lake

Self-Improvement Month: 30 Days to a Better You

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September is Self-Improvement Month, but why put off working on yourself until next September 1st? You can start your own month of radical self-improvement whenever you want! Here are 10 things you can do to make a positive, lasting change in your life. Try working toward at least one of these things every day for the next 30 days, and get ready to see some incredible changes in your life.

1. Write down your goals.

What are the big things you want to accomplish in your life? If you had the life of your dreams, what would it look like? Write down your top three big goals in your life and keep them somewhere where you can reference them often for motivation. Think about how your daily activities contribute to your ability to reach your goals.

Don’t know what your goals are? All the more reason to think about them and write them down. After all, how can you ever get what you want if you don’t know what it is?

2. Get active.

Getting more exercise is good for your body, plus exercise releases endorphins that make you happier. Whether you opt to learn to dance, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or run for 20 minutes each day, adding more activity into your routine will put you into a positive mindset.

3. Read every day.

Instead of watching TV or looking at gossip on the Internet, take some time every day to read something worthwhile. Subscribe to a blog related to your profession, pick up a classic novel, or dig into a book about self-improvement. Reading can totally shift your perspective and open up doors to new ways of seeing the world.

4. Learn a new language.

Learning a new language has many benefits beyond just helping you to communicate. From looking great on your resume to improving brain function, learning a new language is a great way to improve yourself. There are tons of resources out there that make learning a new language accessible, from software and DVDs to language lessons with a private tutor.

5. Take up a new hobby.

Is there something you’ve always wanted to try? Whether you wish you knew how to play the piano, want to learn coding, or want to learn how to bake a perfect cupcake, digging into a new hobby can help awaken your passion for life. Additionally, you’ll build up your confidence as you learn new things and discover abilities you never knew you had.

6. Sharpen your skills.

What are a few of the things that you do really well? When did you last put time and energy into building more on those skills? You can always keep getting better at something you already have a knack for, and improving on your skills can give you an edge at work or school.

7. Make a to-do list.

Start each day by making a list of the three most important things you must get done today. Don’t worry so much about trying to do everything. As long as you get through the really important things, you’ll feel accomplished and less stressed.

8. Take time to unplug.

Has it been a while since you took a break? We all need time to relax and rest thanks to our super busy always-on culture. Take trip to a new place or plan a mellow staycation. If you can’t afford a getaway, or if you just want to incorporate more relaxation into your routine, try practicing yoga or meditation. Give yourself some time to unplug and you’ll come back to your work and relationships feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

9. Do some soul searching.

Are you holding onto negative emotions? Learning to forgive others and yourself for painful things in the past will make you feel freer and lighter. You might consider talking with a counselor or a life coach to help you break free of anxiety, depression, resentment, and other unhealthy thought patterns.

10. Spend more quality time with your loved ones.

Find ways to get closer to the most important people in your life. Whether you learn to dance with your significant other, help a parent around the house, or read to your kids more often, strengthening your bonds with your loved ones will make you feel happier and more loved in return.

How do you want to improve your life? Share one thing big or small you’d like to change in the comments below!

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You Will Love This Mesmerizing Marching Band

What’s up with the terms “band geek,” “band nerd,” and “bando”? From what we can see in this video, marching band is pretty cool. Watch as the Ohio State Marching Band plays a medley of popular TV theme songs and transforms from a surfer for Hawaii Five-0 to a smoking dragon for Game of Thrones.

Do you have any fond memories of Marching Band? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

 

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11 Super Relatable Whisper Posts About Music

11 Super Relatable Whisper Posts About Music

Have you ever wondered if someone out there loves music as much as you? Check out these posts from anonymous secret-sharing app Whisper. Do any of these secrets sound like the story of your life?

1.

Music is all I care about anymore.

2.

Sometimes I forget that I'm The only one who can hear the music in my headphones

3.  

When I am eating and listening to music at the same time, I unconsciously start chewing to the rhythm of the song.

4.  

I was listening to music in my car and all these songs and bands that i love came on and i wondered what station it was. then i realized it was my iPod. No wonder it was good music.

5.  

Somtimes when you play me music, I wonder if you mean the lyrics, or just like the song.

6.  

When I'm home alone I pretend I'm making my own music video

  7.

I dance because, there's no greater feeling in the world then moving to a piece of music and letting the rest of the world disappear x

8.

I love music more than I love chocolate... and that's a lot of love lol

9.

I listen to music to keep from thinking too much.

10.

 

Music is the reason I still live..

 

11.

Music helps me feel better no matter what

What do you think? Do any of these “secrets” sound like you? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

 

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What Does Your Favorite Music Say About You

What Does Your Favorite Music Say About You?

If you have ever accused someone of not understanding you because they don’t like your favorite music, or judged someone harshly for liking your least favorite, you might actually be on to something.

According to research done by Prof. Adrian North at Heriot-Watt University, there is some correlation between personality and preferred musical genre. Over 36,000 people in more than 60 countries participated in surveys about personality and musical preference, and the results show interesting trends in personality types among fans of each genre.

This infographic designed by Tom Arne Heldal Bakkemoen breaks down the results:

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We’ve talked about the link between music and personality before, and now we want to hear from you. Do you think the music you listen to says a lot about who you are? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

 

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Long-Live the Keytar: 4 Reasons Why This Portable Piano Should Come Back in Style

Keytar Fun The piano is an instrument that will never go out of style. The various forms of electronic keyboards, however, have seen waves of popularity, as technology advances and exciting new features are added to new models. While some keyboardists are content to stay horizontal, a handful of musical trailblazers have been known to work their magic on that most interesting hybrid of instruments – the keytar. Whether you’re new to learning keyboard, or a seasoned expert, the keytar can be a fun instrument to explore.

Check out these four reasons why the keytar deserves its niche in the world of popular band instruments.

       1. They’re more portable for travel than stand-up keyboards.

Some keyboardists are inseparable from their massive setups, with big stands, multiple keyboards, extra controls, and more. However, many touring artists prefer to have less baggage to check while traveling, and the keytar can be the ideal solution for this. Power/speed metal band Cellador is based out of Denver, for example, but their keyboardist and keytarist Diego Valadez flies routinely from Los Angeles to perform with them; sometimes on longer tours, you’ll catch him showing off bigger toys, but mostly the keytar is his lightweight go-to. This is also a useful property when you’re first learning keyboard; a keytar is relatively easy to take to a friend’s house to jam!

       2. They allow you to be fully mobile on stage.

One of the most fun things about live performance is being able to jam out to the songs just like a fan! Many a keyboardist has had to restrain themselves to that knee-and-ankle rock back and forth, but with a keytar, this limitation is gone. Whole-body headbanging, strutting around, and all kinds of other options are opened up with a keytar’s mobility, especially when you make your setup even more efficient and versatile with additions like effect pedals. For those who like to sing and play at the same time, Alestorm’s Christopher Bowes is proof that a keytarist can be a great lead singer as well.

       3. They’re way more fun for fans to watch than traditional setups.

On a regular keyboard, the musician’s hands are typically a little hard for the audience to see. Most setups involve standing up, and the board being horizontal is an issue for fans up front. With a keytar, not only can the fans see your body language as you rock out, but they can get up close and personal with the sheer speed of your keyboard playing. Fans go wild when beloved keyboardists like Dream Theater’s Jordan Rudess break out the keytar and show off their skills. Take a look at this video to see what we mean (Rudess starts in at 0:20):


      4. They’re anything but an overdone gimmick.

Keytars sit in a convenient gray area, between the sheer power and audience command of an electric guitar, and the eccentricity of the accordion. Indeed, keytars and accordions appear commonly in good company, with “Weird” Al Yankovic being a champion of both. Keytars are a great way to make a standout statement, without quite going over the edge of oddness. Anyone learning keyboard who decides to pick up the keytar will find themselves in a small but solid crowd of company; other well-known artists who have featured this versatile instrument include Lady Gaga and Prince, as well as the bands Asia, Steely Dan, and MUSE.

For both seasoned pianists and those new to learning keyboard, the keytar opens up a range of new and exciting possibilities. No matter where you are in your life’s musical progression, it’s always possible to benefit from some quality private lessons, so don’t be afraid to seek out a good teacher. There will always be new and interesting hybrid instruments invented, so stay versatile and have some fun exploring!

 

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Photo by m01229

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Video: Baby Has The Cutest Reaction Ever To Her Favorite Song

Whether you’re a Katy Perry fan or not, it’s hard to resist this baby’s adorable reaction to her song “Dark Horse”.

What song puts you in a great mood when you’re feeling down? Share it with us in the comments below!

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8 Year Old’s Piano Recital Goes Viral

Can you imagine your town coming together for an 8-year-old’s piano recital? The residents of one Minnesota town did just that, gathering by the hundreds in the rain to see young Dylan Spoering play a free show.

A local musician saw the sign Dylan had put up in his front yard to advertise the show, and thought it would be fun to get the community together to make this talented kid feel like a rockstar for a day. He created an event page on Facebook, and now the piano recital is getting national attention. Check it out!

Have you seen anything like this in your town? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

 

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brett-domino

How to Make a Hit Pop Song – Parody Video

Ever wanted to write a hit pop song? According to YouTuber Brett Domino, there’s not much to it! Grab your bassoon, find your inspiration on Google, and get ready to coast to fame at the top of the charts.

Ready for some more advanced techniques? In Part 2, Brett gets into writing a catchy chorus and drowning the whole thing in vocal effects.

Did this give you a laugh? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Drum Kit

9 Dumb Drummer Jokes, Plus 3 Snappy Drummer Come-Backs

What is it about the drummer in a band that makes them such an easy target for musical humor? Even though the drummer holds the band together and recent studies have shown drumming increases certain kinds of intelligence, drummers often find themselves on the punchline side of a dumb joke. If you’re a drummer with a good sense of humor, or if you’re brave enough to try a few of these out on the drummer in your life, here are 9 dumb drummer jokes that might give you a chuckle.

1. What’s the difference between a drummer and a large pizza?

A large pizza can feed a family of four.

2. How do you tell if the stage is level?

The drummer is drooling out of both sides of his mouth.

3. What do you call someone who hangs around with musicians?

A drummer.

4. What do you call a drummer who just broke up with his girlfriend?

Homeless.

5. What’s the last thing a drummer says in a band?

“Hey, how about we try one of my songs?”

6. What do you say to a drummer in a three piece suit?

“Will the defendant please rise?”

7. What’s the difference between a drummer and a savings bond?

One will mature and make money.

8. How can you tell a drummer’s at the door?

The knocking keeps speeding up.

9. How is a drum solo like a sneeze?

Because you know it’s coming but you can’t do anything about it.

Drummers, you don’t have to take these jokes laying down! Here are 3 good ones to come back with!

1. What’s the difference between a drummer and a toilet seat?

A toilet seat only has to put up with one bum at a time!

2. Why are drummer jokes so simple?

So the rest of the band can understand them.

3. What’s the difference between an electric guitar and an onion?

No one cries when you cut up an electric guitar.

You can also replace “drummer” with “guitarist”, “bass player”, or whoever is hassling you in any of the dumb drummer jokes above and you’ve got yourself a good comeback.

Got any jokes you want to share? Or any drummer jokes you absolutely hate? We want to hear from you in the comments!

 

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5 Inspiring Books to Read for a More Creative Summer

Summer is the perfect time to get lost in a good book. Why not choose a book that will help  you see the world in a new way and revitalize your creative spirit? Whether you’re packing a book in your beach bag or toting an e-reader in your carry-on, these 5 good summer books are guaranteed to pack inspiration and creativity into the dog days of summer!

1. On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes

on looking

Sometimes the best way to awaken your creative side is by looking at familiar things in a different way. In this good summer book, author Alexandra Horowitz takes the same walk around a city block eleven times, each time bringing with her another person who adds their perspective to illuminate what Horowitz herself is missing when she takes the walk alone. With companions ranging from a geologist or a sociologist to a dog or a child, Horowitz experiences an incredible range of perspectives. Take a walk with this book and find a fresh way to look at the world around you.

2. Letters to a Young Poet

letters to a young poet

In 1902, a young Austrian torn between joining the army or becoming a poet wrote a letter to his favorite poet and hero, Rainer Maria Rilke, seeking guidance and feedback on his poetry.  In an incredible turn of events, Rilke actually wrote back, and this collection of ten letters from the poet form a slim yet incredibly moving volume filled with ideas about life, art, and the relationship between the two. Rilke encourages you to find your own inner voice and to follow your intuition in the creative process.

3. The Writing Life

the writing life

Annie Dillard’s lovely guide to The Writing Life deals frankly with the uncertainty and pain involved in doing creative work. Dillard dives into the nitty-gritty of writing, exposing the commitment and bravery that true creativity requires. The Writing Life is a fine companion for any reader who is struggling with doubts about their work or abilities. This book will inspire you to keep working on your art, even through difficult times.

4. Effortless Mastery

effortless mastery

Have you ever felt like you were reaching a plateau in your work? In this good summer book, author Kenny Werner shares his experience with a creative plateau as a jazz pianist. Werner provides examples of ways to change your thinking and get back to the roots of what you love about what you do. In creative work, passion is key, so use this book to help get back into the joy of playing music, writing, dancing, or however else you express yourself.

5. The Book of Disquiet

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For anyone who has difficulty balancing their creative passions with the demands of work and life, Fernando Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet can be quite reassuring, as a reminder that you do not struggle alone. Composed of short fragments written from the point of view of a struggling writer working as a clerk in Lisbon, you can easily dip into this book when you have a spare moment to reflect. Pessoa writes about everything from dream imagery and the creative process to human nature and poetry. It’s also very beautifully written, and the language might just inspire you to create something of your own to break through the every day.

Is there a special book that inspires you? Share your summer reading suggestions in the comments below!

 

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Photos by Alex Proimos, R. Nial Bradshaw, Jeffery James Pacres, Bryan Ong, and BenPrks.