Mahatma Gandhi was really onto something when he said, “Learn as if you were to live forever.” Too often, folks say they’re too old to learn a new language, musical instrument, or any number of new skills or hobbies. The truth is that hobbies are not only fun and great stress relievers, but they’re great for your brain and mental health as well. Whether you live in a college dorm or in a retirement home, it’s always a great time to learn something new. For those suffering from depression or who are in recovery from addiction, the benefits of pursuing a hobby are even more valuable. Read on for suggestions on fun new skills and hobbies to learn by yourself or with a group of friends.
But first, a few words on the benefits of learning something new at any age. When it comes to hobbies, it’s all about you. What makes your heart sing? You may not have a career you love, but you can still create space in your life for a hobby you’re passionate about. You can keep it completely private or you can share it with the world. This is one area in your life where you get to call the shots, whether you decide to learn how to speak Spanish or start knitting blankets for charity. Research shows that hobbies keep your brain engaged and active. Plus, they give you something to talk about! Here are four ideas to inspire you:
So, what shall it be? Is it finally time to learn how to play the guitar or take up beekeeping in your backyard? Maybe there’s something you used to enjoy doing until life got in the way? The next time you’re tempted to spend an hour or two on Facebook, web surfing, or having a date with Netflix, consider taking that first step toward a new hobby. At the end of the day, the feeling of accomplishment you’ll get will be cause for celebration. You might even make some new friends along the way.
This blog was written by guest author Julie Morris
When playing the piano, technique is wildly important. The basis of a great pianist is their technique. Technique is necessary to create the best sound and to protect the pianist. Improper technique can cause injury to a pianist over time, eventually rendering them unable to play the piano all together. The best way to learn technique is by taking lessons from a professional, but hopefully these tips can help make you better.
The first lesson as a pianist is always posture. Sitting at the piano is a simple yet important issue. Always sit up straight at the piano, shoulders relaxed, knees slightly under the piano, & feet flat on the floor. Slouching can cause lower back issues over time. The piano bench does not have a back to relax on, always sit up straight. Sitting too close or too far from the piano can cause you to over extend or by constrained.
The next piece of necessary information is to always have proper technique with your hands. Carpal tunnel is a terrible degenerative disease that is partly preventable with proper technique. Always have your hands in a curved "C-Shape" with your wrists straight. Make sure that you only move your fingers and not your hand or wrist. A great way to practice this technique is to set your hands on a counter and tap; recognize that only your fingers move and not your wrist or hand. If you're using proper technique then you should feel some tendons on the outside of your arm just below your elbow moving. You want your elbows and hands to be level.
Making sure that your seat is the correct height is pertinent. Seat height contributes to both of these techniques. If your seat is too high, you'll either bend your wrists or slouch. Both of these can cause serious issues as previously outlined.
Technique often can make or break a great musician. Be sure to always pay attention to your technique. Technique is easily fixed and perfected with practice; carpal tunnel requires surgery to repair. Prevent future injury by using proper technique.
Medical professionals so often are required to take the "Hippocratic oath" to "do no harm." Doctors have the power within them to do quite a bit of harm, but swear not to. So often, educators also have the intense ability to do harm. Piercing words of discouragement can ruin a students passion and drive. Practically everyone has a horror story of an educator discouraging them. Educators should be the main force of encouragement in a students life. This post is for three people; the educator, the student, and the parent.
Educators, whether formal or informal, always encourage your students. You have within you the power to change lives and alter destinies. Being over-worked and under-payed (especially in public education) you can begin to experience "burn-out". It is your responsibility to never let your emotions get in the way of a students education. We all know the correction sandwich; compliment, correction, new compliment. Always reassure your student that they are making progress (however slow). Always make clear your pride in their efforts. Always show love and affection, softening correction with gentleness. Students don't want to learn when they don't feel important or loved. Your legacy will be tainted and worthless if your students lose out on education because of discouragement.
Parents, be sure to encourage your students as well. The philosophy can never be stressed enough of the importance of the parent-teacher relationship in a child's education. You are, in essence, your child's main educator. You have a responsibility to first, encourage to practice and do their homework. This builds habits for success in your child. Second, you have a responsibility to be their biggest cheerleader. Studies in child and developmental psychology have shown that parents who encourage students often see the best outcomes. When no one believes in your child, they should always hear your voice of encouragement saying "don't listen to them, you're amazing." You have the opportunity to raise your child to greatness through encouragement.
Students, never allow a naysayer to bring you down. We are all students, so this paragraph applies to all readers. Constantly learn, and always imagine. Their are immense possibilities in this wild world. If you want to do something then do it! It does not matter what anyone says, you have to believe in yourself. Dr. Ben Carson was called dumb by his elementary school teachers, he went on to be the worlds greatest pediatric neurosurgeon and a U.S. 2016 POTUS candidate. Your future is ultimately in your control, you just have to believe it. Anyone who has ever became great was once told they would fail.
I'd encourage all - educators, parents, students - to take the Hippocratic oath. Educators and parents, do no harm to your students. Never discourage, always encourage. Students, do no harm to yourself. You have to believe in yourself, that will determine your success. Go, and do no harm.