Monthly Archives: September 2019

Music Helps in Hard Times – Don’t Quit Piano Lessons

Recessions force people to make difficult choices about the “extra” things they do for themselves. News reports reflect those changes in spending trends.

If you’re feeling tempted to drop your piano lessons in an effort to save a few dollars, here are five reasons to reconsider:

1. Music represents beauty, and you need beauty even more during ugly times.

Wikipedia says about the benefits of music,: “It is often thought that music has the ability to affect our emotions, intellect, and our psychology; lyrics can assuage our loneliness or incite our passions.” (January 13, 2009). Tapping in to these effects will help you transcend and rise above the less pleasant sounds, images and issues in your day-to-day life.

2. Doing something you enjoy will help you keep a positive outlook.

An important element of the Law of Attraction, made famous by the movie The Secret, is that whatever you focus your mind on is what you will create in your life. If you quit learning piano and spend all of your time worrying about your finances, your worries will get bigger and the life you enjoy will get smaller. You can look forward to feeling good about yourself, rewarding yourself with piano lessons.

3. Depriving yourself too much could result in rebellion and even a spending “binge.”

While it would be wise to cut your spending and use your resources wisely, that doesn’t mean automatically cutting out everything you enjoy. If you try to control yourself too tightly, you may end up at a breaking point, going out and blowing your money on something you don’t really want and definitely don’t need. Keep one or two so-called luxuries in your life so that you’re not tempted to binge.

4. Sometimes we can turn our hobbies into real income.

Piano lessons could lead you anywhere. With your newfound creativity and skill, you may come up with an idea for a whole new business for yourself – whether it involves music or something else you can teach! And every little bit of extra income will help!

5. During challenging times, your piano lessons are a way to relieve stress and to relax.

Stress can lead to all sorts of health problems – from muscle and back pain to digestive problems, fatigue and difficulty sleeping – and sometimes serious disease. You need all of your energy and strength to cope with the recession. Focus your practice time specifically on the types of music that you enjoy the most and that help you relax.

The Cosmic Law of Generational Music Differences

I heard the strangest of noises coming from my daughter’s room this evening. I blew it off to start with, not wanting to worry unnecessarily, but the noise was becoming unbearable as it continued and I became quite concerned.

“What’s wrong with your computer?” I asked approaching her open doorway.

“Nothing,” she replied. “Everything is fine.”

A terrible sinking feeling then overcame me as I was afraid of what that meant.

“You mean you are listening to that on purpose?” I asked in fear.

“Yeah,” she returned, confused at what I was asking her.

“I’m sorry,” I offered in sincerity. You see as it turned out, that strange, rather offensive noise was something she called music. Now me, I would hesitate to call it music but rather strange beeping sounds layered with annoyingly exotic rhythmic gyrations and some obviously under-educated lost soul mumbling something about his mama.

“What do you mean you are sorry?” she asked.

“You see,” I explained. “There is a well documented cosmic law stating that you, as a teenager, must remain dynamically opposed to my musical sense of taste as a predetermined divider between our generations.”

“Huh?” she asked.

“It is an unfortunate side effect of the rebellious adolescent nature necessary to drive you to move out on your own and create your own subsistence rather than residing permanently at the home roost in a parasitic fashion, which, of course, would drive us both insane and bring a crashing end to evolution as we know it.”

“What?” she said, shaking her head in utter confusion.

“Which, by the way,” I continued, “is one purported, yet wholly unsubstantiated theory of what caused the extinction of the dinosaurs, and possibly why some male grizzly bears eat their own young.”

“What?” she replied in shock.

“In other words, it’s my fault you like this crap because I hate it,” I said more simply. “It seems to be the law of the universe.”

“Oh,” she stated, looking somewhat relieved. “For a minute there I thought you were going to eat me.”

“Anyway,” I went on, “I’m sorry I didn’t hate something that wasn’t quite so horrible. That way you wouldn’t have to listen to… this.” I apologized.

“It’s OK, Dad, I don’t mind. I like it.”

“That’s what I was afraid of,” I concluded. I had to leave at that point, though, as guilt was overwhelming me — not to mention the horrid sound of the so called “music”.

I remember when things were the other way around and it was my dad who couldn’t stand my music. I remember one time while traveling on vacation, my sister and I begged Dad to let us listen to a rock radio station. Finally, my sister got him to agree by telling him to turn off the speakers up front and just play it quietly on the rear speakers.

This was way back in 1982 when Survivor’s “Eye Of The Tiger” was a huge hit. My sister and I were very excited when that song finally came on the radio. We could hardly hear it, however, as Dad had it turned down so low. I remember laying our heads back almost against the rear window trying to get closer to the speakers so we could hear the song.

Then, however, my dad apparently heard a cymbal crash, which, of course, he found seriously offensive, and he turned the radio down a bit.

Not to be deterred from enjoying the song, my sister and I simply pressed our heads further back against the rear window, attempting to get closer still to the speakers.

Again, the cymbals crashed, and Dad, further offended, turned the radio down a bit more. My sister and I pressed further rearward. This continued for a few moments until the car hit a bump in the road and she and I both received a good whacking on the noggin from the rear window.

“Well, what are you doing sticking your heads up against the window anyway?” my dad asked in response to our cries of pain.

“Trying to hear the radio!” my sister returned, rather annoyed.

“Oh, well then,” Dad responded, solving the problem by simply shutting the radio off.

My dad and I certainly had our debates over music back in my teenage years, with little in the way of agreement. As far as I could tell, any music where you could actually hear drums playing, he didn’t like. That, of course, ruled out everything I enjoyed and left me being able to listen to my music only when he wasn’t around.

Now back in those days, that was a lot harder to do than it is now. I didn’t have my own computer like my kids do today. I didn’t have my own stereo until I was 17 and I had to go against my parents wishes in order to buy that from a friend of mine.

Instead, I would listen with friends while away from home, and, on the rare occasion when I was home alone, I would sneak into Dad’s office and crank something up over his stereo. (thank goodness I never got caught doing that!).

Then one glorious Christmas, my grandparents gave me a set of headphones. I was excited, but my parents were not. In fact, I think they were quite irate with my grandparents for giving me such an “evil” thing, but it was too late. I had it in my possession and wasn’t going to give it up.

I remember sneaking those head phones into bed with me at night one time so I could listen to a pirated copy of Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet” album that a friend had given me. Naturally, if I would have gotten caught listening to such devilry, I would have gotten in to serious trouble.

Perhaps that’s why “Slippery When Wet” to this day remains one of my favorites albums? Because it also seems to be written into the cosmic law of generational music differences that the more grief your parents give you over a certain kind of music, the more you like it.

For that reason, I really try not to make too much fuss over it when my kids listen to something I truly can’t stand. Because overreacting just seems to make it all worse and I really don’t want to drive them into further liking that which I cannot tolerate. So, like the time when my oldest daughter turned on some kind of horrible “rap” stuff one day after school, I didn’t do much about it. In fact, I thought I handled it rather well.

By the time it got to the 15th f-word reference, about six seconds into the first song, all I did was run across the room, yank the CD out of the player, and throw it into the deepest corner of the house I could find. I mean, I didn’t even break it first. That shouldn’t have much effect on her now, should it?

Thinking back now, my dad is lucky that at the time I was only listening to Survivor, Bon Jovi, and the like, and was not a huge Metallica fan like I am now. I mean, I can only imagine how he would have reacted to Enter Sandman.

Beating Bad News Blues

Damn those down days. Days when nothing seems to go right, nobody seems to care and tomorrow looks to be more of the same. Your mind gets scattered, your outlook gets dark and your body gets heavy. Know what I’m talking about? I’ve been there. I’ve had days that I didn’t want to go outside. I didn’t want to get out of bed for that matter… sure that when I did, the weight of my world would just get heavier.

Call it what you will. Call it moods, call it depression. I call it human. If you’re sensitive like me, you’re going to have days that you’re prone to feeling less positive than little Suzie Sunshine over there. But, if you can recognize it, you can change it.

Did you just roll your eyes? It’s almost annoying how simplistic that seems, isn’t it? But, hang with me here because it’s true. And I’m going to share with you how easy it is to do.

THE SIMPLE TRUTH

When you are feeling down, you’ve got two reasonable choices. (I say reasonable because if you are feeling beyond rational, I encourage you to seek help from a professional.) However, the truth is, most of us have the power to choose how we want to go through our day. Behind door #1 is a brooding, moody, dark and cloudy negative day. Behind door #2 awaits a productive, clear and optimistic day. It’s “Let’s Make A Deal” with yourself. Tell me, which do you most often choose?

I’m writing this because I woke up feeling a little jaded this morning. Yep, still human. It’s a mixture of some personal conflicts I’ve had going on… and the state of the world. Or at least, the state of the world according to CNN.com. And that’s all I know at the moment. So, I find myself in this useless mildly annoyed, slightly detached, highly emotional state. A state that’s good for one thing… beating myself up.

Cue music. Enter Monty Hall. And let’s play… “Let’s Make A Deal”!

I now know how to choose Door #2. No more #1 for me. And I want to share with you ways to choose a positive day when you find yourself having to make your own deal.

Turn off the media
No more news. No more newspapers. No more network websites. Click it all off for today. It will be there tomorrow and your state will be different. When you’re feeling blue or less than optimistic, the media is certainly not going to change your mind for the better. In fact, it’s their JOB to make you feel needy. They depend on it. So, strip them of their power over you. No more media noise. Switch it over to an all music station or just altogether “off” and feel the shift.

I feel better already.

Check your body
Take a minute and look at your own physiology. How is your posture? Are you holding negative energy? My jaw gets so tight that my tone of voice changes. Even my phone personality is different when I’m uptight. So, guess what? Because I give out tension, I get it back… whether I want it or not. What are you putting out with just your body? Sit up straight. Inhale full and deeply. Go for a walk. Get some energy in that body of yours. Changing your physiology will change your mindset.

Focus at the task at hand
Be present and give your energy and focus to one task. Do it fully and to the best of your ability. After you’ve finished one, go to the next one. Focus and give it your full attention. Even if you are doing something that seems menial, pay attention to the details. I remember hearing Dr. Wayne Dyer say once, “If you’re washing the dishes, REALLY wash the dishes.” Sounds simple… even stupid when you’re feeling cynical. Just do it. You’ll feel the shift. Your mind can’t split thoughts. If you’re focused on your task, you can’t indulge in your negativity at the same time. It’s just not possible.

Don’t give in to old negative habits
Don’t you hate when you’re doing so well at quitting something, you haven’t had a cigarette in four days, and then some seemingly bad news knocks you back into yesterday? Don’t let it. Don’t reach for that extra caffeine, go back to biting those nails or skip your workout. It’ll just make you feel worse. The effect is immediate. We all know that the guilt outweighs any instant gratification. Don’t question it. Stay true to the commitments you have made to yourself. And congratulate yourself for your willpower. That’s just positive energy attracting more positive energy.

Be grateful
Ah. When the world around you seems gloomy, there is still a light shining somewhere. Find it. What are you grateful for? If you are reading this, you have your eyesight, you have the access to modern technology, you have BREATH. Take a moment and give thanks. Turn your focus to what’s good in your life. I feel myself resist this when I’m really on a pity roll. “Yes, I have my health BUT…” Force yourself to put it in perspective. Get out a picture of the people that mean something to you. Look in the mirror until you can see the life in your own eyes. Focus on what’s good in your life and you will get more of it.

Take action for someone else
“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” -Albert Schweitzer

There is no better cure for the blues than helping someone else. Get your attention off of yourself… and on to someone who is in need. This will give you a break from your own state and things will look different when you get back. It’s hard to find Door #1 when you’ve already walked through Door #2.

This is the real test of self help, actually helping yourself. It’s all well and good to be positive and grateful when you’re winning the lotto or getting a promotion. But, how about when you’ve just lost thousands in the stock market and you’re worried about the security of your job? This is when the challenge is greatest, no doubt. But if you choose to believe in your own power and your own strength to make choices, these techniques are here for you. They will guide you out of the dark and into a brighter and more optimistic world.

Hip-Hop Music and Dance Style

The hip-hop culture is about twenty years old. Yes, it is more like a culture. Hip Hop is just not music it is far more than just music, lyrics and videos. There are many people, who even today think that hip-hop is just something about a Rap producers and artist.

The Hip-hop dance basically originated in New York by some young African-American and Hispanic men during the period of late 1960s, it was originated as part of the hip-hop culture of graffiti art, rap and scratch music. The hip-hop dance always keeps changing but it is essentially embraced by two different styles one is of break dance and another is body popping. The break dance you can say is a form of athletic solo in which the dancer or the performer enters in to the dance arena in a sideways motion and then breaks or dives to the floor, then spins around on his shoulders, head or buttocks and ends up with a freeze position. Body popping whereas involves a series of very fast, sharp actions those travel all through the body much in a way as robotic-looking alternations of moves and then freeze. The hip-hop dance and hip-hop music became internationally popular since late 1970s and now, it is often incorporated into theatre dance.

The main aspect of hip hop music and dancing that makes the style would be the passion for dancing as well as expressing your emotions. It is always good to have some kind of skills like technique only thing is the way you can develop the movements is just by believing in yourself and also feeling those emotions and at the same time have fun and feel the beats as well.

Hip hop is considered as a musical genre which is developed as part of the hip hop culture, and it is defined by some key stylistic components like rapping, scratching DJing, sampling, beat boxing etc. Rapping which is also referred to as MCing or even emceeing it is basically a vocal style where in the artist speaks or sings lyrically, in rhyme and in verse, usually to synthesized beat or an instrumental beats. Beats are always of about 4/4 time signature, and looping different portions of various other songs, usually done by a DJ, can form them or the producer samples it from portions of some songs. Today’s modern beats mostly incorporate drum machines, synthesizers as well as live bands. Rappers write, improvise or memorize their lyrics and perform to a beat.