Glyn Michael Hall is a musician and the writer of the algorithm The Photonic Sequence Paradigm which is a music performance system. Here is a link to his Twitter page:
What is Photonic Sequence Paradigm?
Q: What is Photonic Sequence Paradigm?
A: Photonic Sequence Paradigm is an alpha numeric model illustrating harmony of note relationships to chord structures and chord progression options. This simple performance system is to music like paint by numbers is to painting because it eliminates need of music theory by enabling student to perform by guiding them with numeric mapping. Musicians no longer need months or years of music lessons to be able to perform music. The Photonic Sequence Paradigm was used to engineer the HMS music instrument; Harmonic Melodic Sequencing greatly enables beginners and skilled musicians alike to quickly accelerate comprehension and mechanical skill for music performance. HMS theory guidance applies to all standard Western based instruments of equal temperament.
Q: How did you develop it?
A: In 2003, I attempted to find a way of teaching elements of music theory for performance. After several weeks of research I was inspired and found this music theory paradigm based on a multiplication model I was introduced to during my elementary education; the 9 x 9 math technology model that enables math students to learn multiplication of base numbers. I developed this concept by stacking the chromatic scales in harmonic thirds. This created a model that assists music students quickly visualize chord and chord progression options.
Following development of Photonic Sequence Paradigm I immediately envisioned that the algorithm was the perfect model for a novel Harmonic keypad array that would supersede piano style chromatic keyboards for simple performance dynamics.
The HMS numeric guidance system eliminates stumbling blocks in music performance by creating an intuitive system where beginners become practical musicians in a few days and within months of regular practice they are enabled to become highly skilled musicians.
Q: What made you interested in music theory?
I’ve been in music since I was a child born into a musical family. Growing up I sang in school choirs. After my honorable service in the Navy in 1975, I began working as a lead vocalist\guitarist and for over three decades I directed several bands. In 1990, I joined the Country Music Association as the band director for Eldorado; an eclectic band performing Rock, Country R&B and Blues. I taught Nashville Number System to our band members for instruments, voice and composition. NNS is numeric charting system to share music compositions with musicians in the recording studio or for performing live. NNS eliminates the musician’s need of music theory for performance by replacing complex theory with a simple numeric coding for performing chord progressions. During this time I began a study of the elements of music performance to improve my skills as a guitarist.
Q: What made you interested in working in hospital settings and nursing homes?
As a teenager we lived near our community nursing home. Mrs. Spencer and her crew took care of elderly people. I was asked to share my music talent with these people and though they enjoyed my music and company when I performed for them, I gained so much from my experiences performing for them; a self-realization of the positive impact of music on these souls who were often anxious, depressed or lonely. For over 40 years now I have performed at nursing homes, hospitals and hospice. Since 2010, I have been working as a volunteer performing with my band Stone Portico for hospitalized Veterans at Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Hospital in Richmond, VA. We perform concerts to entertain Veterans and their families. We use our concerts events to bring attention to (Gtr4Vets); Guitar for Vets; a music performance therapy program at McGuire.
Q: What kinds of medical conditions can music help with?
A: I believe Music Therapy is able to benefit almost everyone in today’s demanding stress filled environments. Music Therapy has proven to be successful in treating neurological and mood disorders; in addition is used for treating symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress, depression, sleep disorders, epilepsy, dementia, Alzheimer, amnesia. Music Therapy is used in rehabilitation therapy with stroke victims and people living with heart disease. A great resource for more information is the American Music Therapy Association. http://www.musictherapy.org/
My music therapy comes from lifelong involvement with music; through my singing, songwriting and performance. I have kept engaged working towards positive outcomes; despite setbacks we all share on this journey of life. Writing songs with a guitar, or piano, while singing lyrics and creating melodies helps me to work out my problems; curbing my depression. If I am dwelling on memories of events uncomfortable for me then they may make me depressed. Music helps me redirect this negative energy towards the positive reinforcement of my craft, which helps me build self-confidence and esteem, so I may overcome obstacles and deal with the way I feel in a healthy way.
Learning to cope with thoughts that disturb us starts in the way we think about ourselves and what we choose to do with what we think about. If you want to calm, more confident, or sleep better night; it’s all about choices with what we do to control our thoughts; instead of letting thoughts control the way we feel. Bad thoughts may create feelings to motivate us towards unhealthy behavior, while the opposite is true; Good thoughts will often motivate us towards more healthy behavior.
Q: Based on what you have seen working with therapists; what is the difference between teaching a person to use music as therapy and just teaching them music?
A: Both modalities of therapy are valid having similar benefit in assisting people to overcome or control stressful symptoms. Whether it’s listening to soothing music before bedtime to help us to sleep or meditating on music when you’re under stress all of this is good therapy. Teaching a person to perform music can be a unique way of reaching to deeper level of therapy because they are actively involved by creating the music that’s right for them. Their creative focus to develop performance ability is a healthy therapeutic endeavor and a great benefit to all of us; the healing touch that music brings to the heart of what we need to cope when we are stressed and need comfort. “Music does have charms to soothe a savage breast.
Q: Why are people afraid of math?
(Fear of Math is an anxiety disorder, which interferes with math performance” “People often walk around talking about how awful math is,” says Sian Beilock, psychology professor at the University of Chicago. Beilock and doctoral student Ian Lyons asked adults with math anxiety to participate in a study and what they discovered was when people with high levels of math anxiety anticipated math equations, their brain reacted like they would if they were in physical pain. The higher a person’s anxiety, the more the posterior insula flashed with activity. The posterior insula is what springs into action when one burns their hand or stubs their toe. These researchers also found activation in the cinragulate cortex, which also serves in the brain’s pain center.) – (Excerpt from Wikipedia)
A: You ask me why people are afraid of math. I believe anxiety people exhibit from exposure to math is a product of their negative history with poor math performance from lack of knowledge. Let’s face it complex math is difficult to understand and as it is with any field of advanced learning. Developing an intellect for math requires commitment to passionately study the science to overcome ignorance to excel. If we’re passionate about anything in this life and develop knowledge about the fundamentals of that field then in time we will learn to approach the study of math – sciences – even music with an open mind without fear of performance anxiety. When we explore each concept along our way to understand anything it helps to develop spatial reasoning, so we may learn almost anything we set our mind to.
I finish by saying I believe we are born with certain talents we are destined to develop in our lifetime and if we need to follow our path were our talents and passions guide us.
Q: What is your educational background?
I was a hyperactive child and grew up early in the arts from the time I was 5; by learning music from my parents; by singing and learning to play guitar and piano. When I was a teenager I was deeply involved in drawing, writing poetry and songs. I performed for school, church and for local events throughout my adolescence and continued throughout my life.
I am a product of self education since I completed high school in the United States Navy in1974. After my discharge I began my quest as a professional entertainer; performing in clubs, the college circuit and opening shows for recording artists. In 1989, I entered Speed the Plough Recording Studio to record my first album of my original songs. I became a BMI Songwriter, formed Hall & Shields Publishing BMI, joined Country Music Association as a recording artist, director and vocalist of Eldorado. I began teaching lesson for guitar, voice and songwriting to students who sought me out as a teacher for guitar and performance art.
In addition to music I have interests in photonics, quantum physics, chemistry, biomedical, mechanical and MIDI engineering for discovery and invention. I studied business; contract, patent, entertainment law and copywriting in association with my publishing. I have spent countless hours over the years studying academics for realization of these fields that may serve my understanding of how things work together in processes of creating new ways of understanding these fields of study.
Since my talent and passion is for music education and performance it only stands to reason I would pursue development of music technology for performance. This led me intuitively to the discovery of the Photonic Sequence algorithms. HMS technology is for everyone; even those who think playing music is not within their reach. HMS music instruments enable user performance regardless of talent and understanding of music theory for performance.
Q: Who are some of your musical influences?
I appreciate an eclectic mix of musical genres; rock, blues, classical, gospel, jazz, country and R&B. For 50 years I’ve been listening to numerous singers and instrumentalist who influenced my art including CSNY, James Taylor, Jim Croce, Eagles, America, Moody Blues, Almond Brothers Dire Straits, Jackson Brown, Gordon Lightfoot, Wilson Pickett, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Stanley Clark, George Winston, Tommy Emanuel, Phil Collins, Brook Benton and Percy Sledge just to name a few of my favorites artists.
Q: Do you think creativity or technical ability is more important to a musician?
I know as a composer and arranger I rely on my creative capacity to produce remarkable compositions to earn adoration from fans. On the other hand as a performing artist, I desire to deliver essential expressions to present compositions cleverly and I rely on technical skill to perform meaningful musical interpretations of music compositions; these dynamics work together for musical performance to be considered art. With this being said; I believe it is equally important for musicians to have balance in creativity and technical skills to produce great music. When great music composition and lyrics are combined with great technical skills brilliant works of art are created that become timeless treasures; the classics.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)