday. Image copyright Getty Images

Modern Learning Environments – the underlying philosophy to success | Karen Boyes Speaker Modern Learning Environments (MLE) are all the talk in educational circles right now. Schools, around the world, are knocking out walls and creating bright stimulating classrooms with multi purpose furniture and giving students access to technology. On the surface it looks fantastic, however I am concerned that without a big pedagogy shift, students will be simply just learning the same way many teachers have been teaching – just in bigger classrooms with new furniture. MLE’s are so much more than the bright new furniture and the technology. What makes an MLE work, and in fact ANY successful classroom is the relationship between the teacher and student and the underlying ethos of learning to learn. When moving from a structured, and often heavily teacher-dominated classroom, to a less formal student led environment it is paramount students understand their role and responsibilities as the learner and indeed the learning process. Be clear on your underlying philosophy of learning.

Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley to receive MPG's Award for Outstanding Contribution to UK Music Langer and Winstanley have credits on many classic albums, from Elvis Costello’s Punch The Clock, to Dexys Midnight Runners’ Too-Rye-Ay and Bush’s best-selling album Sixteen Stone. Production duo Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley are to receive the top accolade at the 2018 Music Producers Guild Awards - the PPL Presents The MPG Award For Outstanding Contribution To UK Music in recognition of their music production work over the last 40 years. Their first venture into co-production was for Madness and resulted in the band’s 1979 debut album One Step Beyond, which was recorded and mixed in less than four weeks and spent over a year in the UK album charts. This inaugurated a partnership that has resulted in numerous hit records for artists such as David Bowie (for whom the pair produced the Live Aid single Dancing In the Street), Morrissey, The Teardrop Explodes, Catatonia, They Might Be Giants and Hot House Flowers. www.mpg.org.uk

Finland schools: Subjects are out and ‘topics’ are in as country reforms its education system - Europe For years, Finland has been the by-word for a successful education system, perched at the top of international league tables for literacy and numeracy. Only far eastern countries such as Singapore and China outperform the Nordic nation in the influential Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings. Politicians and education experts from around the world – including the UK – have made pilgrimages to Helsinki in the hope of identifying and replicating the secret of its success. Which makes it all the more remarkable that Finland is about to embark on one of the most radical education reform programmes ever undertaken by a nation state – scrapping traditional “teaching by subject” in favour of “teaching by topic”. “This is going to be a big change in education in Finland that we’re just beginning,” said Liisa Pohjolainen, who is in charge of youth and adult education in Helsinki – the capital city at the forefront of the reform programme. School lunches around the world

'Stranger Things': Meet the Band Behind Show's Creepy, Nostalgic Score No part of acclaimed miniseries Stranger Things activates the nostalgia circuits like its soundtrack of eerie, droning analog synths – an alien transmission from the VHS era to the Netflix generation. The score comes courtesy of Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, two of the four members of Austin soundscapists Survive, who are set to release their second album, RR7349, on Relapse Records in September. Survive currently ranks as Austin's most visible group in a scene full of retro-leaning synth acts like Troller, Ssleeperhold, Flatliner and Xander Harris. Austin synth store Switched On opened in 2010, and has become a community hub for this explosion of local dark-ambient mood-mushers who tinker with patch cords and resistors instead of guitars and turntables. Stein has counted himself as one of its employees – no doubt an excellent opportunity for dibs. When did you first get into analog synths? Do you still use that thing for your music? Does he have a name?

Dyslexia Dyslexia is defined in the Webster’s Concise Dictionary as “an impairment or loss of the ability to read”. It comes from the Greek “dys” meaning bad, difficult or defective and , “lexis” meaning speech, or lexicos pertaining to words. Most simply put dyslexia is a significant, persistent difficulty with reading, spelling and writing skills in a child, adolescent or adult of normal intelligence. A child or adolescent who has normal vision and hearing and appears to be a bright, inquisitive learner, but is not learning these skills at the expected rate for their age and intelligence, will most likely be suffering from some form of dyslexia. Dyslexia however is a general name for a cluster of symptoms, more like a syndrome than a singular difficulty, which is why dyslexic people can be very different from each other. Children and adults with dyslexia can show many different “symptoms”. The term was first used over 100 years ago and has gone through many stages of redefinition. www.tki.org

White Heaven Embodied Japan's Twisted Vision Of Psychedelic Music White Heaven "transcends the genre to create a unique sense of presence and originality," read Tokyo Flashback's original liner notes. Courtesy of Black Editions hide caption toggle caption Courtesy of Black Editions White Heaven "transcends the genre to create a unique sense of presence and originality," read Tokyo Flashback's original liner notes. Modern Music was a small independent record shop located in the Meidaimae neighborhood of Tokyo, where from 1980 through its closure in 2014, a revolution against mainstream music was mounted. Ikeezumi quickly recognized the listening habits of his clientele, and tied it to his support of Tokyo's fringe scenes of underground music from local and regional artists. "[Given] the overwhelming amount of information in our society ... we are forced to make fine distinctions between music that fits and music that does not," read the liner notes to P.S.F.' P.S.F. releases were a core part of my own developing notions of what music could be.

LD OnLine: The world's leading website on learning disabilities and ADHD As DIY music scene grows, rising star Jay Som talks about making it on her own The do-it-yourself movement in music has been on the rise since the inception of social media. Back in 2007, David Byrne pointed out that “an album can be made on the same laptop you check your email.” Years before, in 2003, MySpace offered a platform for unknown artists to upload their music to the masses; pop star Lily Allen was one of its successes. YouTube, meanwhile, gave rise to a small-town Canadian artist named Justin Bieber. Today, D.I.Y. artists — who make music cheaply and largely on their own — are increasingly able to profit from their music. Among the artists who have seen success from this model is Melina Duterte, who performs under the stage name “Jay Som.” But through Bandcamp the album reached the ears of Chad Heiman, an agent at Salty Artist Management, which represented rising singer-songwriter Mitski. Video by PolyvinylRecords Despite that success, Jay Som says she is sticking with the small label, at least for now. DAYANA MORALES GOMEZ: You sold out this venue.

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