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BY JAMIE CARTWRIGHT
Quarantine has given many of us the space to explore new creative outlets. If you’ve always wanted to learn a new skill or adopt a new hobby, now is the time. If you’ve ever wished you had learned piano when you were younger, John Perry explains that it is never too late. Millions of adults have signed up for virtual piano lessons over the past year, including former students who have resumed their studies. Music-making in general, and piano playing in particular, is a terrific way to use your time productively, develop artistic skills, and have some fun. As an avid player, he is here to outline the value of piano lessons for adults, and how you can get started today.
Author John Perry has always loved piano: “I last took piano lessons as a college student. As much as I loved it, once I started my career and had a family, I had no time to practice. Piano gradually moved to the back burner and, finally, completely off the stove.” But now, with his kids grown and a new flexible freelance career, John has returned to the piano. When the pandemic began, John Perry was convinced that there was no time like the present to return to his lessons.
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Finding an Instructor
In our digitally connected world, finding a piano teacher is easier than ever. John Perry explains that local music groups, schools, churches, and teacher associations all have websites that can point you in the right direction (there is also the old-fashioned practice of asking around!). John Perry found his teacher through a referral from a friend of a friend. There are plenty of online teaching programs as well, allowing you to learn remotely or through simple YouTube videos. However, in his experience, John Perry believes that both teaching and learning are more effective and enjoyable in person.
When you find a prospective teacher, John Perry suggests a trial period of a month to make sure you are musically and personally compatible. Most private students are children, so most teachers love having an adult to teach. John Perry has had nothing but positive experiences with his teacher: “My new teacher, Sarah, is excellent. It’s amazing how much she reminds me of my first teacher, Mrs. Hayman, when I was in elementary school. They’re both patients, capable, and have answers for every question I ask.”
Practice Makes Perfect
One of the best advantages of piano lessons as an adult is that you’re free to practice as much or as little as you like — unlike the old days when your parents made you sit there! Chances are you’ll love playing for a few minutes every day. As with any other skill, it is important to practice regularly even if it’s only for fifteen minutes a day. Perry states that his goal is fifteen minutes five days a week, though most weeks he goes longer because he is enjoying it so much.
Buying a Piano
Of course, taking piano lessons requires — a piano. If you have one already, great. If not, consider asking around to see if anyone you know may have one you can borrow. Another possible solution is to practice at someone’s home who has a piano—or at a nearby school or church. In addition, a lot of music stores rent pianos. Most of them will allow you to apply rental payments to the purchase price if you decide to buy later.
If you want to buy an instrument, the easiest and safest way is to visit your local piano stores, play on the used pianos they have in stock, and buy the one you like best. Of course, there’s also the new piano option, which gives you a pristine, factory-fresh model. However, John Perry explains: “My advice, particularly for beginners, is to get a used piano in good condition. A well-maintained instrument that has never been wet or otherwise damaged is practically as good as a new one.” It is important to have a piano technician check it out for you first. It will cost you to have them take a look, but their expertise can save you from paying too much or buying an instrument that will break down.
If you don’t have the money or space for a piano, there is the electronic keyboard option. But as John Perry points out, the physical, tactile experience is completely different between the two and pianos can respond to a far wider range of touch and expression than any electronic substitute. Though pianos do take up room, an upright needs no more floor space than a bedroom dresser. If you just want to mess around or play in a garage band, a keyboard is fine. If you want to play the piano, you need a piano.
John Perry claims that his elementary school teacher would applaud his recent progress: “I’ve been at it almost a year now and enjoy playing more than ever. My chops are slowly coming back. Though I still have plenty of catching up to do, I’ve already recovered some of the basics. At least I look the part of a serious pianist: back straight, shoulders firm, arms relaxed, fingers curled naturally as if they were resting in my lap. Mrs. Hayman would be proud.”
(Disclaimer: The article is sponsored, and hence promotes some commercial links.)
Heinz has just rolled out a new product that the condiment company says is the "biggest innovation in sauce since the packet itself." Earlier this month, the world's largest producer of ketchup announced the Packet Roller, a ketchup bottle-shaped gadget that allows users to squeeze the most out of a condiment packet, CNN reported.
"Do not click 'purchase' unless you are prepared to change everything about the way you sauce," the Heinz Packet Roller website says. The roller goes for $5.70. The roller is pocket-sized, can be added to a keychain, and features a packet corner cutter.
Heinz has just rolled out a new product that the condiment company says is the "biggest innovation in sauce since the packet itself | Flickr
This announcement could be part of the fast-tracked, "future-focused culinary and packaging innovations" that Steve Cornell, president of Kraft Heinz's US grocery business unit, hinted at earlier this year amid a shortage of ketchup. A surge in takeout and delivery food orders during the pandemic led to a scarcity of ketchup packets, the report said.
In April, Heinz pledged to increase production of ketchup by 25 per cent to 12 billion packets annually. "Gone are the days of fumbling with ketchup packets, pants ruined by mustard disasters, and minutes taken off your life trying to get to the bottom of that mayo packet. With the patent-pending Heinz Packet Roller, what was once taxing becomes simple -- just snip and roll to squeeze out every drop of your sauce of choice," the website says
Keywords: Heinz, Packet roller, sauce, company, ketchup
Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer, who is recovering from a right-knee surgery he underwent last month, said on Sunday that it was a difficult process to decide whether to undergo a third right-knee surgery after having two last year. But following Wimbledon, where he was "really unhappy" with his performance in reaching the quarterfinals, Federer opted to go through with it.
Federer, who made a late decision to attend this year's Laver Cup in Boston -- a tournament held between teams from Europe and the rest of the world -- said on the sidelines of the event that the recovery and rehabilitation are "going to take me a few more months and then we'll see how things are at some point next year". "The reception I've received, everybody is so upbeat that I'm here. They wish me all the best and they don't even see the crutches. They just want me to be good again and enjoy the weekend," Federer said in an interview for the event with former world No. 1 Jim Courier.
"I've seen some incredible tennis, some great matches and it's been wonderful. I'm really happy I made the trip," the winner of 20 majors was quoted as saying by atptour.com. On why he opted for a third surgery, the tennis ace said, "I was just nowhere near where I wanted to be to play at the top, top level. But I tried my best and at the end... too much is too much. Now I've just got to take it step by step," Federer said.
Federer received thunderous ovations inside Boston's TD Garden, where he has often been sitting in the front row watching the action or behind the scenes visiting with the players. | Wikimedia Commons
"I've got to first walk again properly, run properly and then do the sidesteps and all the agility work and then eventually I've got to be back on the tennis court. But it's going to take me a few more months and then we'll see how things are at some point next year. "I've got to take my time. I don't want to rush into anything at this point. This is also for my life. I want to make sure I can do everything I want to do later on. There's no rush with anything, so I'm actually in a really good place. I think the worst is behind me. I took the time and, I don't know, I'm just really in a good place. I'm really happy."
Federer received thunderous ovations inside Boston's TD Garden, where he has often been sitting in the front row watching the action or behind the scenes visiting with the players. The former world No. 1 has played in the first three editions of the Laver Cup. "I think Boston is a great city. The stadium is wonderful, the crowds have been incredible. Both teams are stacked with absolute quality and top players," Federer said. "That's what the idea was behind it: that everybody could come together, have the most incredible weekend, learn from one another and then hopefully that's going to inspire them, motivate them and get them going for the rest of this year, next year." (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Roger Federer, tennish, player, sports, knee, surgery
By Hitesh Rathi
Cleopatra, was regarded as a great beauty, to preserve her skin, she took her daily bath in donkey milk. Besides, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed donkey milk for various diseases including fever, wounds, etc. To add to these benefits, donkey milk has four times the amount of Vitamin C than cow's milk has. So, it's no secret that donkey milk is a powerhouse of nutrients for both the skin and body.
Used for Anti-Ageing and Healing
The milk contains essential fatty acids that work as powerful anti-ageing and healing properties. These fatty acids blur the wrinkles on the skin and help to regenerate damaged skin. Plus, donkey milk also contains anti-bacterial properties which are effective in healing skin irritation and redness.
The milk contains essential fatty acids that work as powerful anti-ageing and healing properties.| Flickr
Antioxidant and Nutrient-Rich
Known as a "natural elixir of youth", donkey milk is packed with antioxidants and nutrients. It contains vitamin E, amino acids, vitamins A, B1, B6, C, E, Omega 3, and 6. These properties together make it a rich ingredient when it comes to skin treatment. Moreover, vitamin D is another important ingredient for human skin, and the primary source to get it is through UV exposure. At the same time, too much of that leaves an adverse effect on the skin. Here is when donkey milk acts as a great substitute as it naturally contains vitamin D. All in all, if this milk is applied frequently, it brings a glowing effect while making the skin look brighter.
Known as a "natural elixir of youth", donkey milk is packed with antioxidants and nutrients.| Photo by Jernej Graj on Unsplash
Moisturizer and Softener
By now it's a well-known fact that this milk works as a powerful moisturizer for the skin. Besides, if donkey milk is used consistently, it acts as a great cleanser as well as helps in keeping the skin healthy, hydrated, and soft.
If donkey milk is used consistently, it acts as a great cleanser as well as helps in keeping the skin healthy, hydrated, and soft. | Photo by febri sym on Unsplash
Therefore, donkey milk with its healing, nutritional and rejuvenating properties for the skin is rapidly emerging as a key ingredient for skincare. These are also driving several leading players to roll out personal care products such as soap, cream, etc. manufactured using donkey milk. Moreover, the global donkey milk market is expanding rapidly with the market value projected to reach $68,139.0 thousand by 2027, registering a CAGR of 9.4 per cent from 2021 to 2027. And the growing use of donkey milk as an ingredient in cosmetic and personal care products will significantly contribute toward the growth of this market in the years to come. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Skin, donkey milk, skincare, anti-ageing, soft skin, hydrate, antioxidant, healing