What’s the Fastest Way to Learn Piano? You Might Be Surprised!

Fastest Way to Learn the PianoMemorizing, beginning with scales, starting with songs, recognizing notes – there are many ways of learning to play the piano, and good teachers will tweak their methods to accommodate each student’s abilities and desires. While each method has their own merit, still some people have this question: what is the fastest way to learn piano? Is there one? They may be more eager about the destination and less concerned about the journey, but the journey is very important. But there is one technique that will help just about every student – and that is by practicing slowly.

It may sound like a contradiction – the fastest way to learn piano isn’t to play fast, but to play slowly. How is that possible? Once you understand the reasoning behind this strategy, it’s quite simple.

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What Are the Best Violin Brands for Beginners?

Violin BrandsWhen you’re first starting to look for a violin brand, it’s important to find a compromise between affordability and good quality. It’s not always smart to buy the cheapest model available, as not only is this likely to produce a poor sound and hamper any incentive to practice or progress, but it’s likely to lose a lot of value on the resale market – it’s worth bearing in mind that student models will be resold at some later date, whether you’re moving onto something better, or to another instrument altogether.

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Get Tuned In to the Best New York Music Venues

New York Music VenuesTired of listening to honking cabs? Great music is never far away when you’re in New York City. Here are five spots that anyone looking for the best New York music venues should take note of:

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5 Great New York City Bars with Live Music

New York City Bars with NightlifeNew York City is an amazing place! And while there is much to see during the day, New York City nightlife is something else entirely. This is indeed the city that never sleeps. If you’re in the mood for a bar with character and one that features live music, New York offers many hotspots. There is something for every taste here, whether you’re in the mood for jazz, rock, country, or something more eclectic. Keep reading as we explore some of New York’s best bars with live music.

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Toddler’s YouTube Action Movies Are Taking Over the Internet

Our latest online obsession packs big action and adventure in a small package. Meet James, AKA Action Movie Kid. He’s a little bit different from other kids. His floor really turns into lava…

He needs to be extra careful around puddles:

Plus he has amazing light-saber skills!

So how does he do it? James’s dad Daniel Hashimoto is a Dreamworks Animator, and he uses his special effects know-how to make movie magic in everyday life.

With just a little imagination, a block of Legos can become a working hyperdrive, and a playground becomes a rocket ship about to blast off!

What if you could give your life an action movie makeover? What would your movie look like? Private lessons in Video Production can help you learn how to make blockbusters of your own. Search for a teacher on TakeLessons and start your masterpiece today!


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4 San Diego Music Festivals You Won’t Want to Miss

San Diego Music FestivalsSan Diego is an exciting city, and an awesome location for catching a live band – or perhaps several! There are a ton of sensational music festivals held year-round, so there’s bound to be something you’ll enjoy. And as anyone who has been to a music festival would know, these kinds of concerts tend to have lots of energy, which makes for an unforgettable experience!

As you’re planning your concert calendar, consider checking out these four San Diego music festivals:

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The San Diego Jazz Scene: Venues, Festivals, and More

San Diego Jazz SceneConsidered America’s classical music, jazz is a living art form, ever-changing and ever-growing. From Duke Ellington to Miles Davis, ragtime, swing, bop, and progressive jazz, the San Diego jazz scene offers an expressive, enriching experience for all ages.

New to San Diego jazz? Check it out on a local radio station:

  • Jazz 88.3 FM

KSDS Jazz 88.3 is a non-commercial, non-profit station that presents, preserves, and promotes the uniquely American art form of jazz through programming, events, and education. Its website offers a great calendar of upcoming San Diego jazz events!

KIFM plays adult contemporary music from pop to jazz and easy listening.

  • 89.5 KPBS Radio

National Public Radio (NPR) offers music from jazz artists performed on stages around the world during JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater. Stream it live from NPR Music.

  • 102.1 KPRi

This local, independent station broadcasts two hours of contemporary jazz every Sunday at 7 p.m. during its Lites-Out with Kelly Cole segment.

Attend a San Diego jazz festival:

November 26th through 30th, 2014, the Town & Country Hotel and Convention Center will host the “crown jewel of jazz festivals,” offering a wide variety of traditional jazz, dixieland, ragtime, swing, and rockabilly styles.

Memorial Day weekend, May 24th through 25th of 2014, the Payne Pest Management San Diego Jazz Festival will feature Jill Scott, Maxwell, Brian Culbertson, Jonathan Butler, Boney James, Ledisi, Leela James, and many more at La Costa Resort & Spa.

On Friday, April 4th, the MiraCosta College hosts the 8th annual Oceanside Jazz Festival, featuring 50 performing groups from schools around the U.S.

Learn to dance to San Diego jazz:

Jazz music can be sharp or smooth, quick or slow, subtle or strong. It incorporates techniques used in modern dance and ballet, training the body to isolate moving a single part while others remain still. It’s a great way to fit in a good workout, while enjoying jazz music at the same time!

The Civic Arts Program offers San Diego jazz dance classes at affordable prices for children and adults at 25 city recreation centers.

The San Diego Academy for performing arts offers beginner jazz dance classes for adults and children.

The California Ballet School also offers jazz dance classes for adults and children.

Looking for a more one-on-one approach? Search for a private dance teacher near you and book lessons with TakeLessons, offering many options for scheduling, pricing, location, and dance genres.

Just can’t get enough jazz? San Diego offers many jazz venues:

La Jolla’s Athenaeum Music & Arts Library presents concerts showcasing the rich and varied artistry of jazz at 1008 Wall St, La Jolla, CA 92037.

Music on Fridays and Saturdays each month features local San Diego jazz artists; you can find the monthly schedule posted online. The café is located at 8278 La Mesa Blvd, La Mesa, CA 91942.

Croce’s showcases jazz and other styles four nights a week in their Ex-Patriate room, plus a Sunday jazz brunch at 2760 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103.

Sunday afternoons at 1 p.m. the café offers performances by up-and-comers at 128 E St, Encinitas, CA 92024.

Enjoy San Diego jazz on Saturdays at Harry’s (4370 La Jolla Village Drive, #150, San Diego, CA 92122). Call ahead for reservations and featured artists.

Ki’s offers a Friday night concert series from 8:30-10:30 p.m. featuring a variety of jazz artists that can be enjoyed free with dinner or with a paid cover. Check out their website for upcoming artists. Located at 2591 SCH 101, Cardiff, CA 92007.

  • La Jolla Community Center

La Jolla Community Center’s Fourth Fridays Jazz Series is back once again. Doors open at 7 p.m., with shows at 8 p.m.. Visit their website for upcoming events. Located at 6811 La Jolla Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037.

MA4’s main stage offers ticketed concerts featuring various artists from across the country, often including jazz artists. Check out upcoming shows and purchase tickets on their website. Located at 3940 4th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103.

98 Bottles offers a fantastic calendar of San Diego jazz music. Check out the website for upcoming acts. Located at 2400 Kettner Ave, #110, Little Italy, CA 92101.

The Oceanside Museum of Art series features jazz artists in an open-air cocktail format with gourmet appetizers, desserts, and specialty wines at 704 Pier View Way, Oceanside, CA 92054.

Check out the Scripps Research Institute website for information on their jazz concert series held at 10640 John J. Hopkins Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037.

Sycamore Den offers free live music, hosting bands Thursdays at 9 p.m. and Sundays at 8 p.m. at 3391 Adams Ave, Normal Heights, CA 92116.

On the 2nd and 4th Friday of each month from 7-9:15 p.m., 4-5-piece bands and music ensembles perform jazz and contemporary music as part of a complimentary performing arts program from the San Diego International Airport Art Program, located at 3225 N Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101.

This Pacific Beach bar offers live music seven days a week at 873 Turquoise St, San Diego, CA 92109. Go happy, because they “reserve the right to refuse service to grumpy people in a hurry.”

Whatever your level or interest in jazz, there are so many opportunities to enrich and enliven your world with the San Diego jazz. Have fun!

Photo by woodleywonderworks


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Need Weekend Plans? 11 Things to Do in DC With Kids

Need Weekend Plans? 11 Things to Do in DC With KidsAt first glance, Washington DC may not seem like the best place to take your kids on vacation. The city appears oriented toward adult interests with its focus on government; however, as you look around, you’ll find there are many things to do in DC with kids! Many of Washington DC’s attractions have been designed for kid-friendliness and will provide options for you to keep your young ones entertained for hours. Plus, not only are most of these attractions fun, children can learn from them as well!

Consider the following things to do in DC with kids:

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Weekend Planner: How to Find New York Concerts

People at a New York ConcertNew York has a rich history of entertainment; you could even say performing in the Big Apple is a rite of passage for any modern musician hoping to make it big. After all, some of the biggest events in music history have happened here!

When Duke Ellington came to New York City during the Harlem Renaissance, for example, he helped propel the entire genre of jazz toward its eventual stature as one of the most prominent musical forms. The Beatles’ first show on American soil was held before throngs of screaming fans at Shea Stadium in Queens. From Carnegie Hall to Lincoln Center, from Madison Square Garden to Radio City Music Hall, filling one of the seemingly countless iconic venues in New York means that you have certainly made it as a performer.

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How to Avoid (and Check for) Plagiarism

check for plagiarism

With so many resources available today, the temptation to plagiarize can be strong for students. So how can you check your work to make sure you’re not walking the line? Here are some tips from Fallbrook, CA tutor Sarah B.:


Copying and using the writing of others as one’s own – called plagiarism – used to be difficult, before modern computers. Today, digital text makes it easy. Copy and paste. Bingo. Perfect writing.

Why not plagiarize instead of crafting original prose? Because it is stealing. Theft of another author’s carefully-worded sentences is the same as pinching dollars from his wallet. Today, plagiarizing is rife in schools, even in the most prestigious universities. But professors are on the lookout for paragraphs of beautiful prose mixed in with amateurish writing. In fact, many schools use computer applications to check for plagiarism. So what’s a student to do when the allure of plagiarizing may reduce the stress of a time crunch? Or, when the research chosen to use is so perfectly written no other words will suffice? Try these two techniques:

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