Sting, Ted Talk

5 TED Talks That Will Change How You Listen To And Experience Music.

Jason Landry, Contributor

I spend a lot of my free time thinking. Mostly it has to do with art and music as they are the things that give me joy in life outside of my family, friends, traveling, and my dog. When I was the director of a graduate program at a college a few years back, I use to teach a seminar called social media for artists. I would begin each class with a TED Talk as a springboard to educate, excite, and inform the class. I consider TED Talks as social media on the grandest scale as they are a way of sharing information and educating.

Today, I’d like to share with you these five TED Talks about music. I hope that they inspire you as much as they did for me.

How I Started Writing Songs Again

Having writer’s block is real, even for someone who fronted the popular band The Police for many years. This struggle not only happens to those who write lyrics, but others who become blocked or uninspired by just creating music in general. 

The songs that Sting features in this talk stem back to his childhood and they’re about as personal as you can get. When I mentored artists through my gallery and at the college, I use to advise students to work on projects that are personal in nature. My philosophy was: The more personal the project, the better it will be embraced by the viewing public, and in the case of Sting, his listening audience. This has been my favorite TED Talk about music for a while.

Victor WootenMusic as a Language

Wooten is an accomplished bass player and educator. His talk is down to earth, and he explains his thesis in very simple and inspiring terms, many of his examples are pulled straight from his upbringing.

David Byrne – How Architecture Helped Music Evolve

He is known for being the front man for the band Talking Heads. One of the main points in Byrne’s talk is about how the space you are in can transform and affect the music that you make.

Mark RonsonHow Sampling Transformed Music

As a DJ and highly desired producer for many of today’s musicians, Mark explores how sampling changed the music industry and then presents the audience with live examples. If you like this TED Talk, you should definitely see his series Watch The Sound. It’s one of the best series that I have seen on the evolution of music.

Anita Collins What If Every Child Had Access To Music Education From Birth?

Anita makes a very convincing argument on the importance of music education. Art and music education is something that I’m very concerned about. It’s the first thing that schools remove from the curriculum when there are budgets to cut. I’m not sure where I’d be today without the art and music classes that I was lucky enough to have in grade school and through high school. They put me on an exciting path in life that still isn’t over.