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Share A Little Luck Of The Irish With A Sweet Saint Patrick’s Day Party

Posted by on Mar 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Share A Little Luck Of The Irish With A Sweet Saint Patrick’s Day Party

Break up the monotony of winter with a big celebration in mid-March to commemorate Saint Patrick’s Day. You don’t have to be Irish to honor the culture and people that make this holiday something special. Host your own party and use some of the following tips to share the luck of the Irish with friends and family: The mood. A big part of Irish culture is the music, and there are many famous Irish folk songs that will have your guests dancing and singing along. Talk to rental companies about setting up a wooden stage so that your friends will have a dedicated place to dance, that makes a rousing sound with every stomp of their feet! The food. Take a peek at any Irish cookbook and you will find the food and fare of the Irish culture. Try creating unique spins on old favorites, and turn these staples into perfect party finger-foods. For instance, instead of cooking a corned beef and cabbage, serve crostini with shaved corn beef and a little sauerkraut for an easy appetizer. The beer. A must at any Saint Patrick’s Day celebration is beer, especially green beer. Try adding a drop of edible green food coloring to different types of lager and ale to find the one that has the best shade of green for your special event. Then, dub this the signature beer of the party and encourage guests to partake in a green beer toast! The fun. Consider integrating traditions such as party favors into your Saint Patrick’s day bash. For instance, give your guests little trinket boxes or burlap bags filled with gold chocolate coins or personalize the labels of your favorite lager to present to guests as a thank-you gift for attending. Create a green color scheme that you use throughout your venue, from the decorations to the party favors. Join friends and family in honoring Saint Patrick’s Day this year. Always offer guests a non-alcoholic option when hosting a party, such as an Irish punch made with fruit juice and lemon-lime soda. Create ice cubes with flair by freezing clovers inside the tray with your water. If a guest finds an ice cube with a four-leaf clover, give them a small prize! Inform your guests of the party theme and dress beforehand. Encourage guests to dress in their Irish costumes and finery, and offer a prize to the best-dressed at your...

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Guitar Gold: Turning Lessons Into Cash

Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Guitar Gold: Turning Lessons Into Cash

Learning how to play the guitar is a fun, fulfilling experience that can challenge you and teach you new things about yourself. But getting guitar lessons can go a step beyond being something enjoyable to learn. As early as your first few chords are learned, you may be able to start making some money with what you’ve picked up during your lessons. Here are two ways to make money off of your early guitar education that you might want to consider.   Street Performances This sort of thing is great for beginners. If all you know are a few simple songs, you can set up in a park, on the sidewalk at a busy intersection, or even in front of your favorite cafe (with their permission, of course) and regale the passersby. You could strum a couple of chords and make up songs to harmonize. Make donations from the publish easy by using large containers for people to throw money into. This could be a large serving bowl, a (new and clean) colorful garbage bin, or even a wide wicker basket. Using your guitar case is technically an option, but you run the risk of messing up the interior of the case by using it this way. Keep in mind that it will be wide open and outdoors so birds could poop in it, people could throw heavy coinage (like dollar coins) that could scuff the upholstery, and it could rain and get the inside of your case wet.  Kids’ Parties Put an ad online or in the newspaper, or just put flyers up around town to let everyone know that you’re available for kids’ parties. A guitarist could bring a lot of fun and activity to children by playing simple, favorite songs that they may have learned at home or school (“Farmer in the Dell”, “Frère Jacques,” “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “Miss Mary Mack,” etc.). One activity you could facilitate with your guitar involves you choosing a few notes (A, D, and G, for example) and assigning particular actions to them (hands on your head, stand on one foot, sit down, etc.). As you play each note, the children have to follow along with their actions. Play faster and faster until they can’t keep up and dissolve into laughter. This is a great, low-competition activity that teaches them a little about music while getting them up out of their seats and holding their attention.  Of course, as your skills and reputation grow, you’ll be able to graduate to playing at clubs, subbing for band members, assisting in music production, and even playing at weddings. But for now, these two methods can help you hone your skills while you put a little extra money in your pocket! If you’re looking for guitar lessons, visit Pimentel & Sons...

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Rocking Out In The School Parking Lot: A Mommy’s Guide To Car Stereos

Posted by on Aug 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Rocking Out In The School Parking Lot: A Mommy’s Guide To Car Stereos

Vehicles rocking out with the bass turned up so high it gets your chest thumping tend to get a little attention. It’s no secret that teens and those going through a midlife crisis are often on the hunt for the best stereo system for their vehicles: a way to get a little added attention. While the family vehicle may not be rolling on white wall, low profile tires or have the ability to lift and drop to the beat of the music, it still needs a sound system that gets a little bit of extra attention as you pull in for the next PTO meting. Here are several things to consider when it comes to choosing the right car stereo and arranging installation. Skip Old School Technology Remember the days when you would take off the front cover of your stereo and take it along with you to avoid theft? How about the days when you take advantage of a five CD disk changer so that you could constantly keep the music coming? If you haven’t noticed, things have changed! You need something that does more than play songs stuck on a CD. You don’t want to be limited by the simple addition of a USB port. While these things are great, you need something that will allow you to stream music from multiple sources. Take Advantage of the Latest Technology The goal is to listen to kid friendly music on the weekdays and with the touch of a button, change over to the latest hits. (This doesn’t mean just presetting radio stations!) Learn more about how satellite radio works and how you can coordinate with apps on your phone. You want a car stereo that can do it all. This includes the ability to use Bluetooth to get directions to the next soccer game on the other side of town. Let the Pros Handle the Installation There’s no doubt that your husband has the best of intentions as he gets out the tools and looks to tear apart the dash of your car. But if the latest plumbing leak or the way that the pictures hang on the wall is any indication of the quality work he can provide, don’t take the chance. You don’t want a great system with all kinds of capabilities that will only work under very specific conditions. Instead, with your new stereo system in hand, take your car to a professional. And be specific about what you want. Don’t be afraid to admit that you want to be surrounded by a little Tupac the minute the kids are dropped off a school. At the same time, you can even mention that when the Frozen soundtrack is played on the way to school, you want to focus those songs on the back speakers only. And while you’re there, ask about car alarm options. You aren’t going to want anyone getting near your car after you put in the stereo of your dreams! For more information, contact Sun Valley Stereo or a similar...

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Three Costs To Plan For When Your Child Takes Piano Lessons

Posted by on Jul 31, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Costs To Plan For When Your Child Takes Piano Lessons

Taking piano lessons not only teaches children how to read and play music; new research is showing that piano lessons actually raise a child’s IQ. If you’re considering enrolling your child in piano lessons, you have probably considered the cost of the lessons and perhaps the cost of a piano for your home. However, it’s important to also be aware of the following costs that parents with piano-playing children generally incur: Piano Tuning Costs Experts recommend having a piano tuned about one to three times per year. If you live in an area where the humidity levels change frequently, you will have to have your piano tuned more often than someone who lives in an area with constant humidity. Tuning involves adjusting the tension in the strings that are responsible for making the sounds within the piano in order to ensure the correct notes are emitted when they’re struck. The cost of tuning a piano varies by region, but you can expect to pay between $100 and $200 for a tuning session. If you are not sure how to find a tuner in your area, ask your child’s piano instructor if he or she can recommend someone. Piano Recital Fees As your child becomes more advanced, his or her instructor will likely recommend attending recitals. Recitals not only give your child a chance to show off his or her skills, but they also give your child something to work towards and keep him or her motivated to keep working hard in lessons. Some small recitals that take place just within your child’s piano school or among the teacher’s pupils may charge a fee, but larger recitals do typically charge a fee. These fees vary widely from a few dollars to a few hundred dollar, depending on their prestige. Of course, you can pick and choose which recitals your child attends based on your budget. Recital Outfit Costs Typical piano recital attire includes a knee-length skirt or dress with dress shoes for girls, and formal pants with a dress shirt, and sometimes a jacket, for boys. Your child may already have these items in their wardrobe, but if not, they will be an additional expense you’ll need to plan for once your child starts performing in recitals. You can spend as much or as little as you like on recital clothing. Unless your child is playing in highly prestigious recitals, middle-of-the-road clothing from a department store will likely suit his or her needs just fine. Learning to play the piano is a valuable experience for a child. When calculating how much this activity will cost you, just make sure you include the costs of piano tuning, recital fees, and recital clothing. Contact a company like Cannon Pianos with any questions you...

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Musical Instruments That Are Ideal For Beginners

Posted by on Jul 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Musical Instruments That Are Ideal For Beginners

Playing a musical instrument is something that appeals to people of all ages. No matter what your musical background may be, your love for music might be inherent. If you are looking to find a musical instrument that you can purchase at a local music store and master, you might have more options available than you realize. Some instruments may look intimidating, but they are designed for beginners. Violin This is an instrument that requires skill, but it is easy to pick up on the intricate details involved in playing this instrument. Even children as a young as three years old can begin playing the violin. This means that it is suited for all age groups. Violins even come in varying sizes depending on the person that is looking to play. This is an instrument that is an integral part of any orchestra. Learning to master the violin could propel a musical career. Clarinet This musical instrument is similar to the flute and a part of the woodwind family. This is a great instrument for beginners, because once you master the clarinet it is easy to move on to other instruments including the saxophone.  Guitar There is probably not another more iconic musical instrument than the guitar. This might be one of the most popular musical instruments in existence, but it is also fairly easy to learn to play. Learning a few chords will not take long and you can build your skill level over time. Starting out with a guitar that is not electric is key. Electric guitars require a higher skill set to play. Beginners should always stick with the old fashioned go-to instrument of most musicians. Harp This might seem like a more angelic instrument, but it has a place in mainstream music. The harp might look intimidating at first glance, but it is a musical instrument that many can master. Children as young as eight years old can get introduced to music by playing the harp. There are even smaller versions of harps designed for young children that do not have large hands. Musical instruments are a great way to introduce children to music or for grown adults to finally follow their passion. Not all musical instruments are reserved for those with extensive knowledge. You can pick up any instrument at most music stores and begin playing right away. For more information, contact a music store like Caldwell...

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A Guide To Buying Used Musical Instruments

Posted by on Jul 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Guide To Buying Used Musical Instruments

When you’re first getting started with learning a musical instrument, you may not want to invest in a brand new, professional instrument. Thankfully, it’s often easy to buy a used student instrument without spending an arm and a leg. Here are some tips on how to buy a used musical instrument.  Choose a Good Source There are a few sources where you can find used musical instruments without paying the high prices of a dedicated music store. For instance, you may check your local paper and regional ads to locate deals nearby. Online bidding sites will often be a good source for buying musical instruments if you’re patient about tracking your bids.  If you want a compromise between cost and quality, professional pawn shops, like Oppleman L Music, are a great option for finding musical instruments. Pawn shops can offer you a good deal on instruments, since they acquire them at a low price. A pawn shop may also be more trustworthy than an anonymous seller, since their reputation depends on the quality of their products.  Bring Along an Expert Eye  If you are buying an instrument that you can inspect before you make the purchase, it’s a good idea to bring along someone who has expertise in the instrument. A local music teacher would be able to inspect the instrument and advise you on whether it’s good quality or not.  Get a Demo Hearing what the instrument actually sounds like can also help you make the right decision. Having a music teacher or a salesperson play the instrument can give you an idea of the sound quality. Even if you don’t have this option, you should still blow into the instrument or test each key to make sure it works.  Factor Repairs Into Your Bid Sometimes, when you’re blindly buying a used instrument, you can expect that certain repairs will be needed. Old woodwind instruments may have worn out pads that need to be replaced. A used piano may need to be retuned. When you’re deciding what price to offer for an instrument, consider the added cost of getting these repairs done first.  Buying a used musical instrument from a third party other than a music shop can be a great way to save money, as long as you’re willing to spend the time to thoroughly investigate each instrument. These tips should help you successfully navigate the used instrument...

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Be Smart When You Prepare For Your Next Music Festival

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Be Smart When You Prepare For Your Next Music Festival

The parents of the current generation probably know a thing or two about enjoying an outdoor music festival, and they’ve also probably learned some hard lessons in the process. So learn from their mistakes! If you’re planning a trip to any major music event, especially one that’s planned for several days at an outdoor venue like EDM music festivals, there are some things you simply can’t afford to forget. Planning ahead will not only ensure that you get home safe, but with fewer worries on your mind you’ll have a much better experience. Pack for All Possibilities You might be limited on space, time, or both, so it’s a good idea to make the most of these limited commodities while you can. Start by considering where the festival will be at and the schedule of performers. Chances are at least a few will hit the stage after the sun has set, so it’s a good idea to prepare for both warm and cool temperatures. Dress in light layers, and pack at least two changes of clothes, but don’t skimp on the socks. Outdoor events are prime targets for rain, water fights, and other things that can end with you squishing your way back to your vehicle. Change your socks at least once a day, and more often if you’re sweating heavily or getting soaked regularly, to avoid ending up with a fungus that is more commonly known as trench foot. If you plan on being in the thick of the crowd, avoid anything with open toes. Play Hard, but Play Smart Most open air music festivals are rife with vendors selling everything from merchandise to food and drinks, but all of these will run out. Bring your own bottled water to make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day. The last thing you want is to end up as a heat casualty because you weren’t getting enough fluids in your body. If you can’t bring in your own food or drinks, make sure you’re cautious about what you do eat and drink. Make sure that drinks are sealed before you open them, and that food is either thoroughly cooked or individually packaged. This not only ensures that you’re not going to get sick, but that your food and drinks haven’t been tampered with. There’s nothing quite like spending a weekend at an open air music festival. With the right preparations you’ll be sure to go home with good memories rather than lingering, painful...

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3 Suggestions For Caring For Your Piano

Posted by on Jul 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Suggestions For Caring For Your Piano

Having a Bosendorfer piano in your home can bring joy and music to everyone in the house. Many people love to have a piano in their house, even if it is not played often. However, regardless of the amount of time it has been played, a piano needs careful care and maintenance. Here are some things that you should know about caring for a piano. Pay Attention To The Wood When you purchase a new piano it will have a special finish on it that protects the wood. Over time this finish will begin to wear and leave the wood susceptible to damage. This is why it is important that you properly care for it. First of all, you should never put drinks or food on the wood. This can stain it. Second, you should be careful to polish it. The piano shouldn’t be polished often, but when it does, it should be professionally done. If you try to use a household cleanser or oil on the piano it could damage it. Attend To The Piano’s Action Many people do not know what the piano’s action is, but it is vital to the instrument. Inside the piano you will see lots of strings, much like a harp. However, instead of strumming the strings, the piano has a little hammer to hits each string when a key is played. On the end of each of these hammers is a felt contraption. This is called the action. As the piano is played, the action will become worn. It actually can get so worn that the action becomes distorted. This is why it is important that you get regular maintenance on the piano. A professional can replace the action if needed so that it doesn’t become too worn and harm the strings. Keep The Piano in A Constant Climate Pianos are very susceptible to changes in temperature and humidity. This is why it is important that you place the piano somewhere in the house that can maintain a constant temperature. Extremely dry climates will cause the piano to go flat. A humid climate will cause the piano to go sharp. This is why the best situation would be to have some sort of thermostat in the room with the piano, and a humidifier or dehumidifier if needed. This will protect the piano so that it will sound great, and avoid damage. By understanding these simple things you can be sure to care for your precious...

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6 Benefits Of Piano Lessons For Children

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 6 Benefits Of Piano Lessons For Children

If you are a parent, you may be considering piano lessons for your child. There is usually a cost associated with the lessons, but good musical training is priceless. Here are a few benefits of piano lessons for children: Strong Musical Foundation If your child learns piano, he or she can easily learn additional instruments. Basic knowledge of sheet music and rhythm are foundational to musical training and are both taught during piano lessons. Your young student may start out with the piano and go on to learn the guitar, flute, or saxophone. Stress Relief Even though your child is young, he or she still encounters stress. Expectations at school coupled with peer pressure can all add to a child’s anxiety level. Music is soothing and is known to have beneficial effects on blood pressure. In fact, one study suggests that soft music played in a clinical setting helps to ease patient anxiety. When your child listens to soft piano music as he or she practices, he or she may experience a similar reduction in blood pressure and stress. Helps Child Overcome Stage Fright Piano recitals help your child practice performing in public. If your child has suffered from stage fright in the past, the recitals can help him or her become confident enough to stand before crowds without being overcome by fear.  Improves Coordination As children grow, their coordination improves. However, good coordination sometimes takes practice. Piano playing requires a child to use both hands while looking at sheet music. Hands and fingers must move in tandem to play the music that the eyes are seeing. The resulting improvement in coordination can also help your child with other activities, such as sports. Increases Confidence Learning to do something well can make a child feel confident and special. As your child becomes a better pianist, he or she will be rewarded by compliments. The praise of others can help boost your youngster’s confidence. Support of Musical Talent If your child has already displayed signs of musical talent, allowing him or her to take piano lessons can provide the tools your child needs to progress musically. Alicia Keys began piano lessons when she was seven, and her debut album won five Grammy awards. Piano lessons can provide your child with confidence and skills that can be used in other areas of life. It’s best to start your child early so that he or she will have a strong musical foundation; so don’t procrastinate. Contact a piano teacher in your area to enroll your child in piano lessons...

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