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5 Essential Piano Practice Tips for Beginners

With more than 20 million Americans playing piano, the instrument’s popularity is continually growing.

Learning piano is a great way to expand your musical lexicon. It can also be a stress reliever while improving hand-eye coordination.

While anyone can sit down, crack their knuckles and hit a key or two, learning the piano is a skill developed over time. Dedication is what sets skilled players apart from one another. 

Practice makes perfect, that is if you put in the time and effort. Maximize your time and ability with these essential piano practice tips.

Set Aside a Schedule

Casually playing a few notes whenever you have free time won’t get you very far. Carve out specific times in your weekly agenda along with the rest of your activities. Practice sessions don’t have to be lengthy either, 20 to 30 minutes a day can go a long way.

Understand Rhythm

In order to learn any musical instrument you must have a sense for rhythm and beats. This is how music comes together and stays organized. Invest in a metronome, it’s a great tool for assisting with timing and tempo no mater how complex a song is.

Learn To Read Music

You’ve probably learned a few songs already by listening along and figuring out which keys to hit and replicate it. Playing by ear isn’t a bad piano practice method, but if you want to expand your ability learn to read notes. Sites like jamesguthrie.com are a great resource for sheet music.

Play Your Favorites

The long history associated with pianos naturally makes us think of older, dramatic tunes. Pianos are a universal instrument, though! You can play just about any song from your favorite genre ranging from heavy rock to R&B. This can make practice a lot more enjoyable.

Keep Going

A common habit when learning an instrument is to immediately stop after making a mistake in the middle of a song and start over. Instead, allot time to work on that part separately. Practice playing all the way through, you wouldn’t stop in the middle of a recital just because you missed one key.

Welcome Feedback

Sometimes the best way to learn is having other people lend their ears. Once you feel comfortable enough, practice in front of family and friends and ask for constructive criticism. Be open to feedback as there’s always room for improvement, even for the most skilled pianists.

Be Patient

Above all, remember that it takes time to learn the piano. Don’t expect to master it overnight or become frustrated if you find certain parts difficult. Everyone learns at their own pace.

Making Use of Piano Practice Tips

If you follow these piano practice tips you’ll significantly improve your piano playing skills. How soon it takes depends on the amount of time you’re willing to put forth.

Remember there’s no set formula for a piano practice guide. The way you approach learning the piano could differ from another beginner, and that’s completely okay.

Now that you’ve got a better understanding, time to swap out that computer keyboard in front of you for a piano!

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Different Types of Voices: 3 Brands with a Well-Defined Brand Voice to Take Notes From

Your Tweets never get any likes. Your Facebook posts fizzle and you just can’t establish a regular and strong following for your brand. 

You’re doing everything you know how to do, so what’s the issue? You might not have a well-established brand voice. 

Different companies have different types of voices, and yours should be unique to you and your audience. Want to learn who’s doing it right for a little inspiration? 

Read three brand examples below.

Wendy’s on Twitter

When you think of fast food chains, you probably don’t think “reigning queen of Twitter” do you? And you shouldn’t when it comes to the other brands.

But Wendy’s holds the title for best business tweets, at least in our opinion. It all started three years ago when they hired their new social media coordinator, Amy Brown.

The Beginnings

It all started in 2017 when Wendy’s put out a rather mild tweet that their beef is “way too cool to ever be frozen”. Things were fine until Twitter user @NHride fired back that people laugh at their logo, that we all know their beef is frozen.

Wendy’s responded kindly but sternly confirmed that they never use frozen meat. Twitter user @NHride fired back something about how they must, then, deliver their meat on a hot truck.

Wendy’s responded by saying “Where do you store cold things that aren’t frozen?” Finally, the other Twitter decided to bring Mcdonalds into it, and Wendy’s had enough.

The tweet that ended this whole saga (but started their legacy) said, “You don’t have to bring them into this just because you forgot refrigerators existed for a second there”.

The exchange got picked up by Buzzfeed and that Twitter user ended up deleting their account.

It only got better from there.

One More Example

Just because the tweets are so funny, we’ll give you one more before moving on.

Twitter user @carladelreyy tweeted “@Wendy’s what should I get from Mcdonalds????”

to which Wendy’s replied “Directions to the Nearest Wendy’s”.

Nike

Over the years there have been some pretty cool Nike ads. We’re talking about creative shots with pro athletes in dark-colored clothing. Maybe doing something impressively athletic.

But in the past few years, Nike has really stepped up their game. Let’s talk about a recent example, the Colin Kaepernick commercial. If you don’t know, Colin is the NFL player that first refused to stand for the flag, in a response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

It’s driven critics crazy, as more black players have chosen to do the same.

Many companies cut ties with the NFL after that, or at least the ones with Colin’s team. But not Nike. They put out an ad featuring Colin and with his voice as the narrator.

Other famous players like Serena Williams and Lebron James are in the video. The copy of the ad says, “Don’t ask if your dreams are crazy, ask if they’re crazy enough.”

This branded show of support was a risky move for Nike, but they decided that his message fit their brand. That you should break stereotypes and the rules if you truly believe in something.

They caught a lot of flack for that ad, but they weren’t breaking down.

To prove it? They put out another ad in February titled “Dream Crazier.” The video features female athletes breaking records and doing generally impressive things, like Serena playing and winning after having a baby.

The ad says “If they call you crazy, good. Show them what crazy can do.”

Just with two ads, you know exactly who Nike is as a brand and what they stand for. You know that they support young women, people who make a personal stand against injustice and that they’re not afraid to show it.

Barstool Sports

If you were on Youtube a while back, you may recognize the name Jenna Marbles. She worked for Barstool Sports back in the day. And her wacky, inappropriate antics set the tone for their current brand voice.

For example, they posted something on Instagram that catered to their audience, made people laugh, and referenced hit show Game of Thrones.

In the post there are two pictures side by side. One of the red woman naked (cut off at the chest) with a necklace on. On the other side is a photo of her with her necklace off, which shows her as a very, very, old woman.

The caption they chose? “How she looks when you leave the bar vs. when you wake up in the morning #gameofthrones.”

A little crude, yes. Funny? To their audience, absolutely. That post got over 20 thousand likes.

The other brands we’ve looked at have had strong brand voices, but they have a wider audience. Barstool Sports, on the other hand, has a more niche audience.

That’s why playing to their audience works so well. Bravo to them for figuring out how to speak their marketing language so well, and for making a funny joke.

If they didn’t know their audience so well, that post could have come off as highly offensive. And to some reading this right now, it might be.

But they’re only worried about how their readers feel about it, not about how anyone else feels.

And that’s what you need to do to have a strong voice as a brand. Don’t make posts that you’re not comfortable with, but don’t be afraid to ruffle a few feathers with your content.

Use this useful guide to figure out where your brand’s voice lies.

All Types of Voices:

There’s plenty of room in the market when it comes to different types of voices for brands. You don’t have to match the voice of your competitor, in fact, you want to do exactly what they aren’t doing, whatever that is.

When you find your brand voice, go for it. Don’t hold back and don’t be afraid to (sometimes) be a little controversial. Wendy’s certainly doesn’t mind talking trash to their competitors and the internet thinks it’s hilarious.

To read more blog posts, click here

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They Grow Up So Fast: 5 Basic Things Every Parent Should Know About Child Psychology and Development

Given that as many as one in five children might be in need of therapy to develop healthily, there are some basics every parent should know. Child psychology is complicated and while children are flexible and bounce back easily, some things can impact them more than others. It’s hard to imagine what experiences stick and which ones are forgettable.

Here are five things that every parent needs to know.

1. Stress Hits Everyone

While you might not think that your kids see and feel the things that the adults around them do and say, stress hits everyone. When you’re a stressed-out adult, you don’t have the kind of patience and attention for children that they need to thrive. When raised in a stressful environment, the stress impacting the family or the caregiving environment impacts them.

Early childhood experiences or disruptions to the environment cause impacts later on in the brain. If children are forced into sudden or surprise “fight or flight” mode early on in life, they’ll struggle to feel settled. They might approach every new situation as something that they need to be defensive against, impairing their social skills and their ability to be happy.

The biological changes that happen following disruptions in the brain can impact kids for their entire lives. These experiences impact organ systems simultaneously. They increase the risk of impairments in learning but also the way they behave. When under constant stress, where they don’t want to make permanent memories, there’s no way that it’ll be easy for kids to inscribe important information.

2. It’s Nature and Nurture

Development is a process that’s interactive. There’s no definitive way of determining how anyone will develop based on genetic factors. Environment, especially the environment they grow in during those first couple of years, will determine how kids express themselves.

The elements that exist genetically can be easily counteracted or encouraged based on those first seminal years of upbringing. The genetic elements that that influence development and “chemical imbalances” can either be encouraged or discouraged based on the environment.

Children that are born with a strong capacity to learn need to be encouraged as much as children without that capacity. Those who aren’t encouraged are more likely to fail, and with genetics working against them, they’ll suffer greatly. But during the first year of life, the experiences they get and the encouragement they get change the way they develop life skills.

3. Children Need a Village

While the connection that children make to their parents is absolutely vital, kids need further attachments. They need to connect with people outside their family, with responsive caregivers, and even other kids to grow up with a balanced relationship with others.

The closer their relationship is with multiple available and nurturing adults, the better they’ll be at trusting others. While some parents fear that it could impact the child’s relationships with their parents, it turns out that multiple caregivers are healthy. They develop social and emotional skills based on how much interaction they have with other adults.

While they do need some stability and a steady environment, having multiple caregivers means that they’ll work well with changes. Beware of frequent disruptions in the caregiving environment that they’re in. They need high-quality interactions with low staff turnover so that they have secure expectations about what kind of attention they’ll receive.

When kids know their needs will be met, they’ll trust the people around them more.

4. Violence is Not a Virus

While there’s some belief that violence and adversity that children face at a young age impacts them forever, it’s not the way that many people think. Children who see violence aren’t necessarily going to turn out to be violent adults. While they may incur trauma along the way, they may be more empathetic and less prone to stress disorders than we previously thought.

Children who have negative experiences are certainly at greater risk for impacts on their brain development. They may even have a problem with aggression as young adults but that doesn’t mean they’re doomed for a dark path.

If the response to those violent environments and negative stimulants is a nurturing relationship with supportive caregivers, problems can be avoided. As soon as possible, children should be shown positive examples of healthy relationships and interactions to avoid a permanent impact on them.

5. Dangerous Situations Require Treatment

While dangerous situations and negative environments can’t be prevented in all cases, removing children from them needs to the top priority. However, the removal of a child from a bad environment won’t reverse the negative impacts. It only stops the exacerbation of those problems.

You need to then take serious efforts to help treat the child after they’re removed from a bad situation. Any child suffering any kind fo serious neglect needs responsive caregiving. While they can bounce back, it’s challenging for them to do so without attentive care.

Children are sensitive to their feelings of safety and security. Once that’s been violated, the impacts last for a lifetime. They need a certain level of predictability and therapeutic and supportive care to facilitate their recovery.

When children feel in control, they’re more willing to open up and to develop at their maximum potential. When they feel threatened, they’re going to be less open and less willing to take the risks that help them to develop into empowered adults.

If you’re asking “can I find a child psychologist near me“, there are likely many to help out.

Child Psychology is Complicated

When trying to understand child psychology, it’s best to imagine that just about everything is going to influence your child. The more care you take to help them express themselves openly and experience positive interactions with may people, the better off you’ll be.

To give your child more chances for self-expression, check out our site for more information on how to get them started in performing.