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Introducing Music4Life

Recently, I had the good fortune to meet one of those people who have a clear mission in life. Someone who is knowledgeable, passionate, driven, and articulate about her particular field. She is Judith Pinkerton, LPMT, MT-BC. Those fancy letters after her name indicate that she is a licensed music therapist. If you’re like me, you may not have even been aware that there is such a thing as music therapy. But it’s a legitimate form of therapy as indicated by her license, granted by the Nevada State Health Division.

Judith moved to Las Vegas in 1989, but was already aware of the power of music therapy from some experiences she had in Alaska. Currently on the Solutions Recovery Wellness Campus, she facilitates music therapy classes and sessions in her office. In addition (and the reason for this article) she’s getting ready to expand her online presence significantly. Though she works with some patients from the recovery center, she also sees individuals not associated with the center.

Though some are skeptical of music as therapy, I think a few simple examples will explain the power and value of music. Who here doesn’t have a favorite song that puts them in a certain mood (either a happy mood directly or as the result of memories around the song)? Powerful anthems (classically “We are the Champions” by Queen) are played in stadiums around the world due to their strong music and lyrics. Music affects not only mood, but physiology as well.

Though she’s had an online presence for a while, last year she began focusing on plans to roll out Music 4 Life® on a much wider scale, including course availability via iTunes University, playlists on iTunes, and subscription music packages designed to invoke certain moods.

If you’re interested in experimenting with some playlists to expand your musical tastes and start to set other moods with your music, start with Pandora’s Enigma Radio channel. It’s a mix of new age, EDM, jazz, and techno, and really shows how moods invoked from music can come from any genre. In Music 4 Life® music therapy, “approved” songs from all genres are categorized into one of four categories: Unsettled, Soothed, Energized, or mixed. A single song can start sad, but end on a very uplifting note, so it’s important that your songs be categorized properly when you’re building playlists to invoke a certain emotion or want long-term relief from unsettled moods.

Check out Music 4 Life® at http://www.music4life.us and http://www.m4lti.com. You can also listen to Judith on Blog Talk radio at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/music4lifeusa.

March 9, 2017 I Written By

A veteran of six startups (one of which conducted a successful IPO), Rick Duggan is currently CTO of Sports Challenge Network, Inc., a VegasTech startup creating new technology for one of the world's most popular sports, ten pin bowling. Prior to joining Sports Challenge Network predecessor Rolltech, he was Director of Website Systems at Zappos IP, Inc.; Chief Technology Officer of Thinker, Inc., a Las Vegas-based provider of digital signage; and co-founder and VP of Engineering & Operations at Incanta. One of the first people involved in the VegasTech community, he acts as a community evangelist, mentor, and is co-creator of the VegasStartups.com blog. He is an advisor to VegasTech company LaunchKey, recently acquired by iovation.

Iron Yard Graduation

On February 16, 2017, The Iron Yard Las Vegas held a graduation for its back-end(*) class. Like all previous Iron Yard graduations, the projects presented by the students are well beyond what one would expect from students coming out of a 12 week bootcamp. These were not mere toy projects nor unfinished efforts.

The event was hosted by Gabe Shepherd, with comments by both instructors, Jeff Newburn (back end) and Mike Sweeney (front end).

The students then stood up and presented a brief overview of their individual projects.

The students were as follows:

Each student was bright, articulate, and well-spoken. What really struck me was how each project truly followed the student’s individual passion.

Melody worked for an artist for a number of years, and she has a real love for art. Her project allows users to track their favorite artists and discover new works by both their favorite artists as well as artists with similar styles. Her project was especially impressive in it’s visual design (to be expected given the subject matter, but still excellent nonetheless). The design was sleek, fluid, and aesthetically pleasing. If you’d like to see for yourself, hop on over to http://myartbook.herokuapp.com/.

Darion is a coffee aficionado. His site allows users to find, rate, and share information about their favorite coffees and where to obtain them. I typically hesitate to describe people’s projects as “the X of Y” but in this case, it seems appropriate to call Darion’s project the laser-focused Yelp of coffee, but on steroids. The idea, not the coffee.

 

Josiah is a gamer. His idea is rooted in his own experience, and one he has seen commonly in video gaming. Many games have levels that are difficult to beat, even with high levels of repetition. There’s often a trick to a given level, or occasionally a user gets stuck and misses a simple solution. Josiah’s website allows users to pair up to assist each other with a given game.

 

* – Although this was nominally a back end class to teach Java, the students were also taught front end (HTML, CSS, and Javascript). Normally, front- and back-end classes run at the same time and students pair up for their projects. For this cohort, there was no front-end class, so the back-end students had to do the entire project themselves. Rest assured that these did not look like unfinished front-end or poorly styled projects. Instead, the students took this challenge on full force and did a wonderful job.

Disclaimer: I am on the Board of Advisors for The Iron Yard Las Vegas.

March 5, 2017 I Written By

A veteran of six startups (one of which conducted a successful IPO), Rick Duggan is currently CTO of Sports Challenge Network, Inc., a VegasTech startup creating new technology for one of the world's most popular sports, ten pin bowling. Prior to joining Sports Challenge Network predecessor Rolltech, he was Director of Website Systems at Zappos IP, Inc.; Chief Technology Officer of Thinker, Inc., a Las Vegas-based provider of digital signage; and co-founder and VP of Engineering & Operations at Incanta. One of the first people involved in the VegasTech community, he acts as a community evangelist, mentor, and is co-creator of the VegasStartups.com blog. He is an advisor to VegasTech company LaunchKey, recently acquired by iovation.

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