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COLUMN: Tune in and turn it up

Music. It’s there for you when you’re happy or sad.

Each song and melody is associated with a feeling or thought. Listening to music seems to be something that captures everyone’s heart, whether you’re a seasoned musician or an avid listener. Personally speaking, when I buy a record that I’m excited about or I crank up a song on the radio when I’m driving, it makes me happy. Music permeates everywhere, and the library is no exception.

We have a variety of music-related material to borrow for all ages. A family-friendly fun read is Music is for Everyone (Nimbus Publishing, 2014), written by Jill Barber with illustrations by Sydney Smith. This book is sure to get you excited about making music! Singer-songwriter Jill Barber takes her young readers through many different kinds of music—hip-hop, jazz, classical, folk—and instruments in an energetic, rhyming tour. Sydney Smith’s fun illustrations capture the joy that comes from making music in all of its forms. For those who are interested in reading up on your favourite musician, we have a variety of biographies and autobiographies to choose from, ranging from Beethoven, Elvis and the Beatles to KISS’s Paul Stanley and even Nikki Sixx for those Mötley Crüe fans out there!

Upcoming programs with a musical twist!

Music is also an integral part of upcoming library programs throughout Pictou County in the coming weeks. At the New Glasgow Library on Thursday, March 23 and Friday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m., local musician and PARL eLibrary facilitator Alex MacNeil will be finishing up his Music and Technology program, focusing in on what happens after the song recording. These last couple of sessions will talk about intellectual property, the process to ensuring your songs are rightfully yours, and taking what you've recorded and using it as a demo to get funding to re-record your hit with the pros. Alex also hopes to give attendees some guidance on procuring funds and creating a Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) profile too.

For those interested in immersing themselves in African drumming, the Maritime Centre for African Dance (MCAD) will be hosting a traditional and modern African Dance and Drumming workshop on Thursday, March 23 at 3 p.m. in the Westville Library (rescheduled from Thursday, Feb. 23). Best known for performing at former President Obama's African Inaugural Ball, enjoy an hour and a half with the MCAD as they present an afternoon of African dance, Afro beats, African drumming, Caribbean dance and cultural education. This workshop is open to all ages; everyone is welcome!

The next day to celebrate March as music therapy month, local musician and accredited musical therapist Heather Cameron will also be giving a talk titled The Power of Music – Music Therapy, The Benefits And How It Can Impact The Lives Of Others! on Friday, March 24 at 3 p.m. in the Westville Library. In this talk, Heather will cover the definition of what music therapy is, the training required for accredited music therapists, who can benefit from music therapy programs, and how we can all use music for our own wellness.

For more information on upcoming library programs, special events and services, please drop by your local library branch, follow us on Twitter, find us on Facebook, or visit us online at


Holly MacLean is the community outreach assistant for Pictou County.


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