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Researchers have found that children who took piano lessons or singing lessons for one year gained seven IQ points. This study was published in the journal of Psychological Science.

 

PRACTICE TIPS FOR LEARNING A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT

Buy an alarm clock and designate it as the practice alarm. Or... set your cell phone alarm for the same time each day. You will develop self-discipline skills and become very talented with the instrument that you are learning to play.

Do you have a favorite TV show? Try practicing during the commercials. You will be surprised how much can be accomplished.

Link your practice time to some other daily activity. After about three weeks it will become a habit and you will automatically do your practicing.

Try learning a new piece by starting at the end. Learn the last line first and work your way backward, line by line, until you have completed the selection.

Want to memorize a piece?

1. Close your eyes, try to see the first two measures... then play them. After you have memorized the first two measures, move-on to the next two measures. A few minutes each day spent on developing your photographic memory will prove to be invaluable throughout your life in many scenarios...not just memorizing music.
2. Listen as you play the piece. Develop your ear.
3. Analyze the piece. (what comes where)
4. Played enough times you will master the muscle memory.

Starting to feel nervous about your upcoming performance? Prepare by giving a daily performance to a friend, neighbor, or family member. This will help you to become accustomed to having someone listening.

On the day of the performance, if you find yourself becoming uneasy. Talk to yourself. Tell yourself, "I am well prepared, there is no reason for me to be nervous. I can and I will do this!" Be firm when you say, "I can and I will do this."

HEALTH

Taking a few minutes to wash-down the bathroom and kitchen counters each morning will cut-down on germs and bacteria. Don't forget the inside of the microwave, the refrigerator door handles and the faucet handles.

Sweeping the kitchen floor is also a great daily habit.

Ditching the carpet will make your home healthier. Your vacuum cleaner can not possibly pull-out all of the dirt and bacteria lurking in the carpet fibers. It is much better to be able to see your dirt and sweep it up.

Emptying all the trash cans daily and taking them out to the garbage bin eliminates germs and bacteria from your home.

Washing your hands frequently goes a long way toward staying healthy.

Run your toothbrush under hot water before using it.

Studies show that orange juice is heart-healthy.

A nightly snack of two prunes and a half-cup of apple juice will help to keep you regular.

We all know that drinking lots of water is a must. It also helps to keep you regular.

If you want to cleanse your system, drink a cup of water every thirty to forty-five minutes for several hours.

Herbal tea is rich in anti-oxidants and is caffeine free.

Grape juice provides the same benefits as a glass of wine without the alcohol.

Whole grains are always the best choice.

Bananas contain potassium which helps to prevent muscle cramps as well as helping to eliminate excess water weight. Eat one daily.

Dark chocolate, apricots, and cantaloupe help to lower blood pressure.

Oatmeal helps to boost metabolism as well as lower cholesterol.

Fish is brain food.

A small bowl of cherry or grape tomatoes on your kitchen counter will remind you to have a healthy snack.

A handful of nuts or berries is a great snack.

Moderation is the key to everything.

When eating out at restaurant, ask for a to-go box when the meal is served. Separate half of the meal into the box to take home. This will help to avoid a tummy-ache from overeating and you will eliminate excess calories.

If you are trying to lose weight...three words...ALWAYS EAT HALF. By doing this you will never have to give-up the foods that you love to eat.

Think about your stomach...it is the size of your fist.

Saying affirmations will help you to keep sight of your goals with positive reinforcement.

Taking vitamins daily is a plus.

Engaging in a moderate exercise program will help to keep you healthy and agile.

Riding your bicycle or taking a walk in the early morning can be very peaceful.

Using the heavy duty allergen protection air filters and changing them every six weeks instead of every twelve weeks can cut-down on dust in your home, thus making the air cleaner.

House plants and trees provide oxygen and clean the air 24/7.

PETS

Cat lovers...can't get your cat to take his medication? Open a can of tuna and drain the juice. Mix the medicine with about four teaspoons of the tuna juice and watch your cat lap it up. To make more juice simply place the tuna in a plastic container and add more water, stir it, cover it tightly and place it in the refrigerator. You can also place the entire can of tuna in a blender with one fourth cup of water and puree or liquify it. This method will provide more nutrition to your cat. ( if he will eat it)

Comb or brush your pet's coat daily. It will leave it with a soft, silky feel, and beautiful sheen. It will also cut-down on shedding.

Scoop your kitty's litter box daily and take it out to the garbage bin. This will go a long way in keeping you and your cat healthy.

DO use paper towels to clean the pet bowls and toilets. This will enable you to throw-out the germs into the trash.

USES FOR INEXPENSIVE WASH CLOTHS

Eliminate the need for paper towels in the kitchen. Keep a bin of these cloths in your kitchen for one-time use hand towels. After using them once, place them on a drying rack in the laundry room. Once you have enough for a full load. Wash them and re-use them.

Use them to wash the dishes and the kitchen counters and surfaces.

There is no need for a vegetable brush which harbors germs and bacteria. Simply run water over your vegetables and scrub them with one of these cloths.

You can also use these cloths for a "home alone" napkin.

USES FOR PLASTIC GROCERY BAGS

Plastic grocery bags make excellent packing material for shipping.

They can also be used as liners for small trash cans.

GARDENING

Fill your garden with low-maintenance plants and perennials.

Wear tight-legged pants, shoes and socks, a long sleeved shirt, and a big hat. Don't forget the clip-on mosquito repellant. They really work!

Do your gardening in the early morning hours before it gets too hot.

After two or three hours of gardening, there is nothing more refreshing than a fruit salad or just plain water melon.

PAINTING

When painting small items, set your object on top of small blocks of wood. This will prevent it from sticking to your drop cloth. Or... you can partially insert nails into the bottom of your object and remove them when the paint has dried.

Blue tape is not what it is cracked-up to be. A good steady hand is much better.

Nail polish remover can be used to clean up dried paint drips.

CLEANING

There are plenty of books and information on the internet about the uses of soda, vinegar, and bleach. It is not necessary to purchase expensive cleaning products.

A damp cloth followed by a dry soft cloth is just as effective as any dusting spray that you might purchase.

To clean the spindles on a chair or the rungs on your staircase railing, wrap a damp cloth around behind the spindle or rung, cross it over in the front and pull back and forth.

To clean silk flowers and silk trees: Small containers can be sprayed in the kitchen sink and left to dry. Take the large containers outdoors and gently spray them with the garden hose. Leave them outside until they are dry.

Clean one room of your house per day. It is less cumbersome and a great opportunity to learn a language. Simply pop a language CD into your player and repeat the prompted words and phrases as you clean a room. It makes the time go by much faster and you have accomplished two goals in one block of time.

Use the plastic trays from frozen entrees as drawer dividers.

MISCELLANEOUS

Using cloth napkins could save a tree.

Keep potatoes in the refrigerator. They will last two to three times longer.

Concerned about whether an egg is good or bad? Place it in a bowl of water. If it floats, it is bad.

Having trouble putting on disposable latex gloves? Hold your hands in front of a fan to completely dry them. Also hold open the gloves in front of the fan. They will then slide on with ease.

Herbal tea not only is a healthy drink, but having a cup of any of the flavored tea such as peach or apple-cinnamon delivers a pleasant fragrance to the room.

Sort your laundry as you remove your clothes each day. Set-up bins for each type of laundry load and when the bin is full, wash the contents.

Try running your errands on Tuesdays. The bank, the post office and the stores seem to be less busy.

Keep a few blank rolodex or index cards in your car to write down the phone numbers of various services that you see advertised when you are out running errands. PLEASE WRITE DOWN THE NUMBERS ONLY WHEN STOPPED A TRAFFIC LIGHT.

Someone didn't finish his glass of water?...throw-it-out into the outdoor plant containers that need daily watering. This is also a good place to throw-out the water from pet bowls when replacing them with fresh water.

Baby oil is great for cleaning up sticky messes.

Can't get everything out of that tube of hand creme or tooth paste? Cut-off the end and store it in a plastic bag until finished.

Using a moisture locking lotion such as Unscented Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion can be just as effective as an expensive face creme. Apply it immediately after washing your face.

You can always have your blush match your lipstick by using the lipstick as blush. Lipstick can still be used when it gets to low to apply to your lips. By using a make-up applicator you can get every last bit of it.

Tie colorful ribbons around the handles on your luggage which will make it easy to identify them at the baggage claim.

Glue a red ribbon (or any bright color) to the metal ring on your pencils and tie it in a bow around the pencil. It will personalize your pencil so that it is not accidentally taken by someone. It also looks cute!

When looking for new glassware, consider purchasing colored glass. If it happens to fall and it gets broken, it is much easier to see all the little pieces of glass during the clean-up.

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