Karl


Live for Music

Why kids should learn how to play a musical instrument

Posted by Karl on

 

We all know that learning to play an instrument can be quite difficult. However, if we were to start playing one from an early age, there would be a number of things we could benefit from playing an instrument.

Moreover, there’s also a thing called music therapy – or therapy through music, if you prefer it this way. This form of therapy can help children heal from certain illnesses, and not only by playing an instrument, but also just by listening to music.

According to a study, music does for kids more than just teach them to appreciate a good play. It has been shown that class participation and attendance have been influenced by music after some children started their music training.

In the following paragraphs, we will present you some of the reasons for which kids should learn how to play a musical instrument.

 

Improvement of social skills

Even if a child can learn to play a musical instrument alone, most teacher and music therapists place them inside a group of children – in order to work together on a song or such. This means that the children will have to interact with one another and eventually develop their social skills because of this.

Of course, we all remember what happened in High School Musical, where all of the introvert music passionate students eventually got out of their shell because singing or playing an instrument has somehow forced them to socialize with their peers.

Improvement of hand to eye coordination

We know that few people can just start playing an instrument, without reading any notes – however, that’s the case for experienced musicians, and not for children that have just started to play a musical instrument.

While playing an instrument, children will have to focus on multiple things at one time. First of all, they have to read the notes that lay before them; then, they are required to convert those notes into sounds with the help of a musical instrument. Moreover, in order to keep the pace, children will have to read multiple notes before playing them, so that they won’t stop on every single one of them.

This will improve their hand to eye coordination, as a lot of the thought process is required to play music after reading the notes that have to be converted into sounds.

 

Memory skills

While learning to play a musical instrument, children will begin to memorize some of the patterns in a certain song. We all know that we can remember lyrics much easier if we have a tune that accompanies them.

Because children will have to remember certain parts of a song, they will also learn to effectively create, store, and retrieve memories. This way, they will have a hard time forgetting what you tell them and will be able to remember what they studied at home faster – especially when asked a surprise question in class.

Live for Music

What makes Fender such a popular brand?

Posted by Karl on

 

Founded in 1946 by Leo Fender, Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing is one of the most popular brands of amplifiers and stringed instruments. The American company was created in California but now has its headquarters in Arizona.

So, if you’re interested in music and how to replicate the best sounds or creating new ones, I’m confident you are already familiar with the Fender brand. But what is it with these products that make them so great nowadays?

 

The most popular model

Electric guitars were only becoming popular back in the 1950s, so Leo Fender decided to take advantage of the new trend and introduced the first mass-produced solid-body electric guitar. The Telecaster or the former Broadcaster is still considered one of the most popular items manufactured by Fender.

A customized lap steel guitar made in 1946 for Fender’s friend, Noel Boggs, is credited as the company’s first product of FEIM, already spotting the “F” letter logo.

The owner of the company started experimenting with new guitar designs at the end of the 1940s, creating the famous shape of the Telecaster product. One decade later, by the end of the 1950s, Fender’s company already became extremely popular and profitable, hence being sold for 13 million dollars.

 

What does a guitar player need?

Deciding whether Fender is the right brand of guitars truly depends on what you’re looking for in such an instrument. The manufacturer offers a wide array of guitar and amplifier models according to your needs. The most affordable models, the Strats and the Squier Teles are perfect for newbies or people who play the guitar occasionally.

However, the company also offers sufficient models for virtuosos and professional guitar players. Each guitar can be customized to meet even the most demanding requests of clients, so it comes as no surprise that the prices of these items can easily reach 3000 dollars or more.

Fender guitars can also be modified according to the type of music you want to play. For instance, adding higher-gain pickups will turn a regular guitar into a musical instrument perfect for playing grunge, progressive rock, punk or metal.

 

What are they made of?

One particularity of these products consists of their solid wood bodies. Unlike most other companies manufacturing electric guitars, the ones produced by the Fender company are not meant to sound like the acoustic ones.

On the contrary, the brand embraced the differences and wished to create a new and original sound, specific for those who want to experiment with numerous musical genres and not just the regular folk, country, and pop.

The guitars are made of high-quality wood, including Hawaiian wood, to ensure high-gain amplification and a customized sound.

 

Live for Music

5 things you might not know about Oasis, the band

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Just like with many other rock bands across the world, Oasis had a quite tumultuous existence. It was formed back in 1991 and, throughout its existence, suffered numerous line-up changes. Nevertheless, it is still considered a great band so here are some interesting facts about Oasis that you might not know.


The Gallagher brothers

Brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher were both members of the rock band Oasis which is often compared to the Beatles. In fact, Liam, the younger brother, also has a son named Lennon in honor of the Beatles member, John Lennon.

Liam was one of the original members of the Oasis, the Manchester-based rock band that was formed back in 1991. The band developed from an earlier group named The Rain. The original Oasis consisted of Liam Gallagher (vocals), Paul McGuigan (bass guitar), Tony McCarroll (drums), and Paul Arthurs (guitar).

One year later, in 1992, Oasis received its fifth member, Liam’s older brother, Noel Gallagher. He is the mastermind behind some of the band’s most successful singles, including “Live Forever.”

 

Disputes

The members of the group were well known for their strong personalities. The Gallagher brothers didn’t seem to be very grateful of their fans, hence multiple declarations stating they didn’t feel obliged to deal with fans every show.

In an interview for the Rolling Stone Magazine, Noel Gallagher stated “I’m not asking them to buy records. They buy them because they like them.”

Both Paul McGuigan and Paul Arthurs left while recording the album “Standing on the Shoulder of Giants” and their parts were replaced by new members of the band, Andy Bell, and Gem Archer.

 

About the message

When it comes to the lyrics and the message of their albums, Noel Gallagher admitted that the songs on “What’s the Story” represent the direct counterpoint of their 1994 debut album, “Definitely Maybe.”

The Oasis member stated that the first album talked about the boredom of growing up in a city like Manchester, dreaming of becoming a famous rock singer, while the later record spoke about actually fulfilling the dream.

Not-so-meaningful lyrics

Contrary to what fans and critics might think, some of the band’s greatest hits, including “Don’t Look Back in Anger” or “Roll With It” don’t send any message. In the same interview for The Rolling Stone Magazine, Noel Gallagher hit again, saying some of the best songs were written while he was drunk and mad.

 

Popularity

Although the band was extremely popular in the UK, it wasn’t received with the same enthusiasm in the United States and Noel Gallagher thinks that is because Americans have “very bad taste” when it comes to music.

 

Hobbies

Choosing a cool crib for your baby

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It is always a better option to buy a crib for your baby before her birth. But with so many styles in baby cribs, it is difficult to make the right buying decision. Since it is the question of baby care, you have to be careful and must do an exhaustive market (online and physical) research before picking the right crib for your little one. In addition to the vital safety features, there are several other parameters you have to consider.

As a parent I consider these important features to look for while buying a safe and stable crib for your baby.

 

Size

The size is one of the crucial factors that you have to decide before finalizing the crib. You have to take into account the space available in a room dedicated to the new member of your family. If you have a lot of space, you can go for a bigger and fancier crib. If you live in an apartment with a limited space, then you have the option to pick a space saving compact crib. Another option is to get a foldable crib. Narrowing down the size of crib will also help you get a rough idea about the price of a crib.

Construction

It is utmost pertinent to check the structure that underscores the quality of the crib. A crib needs a thorough examination. Do not hesitate to shake it, if necessary to check whether there are any loose joints or rattling in the crib. The material used should be toxin-free (check the specifications). It must not be sharp on edges and any pointing nails or screws.

 

Rails

Apart from checking the firmness of the frame, another parameter to check is the upper rails of the crib. The bars must close enough to keep the baby safe. At the time of teething, your baby may chew on everything she can lay her mouth on to ease her irritating gums. Many manufacturers offer cribs that are designed the cribs with teething rails. If you get one of such cribs, you will enjoy her teething age. But make sure that such crib rails are easy to clean and sanitize.

 

Mattress

You should not go for ultra-soft or extremely stiff bedding. It should be comfortable for the baby to lie on. Get the mattress with a washable cover, so that you can keep it clean after a routine washing of this removable cover.

 

These are the essential features to evaluate different cribs. Happy parenting!!

Hobbies

I got an e-book reader!

Posted by Karl on

 

 

So now I have a reading bed pillow that has helped reduce my back and neck pains when I indulge in my favorite pastime namely, reading. However, holding a book, even if it’s just a paperback, can be taxing on the nerves in my hand.

I would often turn this way and that just to relieve the strain on one side, but unless someone discovers a way to do ‘aerobic reading’, where the muscles on both arms remain evenly sized, I am afraid the muscles on my dominant side (the right side of my body) would become flabby but flat because of how I lay reading on that side more frequently.

Then I discovered an easier way to enjoy my favorite novels including Catcher in the Rye, Pride and Prejudice, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I found an ebook reader on Amazon!

 

Yes, an ebook reader! (Yay or Nay?)

 

My ebook reader, or simply an e-reader, could easily turn into my best buddy. It is able to hold hundreds of electronic books in a single small, thin, and lightweight package. Generally cheaper than its paper counterparts, my e-reader allows me to carry my entire book collection in my pocket while still opening enough space for an entire library of newly-released titles. Neat huh?

I have yet to see the day when printed books can beat that. What is even grander is how an ebook reader makes new titles immediately available for download on the very day of publication, and often before they even hit the shelves anywhere else in the world. It is as simple as finding an ebook, downloading it, and then enjoying the work within minutes with just a few clicks.

The download fees are much cheaper than what I would pay for the paperback equivalent. This has been what has converted me from being an ebook reader skeptic to a genuine e-reader believer. I might not enjoy the real feel of an actual book, but it is the written word that I am after in the first place.

Plenty of online bookstores abound, and I can even borrow titles from a local e-library using an exclusive app called Overdrive. My e-reader runs on a wireless network, in some cases a 3G network, for downloading ebooks.

The growth in the popularity of ebooks has led to the competition from the ebook software in tablets though, but my e-reader is not something I would trade for that system now and in the near feature. That is unless tablet ebook software would become a mind reader that knows instinctively when it’s time to turn the page so I would not have to do it myself.

My ebook reader comes with a modest 5-inch screen, which makes it superbly portable yet ample for displaying a digitized version of a printed book. The device is superbly light at just 8 ounces aside from being as thin as my own smartphone. I got it on Amazon for less than $100, and it was a steal because it was on sale then. Yes, Amazon is simply amazing!

What is even more awesome is the e-reader features a built-in music player although it is primarily designed for reading. Since I wanted tactile control, my e-reader has bars and buttons that I use to choose content or turn pages. Some models work via onscreen swipe. My e-reader allows me to purchase single issues or even subscriptions to newspapers and magazines. Overall verdict? Yay, of course!

Hobbies

Why I Bought a Reading Bed Pillow

Posted by Karl on

I am an avid reader, but one thing I really abhor, especially lately, is that my neck and back get seriously strained as I am spending a few hours reading. The bad news is that my eyesight does not get better, either, and all I am going through is the result of aging. The good news is that I bought a reading pillow and now all my troubles are over.

 

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I could find no pillow to help me with my back pains

Before I went and bought a pillow specially designed for reading, I tried different solutions, and none of them worked. I tried stacking pillows one of top of the other, so I could support my back, but I ended up having pains in my neck, as well! The situation was just getting worse and worse and I had no idea what I could do. I tried to adjust my posture, but, soon enough, I was feeling tired, and I was seriously considering to cut my reading time, which, as you may easily imagine, could count as a small scale tragedy for me. I started looking around online and I discovered that something called a reading pillow does exist and it can help me with my predicament.

 

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I got a large pillow and I picked a nice color, too

If you go around searching for a reading pillow like I did, you will discover that there are all kinds of models available. However, price can be an issue and there are foam wedges that can go as high as 100 dollars. I wasn’t sure that I was willing to spend so much on a pillow, so I tried for a cheaper version and I got a really nice large pillow that now supports my back without a problem. Another great thing about it is that I could get it in a color matching my bedroom, as well! It looks as if reading pillow manufacturers really care about passionate readers, such as me!

 

 

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I take my reading pillow everywhere I go

I am so much in love with my reading pillow, that I cannot be parted with it. When I want to watch TV, I grab my pillow and move with it in the TV room. Even when I travel, I pack my reading pillow and take it along with me, because I am really serious about no longer experiencing the nasty back pains I was getting when I did not have such a marvelous item.

Hobbies

3 Books You Should Read by the End of the Year

Posted by Karl on

With the e-book revolution still going strong, and print trying to fend off a full fledge attack from the first mentioned, it can be pretty daunting to clearly see which books are really worth reading. I am counting my jewels in low numbers, and I must say that I have kissed my fair share of frogs until I found what I was looking for. So you do not have to do what I did, I use this opportunity to tell you about three great books published this year that I absolutely think you should read, too.

 

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The Noise of Time – Julian Barnes

When reality blends with fiction to offer the recounting of times past in a way that readers can relate to, a recipe for success is born. Especially if the said written prose is signed by Julian Barnes, the author who won the Man Booker Prize in 2011, and it is about the life of a Soviet composer, one cannot resist the temptation. The Noise of Time recounts the life of Dmitri Shostakovich, all his struggles with the Communist Party, and how the powers that be tried to force him into oblivion. Art prevails all, since this is what Julian Barnes tries to tell us with this enthralling book.

 

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The High Mountains of Portugal – Yann Martel

I fell in love with Yann Martel’s writing when I read Life of Pi, the book for which Martel received the Man Booker Prize in 2002. Years later, during which the author wrote other books and his Life of Pi received a Hollywood adaptation, he intends to sweep us off our feet once more with a road trip style of novel, in which mystery, love, deceit and loss blend together for a more than palatable reading that will keep us glued to our seats until we’ll manage to finish the imagined adventure of a certain young Thomas.

 

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Belgravia – Julian Fellowes

For those who do not know, Julian Fellowes is the name behind all the adventures gone through by the protagonists in the TV series Downton Abbey. The same love for high society seemed to have motivated Fellowes in his new enterprise since Belgravia intends to reveal the scandalous way of life involving protagonists living in 1840, in London. Before being turned into a book, Belgravia was serialized through an app that kept readers alert and clinging for the next episode. Just like Downton Abbey, Fellowes’s new book seems to have already found its audience.

Hobbies

My Favorite Novels

Posted by Karl on

There is nothing more rewarding and pleasant than lazing around on a Sunday afternoon with a book in your hand. Or reading every night. Or reading on your way to work. Or … you catch my drift. I have loved reading from a young age, and despite all the temptations of modern times, I still stick to it. While some people spend hours watching viral videos on Facebook, or stalking their friends to see what they are up to, I prefer cozying up on the sofa, with a good book in my hand. But I digress and I forget what this post should be all about, which would be quite a shame, seeing that I want to tell you about my favorite novels. So, without further ado …

1

Pride and prejudice – Jane Austen

I know that it sounds like such a cliché, and that there are millions of people out there claiming the same thing: that this is their favorite novel of all times. The truth is they are right to say so! Pride and Prejudice still maintains its freshness, two centuries from its first publication, and I think that happens because there is something about being inherently human described in this book that it can never grow old. If you have not read it yet, I highly recommend it. Elizabeth’s and Mr. Darcy’s antics will sweep you off your feet.

2

The Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger

For anyone still remembering how it felt to be a teenager, this book is a reenactment of feelings past. It does not really matter what happens in the book. I mostly think that more important is what Holden Caulfield feels than what he thinks. At the end of the day, while Holden looks at his sister Phoebe riding in the carousel, everything seems to be right with the world yet again. And that is the most important lesson The Catcher in the Rye tries to teach us.

3

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson

I would also like to include a more modern title in my selection, since I am an avid reader of new books, as well. Ever since I read Agatha Christie’s mystery and thriller novels, I yearned for someone to rejuvenate the genre. When I picked The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo from my local bookstore shelf, I had no high hopes, mainly because I don’t believe in hype. But Larsson’s characters, Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander made me believe again that a good thriller is still a great read, if done right.