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Hobbies

Do you love doing things with your hands? This is a place to explore all kinds of hobbies - from arts and crafts to book writing and music lessons!

5 hours ago

Piano Lesson 34: Mise en Place

Welcome to Lesson 34! Today I discuss the French chef’s term Mise en Place, and how, like a chef’s kitchen, musicians order their practice space to make it organized, efficient, and appealing. As you will see in my video, I am thrilled to be back in my original teaching space…

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2 weeks ago

12 Best Websites to Get Free Audiobooks

According to a study by the National Institute of Health (NIH), listening to audiobooks showed significant improvements in the mental health of older adults. The study showed benefits on mental health dimensions of aggression, depression…

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2 weeks ago

Piano Lesson 33: Distractions!

One of the biggest obstacles to effective practice is distractions. Sometimes it seems like the minute we sit down to play, our family members suddenly need our attention, desperately. Or we realize that we forgot to send an important…

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4 weeks ago

9 Books off My List – Some Quick Reads and Some Challenges

What a variety of books occupied me this winter in Chicago. Fortunately, I found lots of fun, quick reads. They make the darker, deeper stories possible to complete. In early March, I visited the Tucson Festival of Books. It’s informative to hear the popular…

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4 weeks ago

Piano Lesson 32: The Cool Chord Possibilities of Playing from Fake Books!

Welcome to Lesson 32! Today we are going to work on improving our note reading skills and will learn to use chord symbols in order to play from Fake Books! Let’s do it! In your Chord Calisthenics you have been seeing chord symbols above the staff…

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1 month ago

Piano Lesson 31: The Magic of the Musical Mind and a Music Mystery!

We’re going to look at some astonishing scientific evidence showing that complex activities such as taking music lessons “resulted in a 50% reduced risk of developing dementia” and that taking piano lessons, specifically, reduces our risk…

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2 months ago

Mastering Single Notes and Chords on Guitar

As a guitar player, you need to be proficient in playing both single notes and chords. Most people struggle with aspects of these skills at some time, but with the right approach, you can navigate them both with ease. Start by looking at what mastering…

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2 months ago

Piano Lesson 30: Raise a Pint for St. Patrick’s Day Songs!

Welcome to Lesson 30! Today we continue learning Irish Songs for St. Paddy’s Day or any time of the year. The Irish have a tradition of beautiful melodic music that speaks to both the pain and pleasures, the misery and the magic in life…

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2 months ago

Escape into These 6 Novels

A couple of weeks ago, I had some minor surgery. All is well, but I could not bend, stoop, lift, twist, or ride in a car while recuperating. The silver lining? These constraints gave me the perfect excuse to pull on my sweats, curl up on the couch, and read…

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2 months ago

Reading Options When Sight Is an Issue

Thanks to an issue with my right eye, I struggle to read an actual book. As problems go, it’s a tiny one. It’s also solvable. I read newspapers and magazines on a tablet. For books, I rely on my trusty Kindle. With both devices, I can adjust the font size…

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