cause i’m a poorboy

Scholarship Entrant: Jimmy from Cleveland, New York
Essay Question: How has music changed your life? Please describe a specific example and share what music means to you.
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with a name like Jimmy Paige it seems to be my destiny to play…but being a poorboy that was just out of my reach..i had to eat ..but couldn’t afford any decent equipment..so i am hopeing to win some…

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study japanese

7 Simple Ways to Study Japanese

study japanese

Lots of people are interested in learning Japanese, but they quickly discover that Japanese is not a simple language. With hard work and the right study habits, learning the language can be fun and rewarding. Here are seven easy ways to study Japanese from language teacher Elaina R

When you’re learning a new language, it’s important to start small and slowly build on what you’re learning in your classes or lessons. Consistent study time and practice will help to reinforce both the written and spoken language, grammar rules, and pronunciation. Here are some simple and effective strategies to help you study Japanese.

1. Set Reasonable Goals

Learning a new language doesn’t happen instantaneously. Accept that it will take time and effort. Set small, manageable goals for yourself. For example, challenge yourself to learn five new words or characters every day. Small goals are much less daunting, and your accomplishments will add up over time.

2. Make a Schedule

After you’ve set some goals for yourself, make a schedule to study Japanese. It’s best to study a little bit every day, even if it’s just for 20 to 30 minutes. Set aside a specific time of day, whatever works best with your schedule, and stick to it.

3. Make Japanese Part of Your Day

Constant exposure to the language will increase your understanding and help you learn Japanese faster. In addition to your daily study time, find some creative ways to sneak more Japanese into your life. Try listening to Japanese podcasts, radio stations, and TV shows. Even if you don’t understand these programs at first, listening will help. Download some Japanese learning apps and games to play when you’re bored.

4. Get a Kana Workbook

The Japanese writing system consists of kana (simple characters) and kanji (Chinese-derived characters). Hiragana, one type of kana, is used for conjunctions, word endings, and other filler purposes. Katakana, the other type of kana, is used for foreign-derived words.

There are less than 100 kana characters, and if you learn these first, you will be better equipped to tackle kanji. Don’t just copy them off the internet; buy a kana workbook to teach you stroke order. Stroke order is very important in Japanese. Kana has fewer strokes than kanji, so start with kana and master these characters before you move on to kanji.

5. Read Japanese Books

Once you’ve mastered kana, you’re ready to start reading simple Japanese books. I recommend using basic children’s books to start. Look for books with three- to four-word sentences and a lot of pictures. Amazon has lots of free Kindle books to get you started. Also, find out if there is a Japanese bookstore in your area; many cities have at least one.

6. Learn About Formal and Informal Japanese

Formal and informal Japanese are very different. Though I learned informal Japanese from my mom, I never learned formal Japanese because I never went to school or worked in Japan. I still have to concentrate really hard to speak in keigo, or formal Japanese.

In school and most language learning programs, you will learn formal Japanese, which is used in business settings. If you watch anime or listen to native Japanese speakers, however, you will hear informal Japanese. Read about the differences, and pay attention to which style you hear in conversation.

7. Get a Tutor or Learning Buddy

There’s only so much you can learn on your own. A tutor can help you correct your pronunciation and improve your grammar. He or she can also develop a teaching plan that fits your specific needs. You can practice speaking Japanese with a friend or learning buddy, and apply the new concepts to real-life situations. If you don’t have any friends who are studying Japanese, you can search for a conversation group in your area.

Making the language part of your daily routine is a simple but effective way to study Japanese. What are some other creative ways to learn Japanese?

Elaina RElaina R. teaches singing in Ann Arbor, MI. She is acquainted with many languages and speaks English, Japanese, Italian, and German. As a singer, she pays particular attention to language and pronunciation. She earned a Bachelor of Music from the University of Southern California, and she is currently working on her Master of Music from the University of Michigan. Learn more about Elaina here!

 

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give me music or give me death

Scholarship Entrant: Ronnie from Moyie Springs, idaho
Essay Question: How has music changed your life? Please describe a specific example and share what music means to you.
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A surgery gone bad while in the Air Force took my smell and taste and has cost me chronic pain on a daily basis for life. The pain is bad enough but a Louisiana boy not being able to taste, well… The guitar has been my saving grace. Seems I’m not hungry or in pain while playing. Even though I don’t have the best equipment it is still God’s gift to me.

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hand-eye coordination

3 Hand-Eye Coordination Exercises for Drummers

hand-eye coordination

Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate drummer, good hand-eye coordination will help you develop accuracy and control. Here are some tips from music teacher Tracy D., to help you improve your hand-eye coordination…

When you’re learning drums, you need to watch and sense where your hands are in relation to the kit. It’s easy to let your hands outrun your field of vision, and this can result in sloppy execution.

Pay attention to your hands; make sure they land in the right place, and then think about your next move. You can accomplish this by moving your eyes before your hands. As soon as you land on one surface, move your eyes to the next surface or target. This will help you play with fluid, accurate movements.

Since your hands will be on different parts of the drum kit as you play, it’s also important to develop your peripheral vision, the ability to see objects and movement outside of your direct line of vision. Also, when you play with other musicians, good peripheral vision will allow you to focus on the drums and still see what your band mates are doing on stage.

Use the pattern and the exercises below to improve your hand-eye coordination.

Hand-Eye Coordination for Drummers

Take the time to work out each pattern, until you no longer have to look at the page.

  1. Look straight ahead and practice the six measures four times through.
  2. This time, follow your eyes around the kit and practice the measures four times through. Make sure to move your eyes to the next target before your hands finish playing the pattern on the current surface.
  3. Challenge yourself, and practice playing with your eyes closed.

These exercises were written for a five-piece set, so adjust the notes accordingly for your own drum kit. These exercises should spark your creativity, so don’t be afraid to try some new things and have fun!

Developing coordination and technique will help you be a better drummer. Need some extra help? Find a private drum teacher near you.

TracyD

Tracy D. teaches percussion and drum lesson in Edmond, OK, as well as online. She has been playing the drums in various bands for more than 13 years, and has also played intermittently with the OKC Community Orchestra for the past five years. Learn more about Tracy here! 

 

 

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20 Engaging Conversation Ideas to Practice Your Spanish

20 Things to Talk About With Your Spanish Language Exchange PartnerAs you’re learning Spanish, it’s important to find a partner to engage in Spanish conversations with, so you can put all of your knowledge to practical use! The benefits of a conversation partner include an increased grasp of listening comprehension, and a better understanding of the language and the vocabulary. Below, we’ve created a list of possible topics that you can talk about to get you started with your Spanish conversation practice. Try with a friend or a private Spanish tutor.


Want Spanish conversation practice in an interactive setting? For a limited time, take one of our live, online classes for free! Learn more here. 


Conversation Topics for Beginner Students:

1) The weather. What is the weather like outside? What kind of weather do you like best? This is a basic conversation topic for people just beginning to learn Spanish.

2) Hobbies. Get to know your Spanish conversation partner by discussing what kinds of things you like to do for fun. This will help build your vocabulary!

3) Your family. If you get sick of talking about yourself, tell your Spanish conversation partner about your family. Practice conjugating Spanish verbs into the third person, and make sure all of your adjectives agree with your pronouns!

4) Likes and dislikes. Be as broad or as specific as you want. Talk about your favorite colors, foods, sports, or anything else. Just remember to conjugate the verb “gustar” properly; it’s a little tricky!

5) Travel. One of the first lessons you will learn about is travel vocabulary. While speaking with your partner, focus on words and phrases that pertain to finding directions and learning the cost of items. These are some of the most basic questions that you’ll have when traveling abroad.

6) Food. This is everyone’s favorite vocabulary lesson in school; grab some pizza or “café” and talk with your language partner about your favorite foods! Feeling adventurous? Try cooking a recipe written in Spanish with your language partner.

7) Your feelings about something important in your life. Your emotions or feelings on a particular topic can be worked into your Spanish conversation practice. Remember to pay attention to your verb conjugations.

8) Your morning routine. Some of the verbs used when you discuss your morning routine are tricky, so it’s important to get used to conjugating them verbally through this type of discussion.

9) Numbers. One of the hardest parts about learning Spanish is listening to native speakers quickly rattle off numbers you aren’t used to hearing. Practice this so you know the difference between words like “cincuenta y cinco” and “cuarenta y cinco.”

10) Your friends. This is another great get-to-know-you question! Talk about your friends, their hobbies, and their likes or dislikes.

11) Clothing. Mastering the important topic of clothing will be helpful if you ever go shopping in a Spanish-speaking country. Practice your numbers by talking about cost and sizes of different clothing items.

12) Your classes. School-related vocabulary is often covered in the first year of Spanish language learning because it’s something students have in common. Talk about the different classes you are taking or the subjects you are studying.

13) Sports. Do you play a sport or watch any sports? If you do, try to discuss the latest football or hockey game in Spanish. This is a great way to learn new vocabulary words that are relevant for different cultures.

14) Your house. Tell your Spanish conversation partner all about your “casa.” How many rooms does it have? What color are the walls? Where is the kitchen located?

15) Movies. Talk about your favorite movies, actors, directors, or genres. Not a big movie person? You can talk about books, plays, or musicians. This is a great way to practice using adjectives in a sentence.

Conversation Topics for Intermediate Students:

16) Your hopes for the future. You have to use future or conditional tenses here, so practice both to master conjugating the verbs while you speak.

17) Your past vacations. Learn the difference between the preterite and imperfect past tenses by telling a story about your past travels.

18) Current events. This is a great way to strongly expand your vocabulary and discuss more complex ideas. Start with simple current events and work your way up to international news.

19) What did you do yesterday? Still struggling with the preterite and imperfect past tenses? Make things a little simpler and talk about what you did the day before.

20) Your favorite birthday. Try to put all of your conversational lessons together to talk about your favorite birthday or holiday. These subjects are fantastic because they bring together a lot of different vocabulary lists. Who did you celebrate with? What did you wear? What did you eat? What did you like or dislike about it? How did you feel? Did you travel? Remember to use the preterite and imperfect tenses!

Remember, Spanish conversation practice with a friend or family member is important, but it’s not a substitute for working with a qualified tutor. A Spanish tutor will create lesson plans based on your learning style and help you understand concepts that are difficult for you, which can go a long way as you improve your speaking and comprehension skills. In the meantime, memorize these Spanish phrases and you’ll be chatting away in no time!

Ready to get started? Find a Spanish tutor in your area now!

 

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Dads Messenger

Scholarship Entrant: Joe from Lake City, FL
Essay Question: How has music changed your life? Please describe a specific example and share what music means to you.
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Growing up my father would sing all day and night and especially on Sunday in church. He lamented the fact that members of the congregation would always complain about the music. My father would suggest that if they were not happy with the music they should join the choir and try to make a difference. As an adult I found myself complaining just like those people. Then I had an Epiphany and learned to play guitar and try to inspire others to make the service more meaningful. Music moves all people young and old and is a great communication tool to spread Gods word.

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music of dreams

Scholarship Entrant: john from Oscoda, MI
Essay Question: How has music changed your life? Please describe a specific example and share what music means to you.
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it’s fun for me to play music on my drums or play my guitar it makes me feel great makes my day more enjoyable

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rock and roll therapist

Scholarship Entrant: garret from st clair, michigan
Essay Question: How has music changed your life? Please describe a specific example and share what music means to you.
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Music has done alot of things for me in my life. Through thick and thin music has been there. In elementary school when my dad finally came around there was no relationship but at least we had Kiss telling us to rock and roll all night. In middle school when my only interaction was people telling me i wasnt good enough i had The Cure telling me just to love. In my early high school years when no one listened to me i had Asking Alexandria telling me to stand up and scream. When people continued not to listen i picked up the guitar and got louder. A beautiful thing happened that day. People listened. Not only did they listen but they heard what i said. Now when my dad came around he was the one who listened to me when i played, the kids who bullied me were coming to watch me play, and all the kids who didnt have voice i gave one to. Thats how music changed my life.

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music heals the soul

Scholarship Entrant: ryan from sioux city, iowa
Essay Question: How has music changed your life? Please describe a specific example and share what music means to you.
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I have been playing an instrument for around6 years. My uncle borrowed me a bass guitar to learn and at that point i was hooked. I learned pretty quick about the basics, joined a band and kept with that for about 3 years. Life has its ups and downs but my guitar was the only thing that kept me sane and strong. I dont think iI would be where i am without music to help me through.ive met alot of great people too. I couldnt ask for another life due to music.

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Music made me in Bands

Scholarship Entrant: Richard from Tampa, Florida
Essay Question: How has music changed your life? Please describe a specific example and share what music means to you.
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Music changed my life. When the Beatles came out in England, I was also living in England. Listening to whatever I could radio, records. Music help me get out of my shy stage in life. I started finding other people that liked the Beatles and also wanted to start playing guitar and drums. When would also buy sheet music that showed the cords to the songs. Where to put your fingers and what the name of the cords. We would play the record over and over to pick up the different parts of the songs. Also writing dow the words and play them over and over. Growing up an Air Force brat we moved around so we would always find people to start new bands where ever we moved to. Whe would play at parties and dances when ever we could fid a gig. This changed my life.

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