The Effects of Music:Overcoming Impaired Social Interaction
BY YU XIN
THE EPOCH TIMES
OCTOBER 24, 2009
In a city as cosmopolitan as New York you may encounter many people, but everyone has their own world and “comfort zone.” The moment people step out of their comfort zones into a strange and new environment, they are likely to feel nervous, shy or anxious.
Shy people usually feel extremely uncomfortable in front of strangers. Timid people, while feeling relaxed in their own inner life circle, blush or stammer when required to speak in public. Many talented people lose their chance to be socially recognized and cannot realize their dreams due to what has been defined by psychologists as “Impaired Social Interaction.”
What causes “Impaired Social Interaction” is “fear,” fear of a poor self-image, mockery, making mistakes, etc. Over time, this way of thinking will negatively affect a person’s physical condition. However, much to people’s relief, impaired social interaction can be alleviated through specific training, no matter what may have caused it.
Sandra located in Queens, New York is such a teacher with this wonderful “magic.” Her training course not only improves students’ acting or performing skills, but also helps them build their self-esteem and overcome fears. When Sandra set up this training course twenty years ago, she only intended to train students to become singers and actors of a high caliber, so that they could one day perform on the stages of Broadway. But then, she discovered that the process of learning music and performance can be one of developing self-confidence and overcoming fears. Many of her students become cheerful and optimistic. In the very least, they can stand on the stage to sing and perform without fear.
Sandra’s students not only achieve academic success, but some are admitted into the world-famous LaGuardia High School of the Arts. With the help of her course, students can confidently present their true self in public. This course assists students in relating to others in all kinds of social settings, such as school and society at large.
Music learning can exert multiple effects. Musical methods to cure mental and physical illnesses were discovered by people who lived in the period of the Yellow Emperor [2697-2589B.C.]. Afterwards, people found that some plants could also serve as medicine, thus the Chinese character for ‘Medicine” is the combination of the “grass" radicals and “music” character, which comes together to mean “grass with musical effects.”
Music has multiple effects. Peaceful music can bring tranquility to troubled minds; relaxing music can bring happiness to upset people. People can also indulge themselves in music (songs) and thus pay less attention to what others think about them.
In fact, the relation among human beings, nature, and everything around is interrelated. Pleasant environments can bring people happy moods that in turn will influence the surrounding world. When you are happy, birds’ chirps can please your ears. However, if you are in a bad mood, birds’ chirps may worsen your upset feelings. [Citation of a Chinese poem that expands upon this sentiment.]
If you are suffering from “Impaired Social Interaction,” or your children are not cheerful enough,
or you can not always face life with an optimistic attitude, why not seek support from music?
Forest Hills vocalist spreads melody to new learnersLongtime music teacher reflects on how she has helped students discover hidden singing skills
BY ANNA GUSTAFSON
May 14, 2009
For the 17 singers who crowded into Sandra Bosko’s Forest Hills apartment Friday night for a performance workshop, the evening was more than just 3 1/2 hours of singing everything from Spanish love songs to pieces by pop star Fiona Apple.
It seemed to be a metaphor for just how far they have come since beginning to work with Bosko, a music coach, composer and former off-Broadway performer.
“It’s amazing how much better I am now,” said Kew Gardens resident Justin Rodriguez, 18. “I started going to Sandy when I was 12, and I was so shy. She taught me to be confident.”
So confident, in fact, that Rodriguez had no trouble belting out “En El Jardin,” a popular Spanish wedding song, and several other tunes for a crowd of about 50 people at Friday’s performance workshop.
Bosko holds about two performance workshops annually, and this year 17 students, ages 8 to older than 50, showed off the musical skills that have landed them in some of the city’s most prestigious arts schools.
“These students are close to my heart, and we’re like a family,” said Bosko, who has been teaching music in Forest Hills for two decades. “I have all kinds of singers, pop singers, R&B singers, alternative rock and classic rock singers.”
Bosko said she works hard to rid her students of the stage fright many of them had when they began taking lessons with her.
“I also came very shy to Sandy,” said Forest Hills resident Gisella Farkas, 15, who attends the Professional Performing Art School in Manhattan, which has graduated such students as singers Alicia Keyes and Britney Spears and actress Claire Danes.
“I didn’t really know how to perform a song, and my voice was shaky,” said Gisella, who has studied with Bosko for about seven years. “Sandy helped me get out of my box because I always had a fear of being in front of people. Now I go out and express myself.”
Bosko said the students who performed Friday have worked hard to get where they are, and many of them have promising musical careers ahead of them.
Astoria resident Jason Olshan, for example, is in his own alternative rock band, which has a song and a possible appearance in the upcoming Catherine Zeta-Jones film “The Rebound.”
“We have a song called “Love: Pass It On” in the movie,” said Orshan, 24, who has taken voice lessons with Bosko for two years and sang in Friday’s event. “It’s an upbeat song.”
Astoria resident Amanda Sorensen, 17, and Forest Hills resident Emma Rubinstein, 13, both of whom study voice with Bosko, said they plan to pursue careers in music.
“I want to be on Broadway,” said Sorensen, who sang “Criminal” by Fiona Apple Friday.
For Forest Hills resident Michael Ursu, 17, Friday’s workshop was bittersweet. It will likely be the last workshop he performs in since he will soon be leaving for Occidental College in California.
“I’ve met so many people through this,” Ursu said of the music lessons. “Music has opened up my eyes to so much, to so many other cultures.”
Bosko has been dancing, singing and acting since she was a teenager.
She has released two CDs, performed in off-Broadway shows, danced and
sang for productions for the Army and Navy, and performed in resorts in
Atlantic City. She has worked as a cabaret singer and composes her own music.
Songsters to shine in big-city spotlightBY JOHN LAUIGNER
NY Daily News
June 19, 2007
They're not quite "American Idol" finalists, but these young Queens singers got talent - and they're taking it to Gotham.
This weekend, 15 budding songsters from the borough will bring their precocious pipes to a Manhattan club in an eclectic, cabaret-style talent showcase dubbed "Rising Above the Stage."
The two-hour shows at Swing 46, a jazz and supper club, will present a 30-song medley that runs the gamut from rock to soul to musical theater and pop - with a little bit of country rock sprinkled in for good measure.
"It's very eclectic, because the kids are very eclectic," said Sandra Bosko, the creative force behind the show.
Bosko, a former cabaret singer and Off-Broadway performer from Forest Hills, gives vocal lessons to each of the performers, who range in age from 10 to 22.
At a rehearsal at her home studio last week, Bosko said she created the show to give her caroling charges a chance to strut their singing stuff in the Big Apple - and perhaps catch the eye of a talent scout.
And though preparing for the stage has meant many months of diligent practice, Bosko's students are beaming with excitement over the opportunity to bask in the glow of the big-city spotlight.
"Ever since I was a little girl I've always wanted to perform on stage in the city - and now I finally get a chance to do it," gushed Emma Keller, a 17-year-old songstress from Holliswood, who has studied under Bosko for the last six years.
Keller, who just graduated from Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School in Long Island City and plans to study theater and music at C.W. Post next year, said she is not nervous about making her first appearance on the Manhattan stage.
"I've performed on stage numerous times," boasts Keller, who will sing a few musical theater numbers and "Long Time Gone" by the Dixie Chicks. "It's my favorite place to be."
But 16-year-old warbler Justin Rodriguez - a Kew Gardens Hills resident who sings in the vaunted Concert Choir at Bayside High School - knows that Manhattan can be a tough town.
"I'm a little scared," admitted Rodriguez, who once belted out Marc Anthony's "Am I the Only One" during an Amateur Night for kids at the Apollo Theater. "Manhattan is hard. It's tough to please the city crowd - but I'll enjoy it."