4 Playful Apps Introduce Kids To Music


Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton By Patricia Reaney NEW YORK | Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:47pm EDT NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hip-hop artists Macklemore & Ryan Lewis scored the most American Music Awards nominations on Thursday with nods in six categories, followed by country-pop star Taylor Swift and singer Justin Timberlake with five each. The duo will compete in the top category, artist of the year, against singer Bruno Mars, Swift, Timberlake and pop singer Rihanna, who collected four nominations. Also getting four nominations were country music pair Florida Georgia Line and R&B singer Robin Thicke. Rapper will.i.am and singer Kelly Clarkson announced the names of the nominees in five of the top categories on Thursday on the ABC television network news show “Good Morning America.” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis also received nominations for the coveted best new artist award, the single of the year for “Thrift Shop,” favorite pop/rock band, and best rap/hip-hop artist and album for “The Heist.” “This year’s lineup of talent is truly very impressive,” Larry Klein, the producer of the AMAs, told a news conference before the final categories were announced. Last year’s big winner, 19-year-old teen heart-throb Justin Bieber who took home three awards including artist of the year, failed to receive any nominations. Florida Georgia Line, pop singer Ariana Grande, alternative rock band Imagine Dragons and Phillip Phillips, the winner of the 11th season of the TV singing competition “American Idol,” will also compete for new artist of the year. “Thrift Shop” featuring Wanz will vie for the best single against Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” featuring Pharrell & T.I. and “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line with Nelly. Thicke, 36, also earned a nomination for favorite soul/R&B male artist alongside singer Miguel and Timberlake, while Ciara, Alicia Keys and Rihanna will battle it out for the top female soul/R&B trophy. Rihanna will also compete against Swift and singer Pink for the top female pop or rock artist prize, while Mars is pitted against Thicke and Timberlake for favorite male artist in the same category. Mars and Imagine Dragons each received three nominations. Former Disney star Miley Cyrus, 20, who caused a sensation with her raunchy performance at the MTV Video Music Awards in August and just released her new album “Bangerz,” and Imagine Dragons will perform during the awards show. Winners of the AMAs will be selected by fans through online voting, which starts on Thursday, and for the first time this year via Twitter. The awards will be presented on November 24 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live on ABC and streamed online.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis lead American Music Awards nominations

introduces children to lots of musical concepts through play. Using lighthearted activities and charming characters, the app makes exploring music a joy. Best For: Preschoolers and kindergartners who enjoy playing with engaging animals. By making the musical activities whimsical, the app draws in even the most reluctant kid. It provides a few activities that have multiple difficulty levels, so that the app can grow with your child. “Little Fox Music Box” lets kids play inside settings of popular children’s songs like Old MacDonald, which are filled with silly animations. (Photo: Fox & Sheep) Fox & Sheep, best for ages 3-6, $1.99-2.99, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad , Android , Amazon Rating: 4 stars With Little Fox Music Box, kids explore three song scenes filled with hotspots that produce hilarious animations when touched. In the Old MacDonald song scene, kids will find farm animals doing silly things, such as a pig in a bathtub. With the Evening Song scene, kids see gentle scenes about animals getting ready for bed. And in the London Bridge song scene, funny things like a whale jumping out of a river or an alligator holding a red balloon appear. In each of these three scenes, the words to the songs appear as sung, or kids can sing them karaoke-style and record their performance. In addition to scene exploration, this app hosts a music-creation center in the fox’s burrow. But you won’t find traditional instruments here; instead, you make music by tapping ladles, teapots, croaking frogs or tweeting birds.

Taylor Swift opens $4 million music education center in Nashville

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Comment Mark Humphrey/AP Taylor Swift speaks at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Saturday. The singer opened the $4 million center in Nashville. It might as well be Taylor Swift weekend in Music City. The pop star opened her $4 million Taylor Swift Education Center at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Saturday morning, and will accept her record sixth songwriter-artist of the year award from Nashville Songwriters Association International on Sunday. RELATED: TAYLOR SWIFT SETS SONGWRITING RECORD Mark Humphrey/AP Swift posed with fans at the center. The facility will have classrooms, instrument rooms, and education opportunities for kids. Swift cut the ribbon on the new education center she donated to the museum as part of its expansion campaign and showed reporters and area high school students the new classroom and exhibit space before the museum opened. “I’m really excited about this music education center and the fact that right now they have three different classes going on today,” Swift said in an interview after the ceremony. “It’s really exciting that we can be here on a day when they’re not only unveiling it, but they’re starting to actively use it today.” RELATED: TAYLOR SWIFT MAKES 7-YEAR-OLD GRACE MARKELS DREAM COME TRUE AFTER YOUNG FAN WAS HIT BY SPEEDING MOTORIST Mark Humphrey/AP Swift cut the ribbon on the new education center she donated to the museum as part of its expansion campaign. The center will have classroom space, a hands-on instrument room and ongoing education opportunities. Museum officials say the new center will increase educational opportunities sevenfold going forward. And who knows? Maybe users will find the 23-year-old Swift hanging around some day. RELATED: READY FOR HER CLOSEUP!

An oasis of music and wine in Baja

(Michael Robinson Chavez, Los Angeles Times / October 10, 2013) By Steve Lopez October 12, 2013, 12:05 p.m. In the hills high above Ensenada, on the road to Ojos Negros, a dust-covered, mustachioed cowboy named Don Heriberto Aguilar has found the perfect life. A trip to Aguilar’s rancho was not on my itinerary in Mexico. I was there to research a story, which will be coming soon, on more than three decades of good deeds performed in Baja California by the owners of Benning Violins in Studio City. But Tito Quiroz, a musician who started Ensenada’s Academia Benning (which he named for his longtime mentors), was determined to give me and Times photographer Michael Robinson Chavez a look at a Mexico few visitors see. If we were interested, he said, he would take us to a party at a winery in the hills. Steve Lopez New problems surface in L.A. Unified’s iPad program “It’s a Mexican thing,” said Tito, who suggested that I might be the first gringo ever to set foot on Rancho El Tule. “It’s not a thing for tourists.” Would I be welcome, I wondered? My name aside, inherited from Spanish grandparents, I am 100% gringo, and my Spanish gets me into conversations but then seems to abandon me. No worries, Tito said. He’d already cleared my visit with Don Heri, as everyone calls Aguilar. On Sunday night we drove beyond the lighted seaside sprawl of Ensenada and climbed into darkness, where there is nothing but settling dust and a gathering chill.