MO - Accomplish Anything The Ultimate List of Empowering Songs

Accomplish Anything: The Ultimate List of Empowering Songs [Infographic]

MO - Accomplish Anything The Ultimate List of Empowering SongsThere’s nothing you can’t accomplish with a pair of headphones and the right soundtrack. From doing chores around the house to preparing for an interview, we’ve got 50 empowering songs that’ll take your productivity to the next level…


Did you know that pop music is scientifically-proven to be the best music for working quickly and accurately? It’s true! Try throwing on some Taylor Swift the next time you need to work — it’ll help!

Moreover, did you know that music can actually improve your memory? The reason is that music can reduce stress, allowing our brain to absorb information better. In fact, classical music has been proven to work best for improving memory.

With these facts in mind, we wanted to create the ultimate science-backed playlist for every occasion. Check the infographic below and empower yourself today!

(Below the infographic are Spotify playlists for your convenience!)



Power Through a Task.

Perfect for doing tasks that don’t require much thinking (e.g. chores around the house).

  • Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger by Daft Punk
  • Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
  • Die Walküre (Ride of the Valkyries) by Richard Wegner
  • Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen
  • I’m Shipping Up to Boston by Dropkick Murphys

Spotify Playlist

Boost Your Creativity

Great for when you need inspiration to get your creative juices flowing (e.g. working on art).

  • Dirty Harry by The Gorillaz
  • A Little Soul by Pete Rock
  • Sleepyhead by Passion Pit
  • Singing Under the Rainbow by World’s End Girlfriend
  • Knights of Cydonia by Muse

Spotify Playlist

Improve Your Memory

Excellent for enhancing your focus and comprehension (e.g. studying, reading).

  • Four Seasons by Vivaldi
  • Eine kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart
  • Symphony No. 67 in F Major by Joseph Haydn
  • Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven
  • Water Music by George Frideric Handel

Spotify Playlist

Make You Laugh

Sometimes you just need a good laugh!

  • Boy Named Sue by Johnny Cash
  • Amish Paradise by Weird Al
  • United States of Whatever by Liam Lynch
  • Parents Just Don’t Understand by Will Smith
  • Pool Party by The Aquabats

Spotify Playlist

Heighten Your Romance

Wonderful for getting you in the romantic mood (e.g. preparing for a date).

  • I Want to Hold Your Hand by The Beatles
  • My Boo by Usher feat. Alicia Keys
  • Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars
  • Unforgettable by Nat King Cole
  • More Than Words by Extreme

Spotify Playlist

Lift Your Spirits

Feeling down? Listen to these songs when you need cheering up!

  • Happy by Pharrell Williams
  • Strawberry Bubblegum by Justin Timberlake
  • Lovely Day by Bill Withers
  • In the Stone by Earth, Wind & Fire
  • For Once in My Life by Stevie Wonder

Spotify Playlist

Dance Your Heart Out

Great for when you need to let loose and bust-a-move on the dance floor.

  • The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson
  • Mambo No. 5 by Lou Bega
  • Lose Control by Missy Elliott
  • Grown Woman by Beyonce
  • Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars

Spotify Playlist

Calm Your Mind

Feeling stressed or nervous? Take a load off your mind with these relaxing songs.

  • Sunrise by Norah Jones
  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel “Iz” Kamakawiwo’ole
  • Just My Imagination by The Temptations
  • Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson
  • Aqueous Transmission by Incubus

Spotify Playlist

Build Your Confidence

Feeling weak or unmotivated? Power-up with these explosive tracks.

  • Survivor by Beyonce
  • We Are The Champions by Queen
  • You’re the Best Around by Joe Esposito
  • Express Yourself by Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band
  • Uprising by Muse

Spotify Playlist

Exercise Your Body

Need to feel in-the-zone? These songs will get you through the toughest workouts.

  • Beat It by Michael Jackson
  • Show Me How to Live by Audioslave
  • Renegades of Funk by Rage Against the Machine
  • Satisfaction by Benny Benassi
  • Around the World by Daft Punk

Spotify Playlist

*Sources included on infographic


Know any songs that belong on our list? Comment below!

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MO - 5 Horrible Solo Albums From Famous Musicians

5 Horrible Solo Albums From Famous Musicians

MO - 5 Horrible Solo Albums from Famous MusiciansGoing solo isn’t easy. Once you leave a famous band, it’s hard to achieve the same level of success on your own. In this article, Jessica Kane from SoundStageDirect discusses five solo albums from famous musicians that just didn’t cut it…


There are unknown reasons as to why some famous musicians feel the need to try to wing it on their own. Some have found great success upon breaking away from their band, while others have only put more nails in their creative coffins.

Ready to hear what many consider some of the worst albums by solo artists? Here are five horrible solo albums from famous musicians:

1) Gone Troppo by George Harrison

The Beatles are perhaps the most famous rock band of all time. Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr have all had successful and well-received solo albums in their post-Beatles lives. However, Gone Troppo by Harrison is one of the weakest releases of the bunch.

To say that George Harrison is full of talent is a massive understatement, but his charm, skill, and focus fell short with this album. It’s generally regarded as underwhelming and does not capture the magic that Harrison has brought to other albums. Listen to the title track and hear a part of George you haven’t heard before:

2) Two Sides of the Moon by Keith Moon

Keith Moon is known as one of the most iconic and powerful drummers in rock history. His thunderous hammering can be heard across all of The Who’s powerhouse albums of the 1960s and 1970s. Two Sides of the Moon delivers you on a half hour journey to a much too dark side of Moon that is best left unexplored.

The tracks on this album are as lifeless as the actual moon. Keith Moon, while a savage drummer, is a pitiful solo artist. He lacks the talent of most famous singers, and despite an impressive lineup that includes Joe Walsh, Ringo Starr, and a rumored David Bowie, Two Sides of the Moon plays more like a strung-out mishap.

This is what happens when you let someone as wild as Keith Moon alone to his own devices inside of a recording studio, with the intention to do a vocal cover album.

3) This Time by Melanie C

The Spice Girls treated the world to energetic, fun, and sexy pop music that bred a cult of millions of Spice wannabes and fashion-deficit followers.

Sporty Spice, or Melanie C, tried to capture some of that same success in a post-Spice Girl world but fell flat on her face. While not one of the worst albums of the last 100 years, This Time is just unoriginal and dull. This was Melanie’s fourth solo effort and one of her weakest. In contrast, Northern Star was a solid pop experience that had good energy and lasting themes.

Let your bleeding ears check it out here:

4) Who I Am by Nick Jonas

This album deserves to be ranked among the worst albums of all time on every list of bad albums, ever. The Jonas Brothers are known for their cute pop rock that caters to pre-pubescent teen girls. Nick Jonas tried to set himself apart with this edgy attempt at a solo album.

The blues is universal, as everyone feels suffering and angst, but Jonas needs to keep out of the blues world. This track is all the reason to stop listening to Nick Jonas:

5) Oh Yes I Can by David Crosby

David Crosby is perhaps best known for his influential work with the supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, but as a solo artist, he’s been hit and miss. Oh Yes I Can is a definite miss.

Released in 1989, this album does not bring the listener the same deep emotional satisfaction that was found in previous releases. Crosby is an excellent songwriter and performer, but he should have kept this one to himself. The impact he found in other hits is missing from this release.


You’ve just experienced five horrible solo albums back to back. Hopefully your ears are recovering now! If you want to avoid making horrible solo albums yourself, schedule a lesson with a private music instructor and get better at your craft today!


Know any other horrible albums from famous musicians? Comment below!

Post Author: Jessica Kane
Jessica Kane is a music connoisseur and an avid record collector. She currently writes for SoundStage Direct, her go-to place for all turntables and vinyl equipment, including VPI Turntables.


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MO - Motivate Your Child to Practice With a Reward System

Motivate Your Child To Practice With a Reward System

Getting your child to practice anything can be tough. It’s easy for them to get distracted, bored, or otherwise uninterested when faced with a task. In this article, piano and singing teacher Mariana L. shares her reward system for kids that works brilliantly on her music students…


Children can get bored and easily distracted while trying to focus on a task.

Many of them look like this:

As a piano and voice teacher, the number one question I receive from parents is:

“How do I get my child to practice more?”

This question usually arises after they find themselves constantly nagging their children to practice. In turn, this causes the music students to become frustrated; they may even lose the interest and love they felt for their instrument when they began taking lessons.

What’s my suggestion for handling this situation? A reward system. Its purpose is to encourage students to practice and regain the joy they felt for music when they first wanted lessons.

In my experience, parents are always excited about introducing a reward system for music lessons because it’s something familiar; most of them already use a reward system at home for their children’s schoolwork, chores, behavior, etc.

What is a Reward System?

The concept of a reward system stems from the operant conditioning studies of psychologist B.F. Skinner. Skinner studied positive and negative reinforcement as a way of changing or achieving a behavior from an individual.

In his laboratory, Skinner placed some rats in a box that had a lever, which, upon pulling it, released pellets of food. At first, the rats would accidentally push the lever and receive their reward. After several times of getting food by accident, they figured out how to receive the reward (food) whenever they wanted it.

For children, practicing their instrument is the lever and the food is whatever your child gets excited about. Their reward could be toys, books, games, or even an extra outing to the park – it’s up to you.

Setting Up a Reward System

I strongly recommend you work with your child’s instructor to figure out what both of you would like to achieve from the reward system. For example, you might simply want your child to practice more than fifteen minutes a day, but your child’s instructor might also want them to mark their sheet music before coming to the lesson.

Work out your goals first, then compare them to the goals of the instructor, and then construct the reward system from there.

To prepare your little music student for success, make sure they have the following items:

  • An assignment chart
  • Tons of stickers
  • Fake money [optional]

With my students, I use three sheets to manage the system.

1) The Point Tracker

On this sheet, each colored star has its own point value. All you need to do is assign X amount of points to X amount of dollars and you’re good to go! I find it easiest to calculate points per one dollar value.

2) The Point Earning Guide

On this sheet, you’ll assign a point value to behaviors and/or tasks. You can be as broad or as specific as you want. For instance, you could reward ten points per one minute of practicing, or fifteen points for finishing a unit. In this example, the guide is quite specific because there were certain behaviors my student’s mother and I wanted to correct.

3) The Reward Menu

This part of the process, in my opinion, is the most fun to create! Parents, teachers, and students can work together to decide what type of prizes the student will receive. My rewards include students getting to play with a box of my percussion instruments, playing a musical game on my iPad, or playing on my keyboard with voices other than the piano (violin, trumpet, xylophone, etc.).

Remember to assign a somewhat high “cash” value to the rewards to ensure the goal is not achieved too early. As a bonus, this is also a wonderful way to teach children about saving money!

My Shareable Files

I use a free graphic design service called Canva to create sheets for my students. Below are the sheets that I use. Feel free to change them based on your student’s needs and desires.

How to Keep the System Working

After working with a reward system for a few months, parents often wonder if the system is sustainable. In other words, they’ll ask:

“Will I always have to reward my child in order to get them to practice?”

To tell you with complete honestly, there’s no general answer to that question. Some students develop an almost Pavlovian response to practice, where they no longer need a reward to pick up their instrument every day; playing music IS the reward.

The natural consequence of more practice is, of course, developing an advanced skill to play an instrument. And with enough practice, being able to play more complex and interesting pieces of music.

If a student is not ready to practice without getting rewarded, it’s always a good idea to find ways to keep the system fun and fresh; every couple of months, sit down to change the rewards and ways to earn points. It’s best to consult with the student’s teacher first, since certain behaviors and skills might have already been achieved.


If you can take anything from this post, it’s this: remember the joy that music brings to your child’s life. Find a way to keep that passionate flame burning. The last thing they want is to restart piano lessons as an adult, regretting the fact that they quit as a child.

For more information about reward systems and encouraging your child to practice, try scheduling a lesson with a private music instructor. A little one-on-one instruction goes a long way!

Know any tricks to get young students to focus on practice? Comment below!

Post Author: Mariana L.
Mariana L. teaches singing, piano, and Spanish in Maple Grove, MN. She’s holds a Masters of Music degree from The Catholic University of America. Her approach to teaching is speaking in terms that are easy for her students to understand and remember. Learn more about Mariana here!

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75 Songs Sure to Make You Happy

SL - 75 Songs Sure to Make You HappyIt’s time to boost your mood and make you happy! In this article, singing teacher Liz T. put together a list of some of the happiest songs you’ll ever hear…


What’s better than being happy? That’s a hard question to answer. In fact, there may not even be an answer at all. Happiness is the reason the world goes ’round, after all.

Songs that make you happy aren’t just for boosting your mood – they’re an effective short-term solution for increasing productivity. In other words, you can increase your productivity by 12% if you’re happy. If that sounds too good to be true, listen to a few below as you work or study.

We’ve included a handy Spotify playlist at the bottom of this article so you can listen to all 75 songs on the list. Click below to scroll right to it.

The following songs range from the 1960s up until now, which means we’ve got a music for every generation. Take a look at our list and see if you recognize any of these foot-tappers!

75 Songs Sure to Make You Happy

 75. Sunshine On My Shoulders by John Denver

74. Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves

73. All I Wanna Do by Sheryl Crow

72. O Happy Day from Sister Act

71. Happy Together by The Turtles

70. I Wanna Hold Your Hand by The Beatles

69. Happy Days Are Here Again by Barbra Streisand

68. Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus

67. Don’t Worry be Happy by Bobby McFerrin

66. Just Got Paid by *NSYNC

65. This Will Be by Natalie Cole

64. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrel

63. September by Earth Wind and Fire

62. Feeling Good by Michael Buble

61. Macarena by Los Del Rio

60. What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

59. Spice Up Your Life by Spice Girls

58. Wouldn’t It Be Nice by the Beach Boys

57. Fame by Irene Cara

56. Footloose by Kenny Loggins

55. Smile by Nat King Cole

54. Singing in the Rain by Gene Kelly

53. Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey

52. The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow from Annie the Musical

51. The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens

50. Put On a Happy Face by Dick Van Dyke

49. I’m a Believer by The Monkees

48. Love Shack by the B52’s

47. YMCA by The Village People

46. Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder

45. Blue Skies by Frank Sinatra

44. Beautiful Day by U2

43. Best Day of My Life by American Authors

42. Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield

41. Lovely Day by Bill Withers

40. Turn the Beat Around by Gloria Estefan

39. Let’s Get Loud by Jennifer Lopez

38. Dancing Queen by ABBA

37. I Want You Back by Jackson 5

36. What the World Needs Now by Dionne Warwick

35. Bubbly by Colbie Caillat

34. Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles

33. The Remedy (I Won’t Worry) by Jason Mraz

32. Don’t Worry by Madcon feat Ray Dalton

31. Great Balls of Fire by Jerry Lee Lewis

30. Hey Ya by Outkast

29. Forget You by CeeLo Green

28. The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson

27. Build Me Up Buttercup by The Foundations

26. All Star by Smash Mouth

25. Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO

24. Baby by Justin Beiber feat. Ludacris

23. Come On Over (All I Want is You) by Christina Aguilera

22. Independent Women Pt. I by Destiny’s Child

21. MMMBop by Hanson

20. Mr. Saxobeat by Alexandra Stan

19. You Light Up My Life by LeAnn Rimes

18. 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton

17. Last Dance by Donna Summer

16. You Are the Sunshine of My Life by Stevie Wonder

15. Hot Hot Hot by The Merrymen

14. The Best is Yet to Come by Frank Sinatra

13. L-O-V-E by NatKing Cole

12. Steal My Sunshine by LEN

11. Music by Madonna

10. Who Let the Dogs Out by Baha Men

9. Mambo No.5 (A Little Bit of…) by Lou Bega

8. Troublemaker by Olly Murs feat. Flo Rida

7. Price Tag by Jessie J feat B.o.B

6. My Girl by The Temptations

5. Love Train by The O’Jays

4. Livin’ La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin

3. Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen

2. Get Lucky by Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams

1. Happy by Pharrell Williams


Spotify Playlist

The End

There you have it – 75 songs sure to make you happy! Do try to listen to them all when you get the chance. If you want to learn more about music like this, be sure to ask your private music teacher more about it. Maybe you’ll discover how to write your own songs like the ones on this list. Happy learning!

Know anymore songs that make you happy? Comment below and share with us!

LizTPost Author: Liz T.
Liz T. teaches singing, acting, and music lessons online. She is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music with a B.M in Vocal performance and currently performs/teaches all styles of music including Musical Theater, Classical, Jazz, Rock, Pop, R&B, and Country. Learn more about Liz here!

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10 Things to Include on Your Acting Resume

acting resume
When it comes to preparing your acting resume, knowing what to include can be a challenge. However, there are several items that should always be included. Instead of only listing the parts you’ve played, include some of the following items to dazzle directors:

  1. Up-to-date Contact Information – One of the most important parts of any resume is your contact information. How will recruiters and talent agents contact you if your information is not correct? Update your contact information whenever it changes. Include a working phone number and an email address. Make sure your email address sounds professional, and also be sure to note which contact method is best to reach you.

  2. Physical Attributes – Since acting is as much about visual appearance as it is talent, include your physical description on your resume. Your height, hair and eye color, and weight should appear somewhere on your resume. It is best to include this information at the top of your resume. Like your contact information, your appearance information must be updated periodically to reflect any physical changes.

  3. Memberships – If you belong to any acting organizations or unions, they should also be included on your acting resume. This shows that you are serious about your career and that you have a network that could possibly vouch for you if needed. And if you belong to an organization that a recruiter or agent is also a member of, you already have a connection that can help during your audition.

  4. Past Experience – No matter what role or part you are auditioning for, you must include your past acting experience. You should indicate whether the parts were for theater productions, movie roles, or television appearances. If your acting history is small, include what you can – and never lie on your resume.

  5. Education – If you have little acting experience but have been studying to be an actor at a formal university, this section gives agents a point of reference. You should only include formal education and classes that relate directly to acting, as opposed to listing your education in full.

  6. Training – Your acting resume should also include any training courses you have taken. This is different from formal education, as you may have studied another subject during college. Include the names of your trainers or studios, as well as what exactly was taught. Avoid being vague here – include acting techniques in as much detail as possible. Also include training related to other fields, such as singing, playing musical instruments, or public speaking.

  7. Primary Acting Skills – There are several skills involved with acting, including voice skills and combat skills. List the ones you are proficient in, as well as some detail about each. You can also include skills not related to acting, such as credentials that could come in handy. Again, don’t lie about what skills you have on your resume.

  8. Know Your Type – Many actors fear being typecast as their career progresses. But this can be a valuable way to advance your career if you are just starting out. Know which roles you are adept at playing. Instead of accepting any part you can, consider informing agents and recruiters about which roles you are the best fit for during auditions.

  9. Know Your Role Types – When preparing your acting resume, you should include whether or not you can fill speaking or non-speaking roles. Indicate if you are best fit for leading roles, supporting roles, or voice-over parts. If you’re a non-speaker, list if you’re a body or stunt double or an extra. You can also list any other industry roles, such as print ads or commercials, all of which can be important.

  10. Your Headshot – Most acting resumes can be printed on the back of a headshot and cut to size. Just as listing your physical description helps agents and directors find a good place for your appearance, your headshot gives them a picture they can really see. You should update your headshot every time your appearance changes. When you arrive at your audition you should look like your headshot does.

Looking for a great headshot photographer? Here are some to check out in…
LA: LA Headshots and Reels, Kaizen Headshots, Headshots Only Photography
NYC: Chris Macke Photography, Mark Ellison/NYC Photo Studio
Toronto: Callback Headshots


Preparing an acting resume might seem like a lot of work, but taking the time to do it right will build the foundation of a strong acting career. Good luck!


Photo by nickgregan


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Endurance Tips for Brass Players

trumpet endurance tips

Whether you play trumpet, trombone, French horn, or any other brass instrument, there are several key factors to improving. Development of tone, technical facility and embouchure are important components. All of these areas will improve if you develop endurance. Read more

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How Does a Song’s Key Affect its Sound?

how music affects emotions
Music is all around us. It can make you smile, cry or laugh. It inspires us and relaxes us. But what exactly is it about music that gives it such powerful emotional effects? Why do we respond the way we do? Read more

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Brass Instruments: Mouthpiece Care

brass instruments
Making sure your instrument is clean and in proper working order is an essential step to musical bliss – that place in your mind where you can easily, effortlessly enjoy making music with your horn!

Taking care of your mouthpiece is the first step. Here are some very easy things you can do to make sure your mouthpiece lasts long and plays loud.

Daily Care:
Preventative measures are the best way to keep your mouthpiece shiny and clean.

Read more

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It’s Never Too Late! 5 Musicians Who Got a Late Start

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These days, we hear a lot about music artists who have made a name for themselves starting from a young age – pop stars like Christina Aguilera and sibling-duo Donny and Marie Osmond, for example. But don’t worry if you don’t have that kind of early-on experience – it’s never too late to start your music career! There are a number of musicians who either did not get into music until later in life or took several years to become famous. Read more

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5 Strategies to Make Learning Fun

make learning fun

Keeping students engaged and motivated can be a challenge, even for the best teachers. It’s easy to teach the same lessons year after year simply because they have worked in the past, without giving much thought to students’ current interest level. But even the strongest curriculum still needs some variety once in a while to make learning fun. Likewise it’s important for students to be aware of learning strategies that are both effective and fun for them. If teachers and students can stay conscious of improving the learning process ona regular basis, it’s much easier to work together to keep lessons engaging and motivating. Here are five strategies that can assist teachers and students with this process to make learning fun.

Read more