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How To Save Music Programs In Public Schools

Elective programs like art, music, and physical education made all the difference for me and my friends when I was growing up. The music department sponsored an event called the Hoedown when I was in elementary school, and it always turned out to be a great fundraising opportunity for the entire school. But because of space and funding issues, my old elementary school is threatening to axe the music department.

This story is all too common. If it upsets you as much as it does me, then don't sit back and let it happen--it's time to save the music! But you're just one person, you say? It doesn't matter. There are ways in which you can become active and make a difference in your community. Let me explain.

The first step is to become active with your local schools in any way possible. Public schools can always use more volunteers to help with activities and events. There are chaperones for field trips or participants in the school carnival needed year 'round. And don't think you have to be a parent to step in. Two of my good friends are long-standing volunteers at the elementary school we all went to together, and they're in their early twenties.

Taking an interest at such an early age is also a great way to get your peers interested in music advocacy. After all, you don't want all of these extracurricular programs to fade into the background before you even have children--then what will be left when they are ready for primary school?

Keep your eyes and ears open for music-related opportunities for the school choir, band, or orchestra. Music teachers can't be everywhere at once, so if you assist in finding field trips or performance opportunities, school officials can see that kids' participation is worthwhile and has tangible payoffs in the area.

If you have money to donate, then talk directly to instructors to find out what specific supplies they need. Do they require new instruments for underprivileged kids to play? Do they need enough sheet music for everyone in the class, or do they require traditional classroom supplies like dry erase markers? Find the need and then fill it.

Even if you're on a limited budget, you can find something to contribute. The same applies to other vital school programs like physical education and art. You can most likely afford a box of crayons or a new football.

Get involved with local non profit organizations to find out what they're doing. In Arizona, non profit groups have power to sway the school board and stretch donations even further. So don't wait for music programs in public schools to die. Do something about it today.


The Value of Learning a Musical Instrument

It is very important for everyone to have an outlet of some sort, particularly to alleviate stress. Athletics, art, and playing a musical instrument are all fantastic outlets for stress.

For most people who remember their teenage years may remember how truly challenging and stressful they really were! With all the many emotional and physical changes that occur during this ackward time in life can be difficult to deal with, to say the least.

For this reason, it is extremely important for teenagers to have an outlet! Being involved in sports, doing art, or playing guitar or drums are certainly better outlets than watching television or just listening to music. Mainly because the first three require right brain activity.

If you are a teenager, or a full grown adult, I encourage to find something that you enjoy to manage stress. We all know stress can take years off your life, and managing it is critically important!

If you are already involved in a sport, then good for you. If not, it may be difficult to break into one at this point. Most people who are excelling in a particular sport typically have been involved in it since elementary school. Given that fact, joining a team at this stage may be rather intimidating! But, that's not to say you can't get involved in a sport at your local YMCA.

They usually have something going on that is open to their members who simply just want to have fun and burn off some stress.

If you are involved in art, then again, good for you! It seems art is something one truly enjoys if he or she is good at it. Those who are not good at it typically will not stay with it for long. It's like anything, though... the better you are at something, the more you tend to enjoy it. And the reverse is true as well... the more you enjoy what you're doing, the better you will become at it.

Playing a musical instrument is in a different realm altogether. Opportunities abound practically for anyone that didn't have an interest as a child (as opposed to playing sports). And, unlike art, learning to play a musical instrument such as the drums, guitar, keyboard, or a wind instrument may open many doors of opportunity like possibly joining a rock band, jazz band, or a marching band. Also you may be able to participate in local theatre and competitions.

Learning to play a musical instrument is linked to improved coordination, higher concentration levels, improved language skills, improved social skills, improved memory skills, and higher test scores.

So, if athletics or art are activities you are not too excited about, give a musical instrument a try. There are schools and music teachers who offer lessons for people of any age and skill level. There are also numerous books that are self-teaching, which will give you basic instruction to help you get started.


Developing A Child's Musical Aptitude

Generally, most babies show a willingness to learn. Moreover, they are born with an enjoyment of hearing tones of all types. Before long they will be capable of recognizing the differences in sounds of their assorted rattles. They will get excited and their legs will move along with their interactive toys. Their hands will appear to be poised, as if they were reaching out to clutch their playthings.

Parents should recognize this infant type dance movement their child seems to be doing. They should develop their infant's brain with musical tones, sounds and rhythm from birth. In due time the child will reveal their ability to favourably react and reveal a love of music.

As the child ages, his or her interactive toys should be adjusted to match their maturity. A toddler, who is capable of sitting without falling, should be able to sit at a miniature toy piano. They will instinctively pound on the keyboard with their fists and laugh at the sounds. Many will merely use a finger or two on each of the keys. Assist them to listen to the various pitches they create when they touch a particular key. Show them that a piano has high sounds and deep sounds, depending on which side of the keyboard their little fingers touch.

Other instructional engaging toys that help a child to develop an eagerness to play a musical instrument are the hand held drums. Allow them to hear the various sounds that tom-toms make. Have them hit bongo drums lightly with their little fingers at a count of three. Indicate the distinctive sounds that each of the drums make. Allow them to strike them softly or bang on them with their clenched fist.

Buy a harmonica and play it along with your child. Keep time with the beat of the drums. Dance together keeping time to the music. Play an Indian type game and hop around the room. Purchase musical learning toys that you can play along with your child.

If you own a regulation size piano, or a keyboard, introduce it to your youngster early in life. Have them sit next to you as you play. Teach him or her about the fingering, tones, scales and the various sounds that occur the piano is played. Tell them how they can easily make each of the notes get louder or softer as they play.

Permit the child the freedom to roam. If he plays with one finger, to compare the sounds, do not stop them. Furthermore, do not yell or tell them in a harsh voice that they are banging.

As soon as he or she appears to be satisfied with the tones, show the way it is played by using the proper fingering. A middle C is in the centre. Indicate it to them and play the key. Move your hand to the right and show them yet another C key. Explain that every C key repeatedly contains one black key plus three whites.

Satisfy a child's intellect with learning toys. Teach him about sounds, tones and musical beats. Let them join in as you play. Indicate to them just how much you enjoy music yourself. Then permit him to discover his own musical uniqueness.


Popular Songs Played at Weddings

If you are thinking about a play-list for your reception dance, you may want to consider some popular classics. Classic love songs and modern romantic ballads are perfect wedding music. Whether you are going to be ballroom dancing, or something more casual, the following are sure to produce a sentimental mood on your wedding day.

Whatever your taste in music, people in love around the world often play some of the following songs at weddings. The most popular love ballads are perfect for the bridal dance. Many couples have a favourite song or two, from when they first started dating. Perhaps you have even picked songs for each other? Whether you prefer classic pop or classical greats, a wedding waltz is not going to be top of everyone's list when it comes to wedding music.

Classic Love Songs

Wistful, dreamy, and romantic ballads like some of the following are extremely popular wedding classics. You may love or hate some of these popular love songs:

* Wonderful Tonight, by Eric Clapton.
* Can't Help Falling in Love with You, by Elvis Presley.
* Your Song, by Elton John.
* You Are So Beautiful, by Joe Cocker.
* The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, by Roberta Flack.

Modern Love Songs

Those of you, who are already yawning at the list above, will appreciate some modern alternatives. For Bruno Mars fans out there, have a listen to Just the Way You Are. Michael Buble's Everything is a beautiful romantic song perfect for a wedding day play-list. During your wedding reception there is going to be plenty of time for romantic music.

The Bridal Waltz: Weddings Melbourne

Some people like to refer to the wedding dance as: the bridal waltz. However, couples choose various dance styles from tango to making it up as you go along. Some will want to practice ballroom dancing ready for the reception dance. Others will be more content just smooching to their favourite song. Popular favourites for brides and grooms to dance to together include:

* Because You Loved Me, by Celine Dion.
* Crazy for You, by Madonna.
* Endless Love, by Lionel Ritchie and Dianna Ross.

The Parents

Traditionally, after the bride and groom dance together, the bride dances with her father. While this is happening, the groom will dance with his mother. A few popular choices include:

* Wind beneath My Wings, by Bette Midler.
* My Girl, by the Temptations.
* Isn't She Lovely, by Stevie Wonder.
* What a Wonderful World, by Louis Armstrong.

Weddings in Melbourne

Melbourne wedding venues offer a lot of choice when it comes to wedding ceremonies and receptions. For those with larger guest lists and a passion for history Ascot House, Melbourne offers an ideal choice of location. The Grand Ballroom is perfect for large gatherings, dancing the night away.


What's a Diva: Demon or Darling?

The Encarta Encyclopedia defines the word diva as a spoilt brat, attention-seeker, show-off or bragger. Derived from the Italian, the word diva used to mean "goddess" or "exceptional female singer" but over the years the word has become known in popular culture to describe a very difficult, hard to handle woman or man. Wikipedia calls a diva "manipulative, highly strung, privileged and demanding. He or she does not believe the law and accepted rules of courtesy apply to him or her." Another designation I would add is prima donna.

Just for fun, I decided to see what my computer search engine would come up with when I typed in the word diva. Not surprisingly, the first names to pop up in the MSN Search were Celine Dion, Madonna, Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand, Mariah Carey, Maria Callas and Luciano Pavarotti!

The people listed are all definitely known for being fussy and perhaps even fiendish. I've worked in the entertainment business for a long time, both in front of the footlights and behind them, and encountered my share of divas, to be sure. However, even if you don't work in the theatre or the diva populated worlds of film, television, or opera, I'm sure you have a diva or two you've run across. Sitting at my hairdresser's one morning, the lady next to me found out that I was writing about divas, and remarked: "I could use some advice about my teenage daughters. They're both divas and impossible to handle!" People talk to me about their kids, mother-in-laws, ex-wives, and bosses. But are all divas demons?

I think it's a mistake to lump all the divas of the world into one category. I agree that the great soprano Maria Callas was known to be a very demanding lady, but what a glorious voice she had! I personally knew the lovely opera diva Beverly Sills. Did you know that her nickname was Bubbles? Does that sound like a name for a fiendish diva? She was one of the kindest ladies I've ever met.

Divas get a bad rap because many strive for perfection. That's where the line between nice gal and conceited maniac get blurry. The following story about tenor Luciano Pavarotti is a perfect example: A number of years ago Luciano took a limousine to an opera house where he arrived to sing that night. He instructed the driver to return at a designated spot and time after his performance. The driver complied. Because the singer had to greet his fans after the opera was over, he didn't reach the limousine until late into the night. When Luciano finally arrived, walking in the crisp, icy evening air to the limousine, he immediately chastised the driver for not having the car warmed up. The driver was shocked at the prima donna's outrage, but the singer quickly explained: "I expect to ride in a warmed up car as my voice is my career and without it I am nothing."

What seemed like a tantrum, and indeed, it was a tantrum, was justified.

I'm not saying that those divas we love to read about in the magazines aren't sometimes over the top with their demands. Jennifer Lopez use to demand that her dressing room only be decorated in all white. That included the walls and any rugs, chairs, and flowers. Rock musicians ask that all brown M&Ms be removed from their candy dishes or they won't go on stage. The list goes on and on. But I do understand the demands on many divas to perform as close to perfection as possible. We the public have put celebrities on a pedestal, making it almost impossible for them not to eventually fall. No wonder they are picky and grumpy. You would be too if your every move was

I say give the divas of our lives a break. At least until the next tantrum which we will then be psychoanalyzing on national television until the cows come home. I love the freedom of the press!


How To Dance Like Michael Jackson: A Beginner's Guide

Nobody can deny the fact that Michael Jackson is one of the greatest icons in the world of dance. Today, even after his death, millions of people still want to learn Michael Jackson's dance moves. As a major star of the 80s, Jackson developed some amazing dance moves, such as the moonwalk and the robotic dance, which set the world on fire.

Learn Michael Jackson's Dance Moves

The most essential part of learning Michael Jackson's dance moves is to make sure that you keep the moves strong and sharp. Although many of his dance moves might look quite intricate, they are in fact fairly simple.

When you are learning the moves and steps, don't forget to add Michael Jackson's signature style to the moves. The best way to absorb his style is by watching video clips from all the different phases of his career, including his super hit dance moves in videos such as Thriller, Smooth Criminal and the live performances of Billie Jean. If you can learn his signature style, learning his dance steps and moves will be nothing more than a breeze.

How to Dance like Michael Jackson

Here are some tips to help you learn how to dance like Michael Jackson:

* You don't need to be a professional to learn Michael Jackson's dance moves. Watch Michael Jackson's music videos and pick out a few steps you really like. Then practice them till you are proficient in them. If need be, play the dance videos in slow motion to capture the exact moves and steps.

* Perform Michael Jackson's dance moves in front of someone who is a Michael Jackson enthusiast, so that he can tell you exactly where you are going wrong in your steps.

* Know that, for learning a complete Michael Jackson dance routine you may need some professional help from a dance trainer. This might prove to be a great learning experience, while providing you a lot of useful exercise.

* Check out dance instructors who are proficient in modern dance. Try out modern dance classes, hip hop dance groups and break dancing groups, as they will help increase your body's flexibility and also help you get closer to your goal of learning Michael Jackson's dance moves.

* Look for online dance lessons specializing in Jackson's dance moves and steps. Look out for instructional videos of various moves of Michael Jackson, such as the moonwalk and the slideglide.

If you are a die-hard fan of Michael Jackson's dance steps and moves and are looking for the most amazing tutorials to help you learn how to dance like Michael Jackson, look no further than http://anthony-king.com/. Anthony King is one of the most proficient dance instructors, who has coached and choreographed a number of successful dancers and celebrities and has also appeared on a number of dance shows.


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