New Horizons International Music Association

New Horizons Music

Concept and Philosophy

New Horizons Music programs provide entry points to music making for adults, including those with no musical experience at all and those who were active in school music programs but have been inactive for a long time. Many adults would like an opportunity to learn music in a group setting similar to that offered in schools, but the last entry point in most cases was elementary school. We know that for most of the last century, about 15-20 percent of high school students nationally participated in music. From that, we can estimate that at least 80 percent of the adult population needs beginning instruction in order to participate in making music. New Horizons Music programs serve that need.

The first New Horizons program at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York was designed to … read the entire article


Connect the Dots: Sir Isaac Newton, the Spectrum and our Musical Scale.

Does your mind ever latch onto something by surprise? And then, before you know what’s hit you, it’s rambled off in a different direction.  Well, this pattern seems to be increasing with me at the speed of light.  Light?  Hey, that’s part of what I want to talk about.  With the spring showers and the bright sunlight that sometime shares the sky at the same time, this is one of the best times of the year for spotting rainbows.

So, when my mind latched on the idea of “rainbows” I did a little research.  I learned that in about the year 1300 a great deal was learned about rainbows by Bacon.  Now, when I see anything about BACON, those little synapses in my brain really start firing.  After the initial disappointment of finding this Bacon wasn’t the type I was hoping for, it actually referred to the scientist Roger Bacon, I read on.

Roger Bacon’s studies contributed to the work of Sir Isaac Newton—the English scientist who, among other great advances in thinking, wrote, in 1704, about how a prism can be used to split white light (not “White Lightening”) into the spectrum of colors that occurs naturally in rainbows.  Beautiful, I made it back to rainbows!

Now, did you ever notice that there are no nice, black lines separating the different colors in a spectrum or rainbow?  No.  They just transition, ever-so-gradually, from one color to the next.  We could actually divide the spectrum into tens, or even hundreds, of colors.  But Newton picked seven.  Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet….or, the famous mnemonic aide, “Roy G. Biv.”

Why seven?

Here is where my brain took another detour.
I learned that Newton had a special interest in the number seven.  There were, of course, seven days in the week.  And there were seven visible objects in our solar system at that time (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the Sun, and the Moon).

But, for him, the most important reason was that there were seven notes in the musical scale.

There you have it.  Music, art, nature…  all tied together.

Now I’m gonna move from my desk to the kitchen and get to work on that other kind of BACON !

Submitted by Ken Carper, NHIMA President

Music For Life

Featured Video

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Submitted by Frank Needham, New Horizons Band of Western New York

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In The News

Got high blood pressure? Listen up!

blood_pressure_examination To music that is. In the March 2015 Reader’s Digest it was reported that medical research has validated something we’ve all known for a long time… Listening to music has a calming effect. According to RD, in at least one study, it was found that listening to music for around a half-hour a day for about a month can have a significant positive effect on blood pressure. How significant? The researchers recorded a reduction of 12mm Hg in systolic blood pressure (the top number) and a 5 mm Hg decrease in the bottom number (diastolic pressure). This favorably compares to the benefits of taking a strong blood pressure medication.

The short article went on to say that the calming effect of music is so powerful that it was actually more effective at reducing stress for folks heading into cardiac surgery than a sedative. Moreover, a group who listened to music after their surgery “fared better than patients who received the sedative.”

One theory is that music directly acts on the body’s autonomic nervous system… the system that controls heart rate and blood pressure. Score another win for music! (Pun intended.)

Submitted by Jon Nelson, Madison New Horizons Band

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Founder of the New Horizons Program

Dr. Roy Ernst

The following was written by Dr. Ernst for the Introduction to “New Horizons 2004”, a book about many of the New Horizons bands and orchestras that have been created since the early 1990’s.Dr. Roy Earnst, Founder of New Horizons International Music Assocciation

I confess that in the late 1980s, when I was just thinking about starting a music program for retired adults, I thought, “Well, we would want to give concerts, but probably no one would come.”

I was so wrong. You will find that New Horizons bands and orchestras become important parts of their communities … read the entire article

Is Your Group Looking to Do Some Fundraising?

fundraisingJust added to the Promotional Tools menu is a new section on Fundraising. It lists several great resources to help you get started raising funds for your group. Fundraising is not as hard as it might seem: check out this resource and discover why!