Tap Dancing Shoes
Tap Dancing Lessons-Bring Back a Lost Art
We have all seen the classic old movies where this style of dance was often the star of the show. Tap dancing gets its name from the taps that are on the bottom of the dancer’s shoes. These taps make a rhythmic sound as the performer touches the shoes to the floor.

If you are fascinated by this dance style, you really should consider taking tap dancing lessons. It’s great for coordination, flexibility and fitness, as well as the fact that your tap dancing lessons help keep the art alive. This is a rigorous dance, and requires a high level of fitness. Because of the fitness benefits, it is becoming popular for adults and children alike.

Typical tap dancing lessons will last about an hour each. They include stretching in the beginning and the end. You will initially be learning the basic steps and once you become proficient in these, you will progress to more intricate foot work. Tap dancing lessons often incorporate other styles of dance as well, such as jazz.

There are two types of shoes you can choose for your tap dancing lessons. Some dances like the flat shoe, and others prefer a heel. Unless you are performing in a troupe, it is usually your choice. The goal is to be able to produce a clear tap with each foot movement. Certain shoes may work better for certain people.

In time you may want to expand your tap dancing lessons to include other styles of the dance, like clogging or hoofing. These dances use techniques similar to tapping. Hoofing uses the whole foot to produce a drum like sound. Clogging is similar to Irish tap, like Riverdance. And, as you explore these lovely dances, you will be keeping yourself fit and nimble.

Photo Credit:Steve Snodgrass

Kid Playing Guitar
Teach Music Theory to Children
Children can be some of the most receptive and skilled learners, as any children’s teacher will tell you. It’s much easier for a child to learn something than it is for an adult, and if you want to teach music theory to your child, the best time to do it is when he is young. If you can make your music lessons fun and exciting for a child, then he will learn quickly and eagerly and make a great music student. Follow these simple tips to learn to teach music theory effectively.

Start by choosing a single well known song to use to teach music theory to your child. A song like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” can be a great choice, as can “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Once you have chosen one of these songs, you will want to use it to demonstrate and teach music theory and its various parts to your child. For instance, make your child clap along to teach it the concept of rhythm. Speed up or slow down the song to illustrate tempo. Have your child identify high and low notes in the song, and try changing the key of the song to demonstrate pitch and tone. Then go on to teach music theory in the form of the notes by giving each note in the song a different number. For instance, C would equal 1, D would be 2, etc.

Once a few basics are covered, you can go on to more complicated ways to teach music theory, demonstrating flat and sharp notes and so on. Take it slowly, and most of all make it fun for the child. The child will respond much better if you put a lot into the classes and make them as interactive as possible. It’s important to focus less on making progress than on getting the child to enjoy the learning.

Photo Credit:Tim Pierce

An Oboe
The Art of Playing the Oboe
A woodwind instrument, the plaintive sound of the oboe is at once mysterious and invigorating. Oboe experts and oboists worldwide agree that the oboe is a challenging instrument to learn. — An art, to be sure. But the rewards of finally mastering the keys are well worth it.

From oboe experts to beginners, one thing all oboists have in common is a great respect for the instrument. In a symphony orchestra it is the instrument to which all others are tuned to. It is also one of the most expensive of the wind instruments, making the feeling of mastering the oboe all the more exclusive.

To the non trained ear the sound of the oboe may be criticized as having more sameness then its cousins the clarinet, the flute, the saxophone or the trumpet. But oboe experts and enthusiasts alike declare that an entire dimension of hypnotically beautiful sound proceeds from it at each concert.

One obvious benefit to learning to play the oboe is its consistency in performances. It is played for long periods of time without rest, unlike many other instruments which wait long portions of the symphony for their queue. All musicians, not only oboe experts and players love to play their instrument, so the more playing you can get in, the better. It’s just one more plus to learning to play the oboe.

If you are looking for classes and lessons, many oboe experts recommend enrolling in a music school of some sort, whether in group lessons or with a private tutor.

That is not to say that both oboe experts and amateurs haven’t begun their learning through diverse means. Online lessons with audio or visual aids, and even free demos can help familiarize the potential musician with his or her instrument, before the intensive training begins with the oboe experts.

Photo Credit:Ale Marquez

Art Class
Art Classes and Lessons Online
Many people have the talent for art, or have the desire to learn it, but need somewhere to start learning. Art classes can be expensive, not to mention structured, long, and dull, and some people prefer to study their own way rather than follow a teacher. Online art classes are a great way to avoid the things you don’t like about real-life classes, especially the costs, and learn from the comfort of your home in the style and at the pace that suits you best.

Online art classes are extremely easy to find, and something as simple as an online search could give you hundreds of hits. Some of the best places for lessons are sites dedicated to free art lessons. These will often focus on a certain part or style of art, for instance how to draw manga, how to do pastel art, or how to properly shade and illustrate facial expressions. These online art classes sites can often provide you with a great range of information and advice about one certain style or technique.

For more general and overall classes, there might be a fee charged. The fee for online art classes is of course much more minimal than the fee for real life ones, and it can be worth it if you want to become a well-rounded artist. These more general classes cover everything from point perspective to face and body structure to cartooning, often in a variety of techniques and mediums. To find these online art classes, the best places to go are online colleges or art schools.

And if you just want to supplement some of your knowledge or see art in action, a great place to look is on YouTube or other video sites. Extremely skilled and talented artists and teachers often post their tips and tricks, and you can even find entire series dedicated to teaching art. Learning art online is one of the easiest things to do if you know where to look for great resources and online art classes.

Photo Credit:Eileen Kane

A Violin
How to Teach the Violin
If you know how to play the violin relatively well, then teaching others what you know is a great way to turn around and give back to others and help people like you fulfill their dreams. Not only that, but teaching something like the violin can be a great way to make a bit of cash on the side, or even a way to support yourself full time. Whether you have former experience as a teacher or not, anyone can become an effective violin teacher if they know and follow a few simple pieces of advice.

The most important thing to do if you want to be an effective violin teacher is to find or create a curriculum and stick to it. You need to religiously follow your program and make sure your students do too, or else your class will be much less efficient and progress more slowly. Make room in your curriculum for some improvisation, flexible time slots, and fun activities, of course, but don’t improvise the entire course.

When deciding what you, as the effective violin teacher, should use for your curriculum material, you can take one of two paths. There are thousands of violin instructional books and courses available for purchase, and you can always buy and teach from one of these. The advantage to that is that all the work is done for you by some other effective violin teacher or group who has gone before you. The disadvantage is that everything is set in stone and more generic than making a course of your own would be. Designing your own program means much more work, yes, but it also means more efficiency, because you know how you and your students work best.

You can be an effective violin teacher today, with only a bit of preparation, courage, and determination. In teaching violin, like anything else, there will be ups and downs, but with time you can be an expertly effective violin teacher.

Photo Credit:Tom Brandt

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