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The Importance of Exposing Your Child to Lessons in Art, Music Or Dance

As our children grow, they need well-rounded stimulation and exposure to various interests in order to become informed and educated adults later. Most children are taught to engage in sports, while their exposure to the arts may not be as intensive. As the daughter of a teacher who has taught the basics of art, dance, music and theater to children; I have an appreciation for what they have to offer. My life has been enhanced greatly by art and music, especially. If you are thinking about enrolling your child in afterschool programs, consider an art, music or dance class to get them started in the fascinating world of the arts. My mother’s students through the 45 years she has taught have appreciated what they learned from her, and have come back at times to tell her so. The arts are meaningful and broaden your child’s world tremendously.

For example, if you child wants to play an instrument, encourage this and find a tutor or enroll them in a class. Let your child choose an instrument then either rent one or buy a second-hand instrument until you know he or she likes it enough to get a new one. Music teaches discipline, and studies by experts claim that it can help with learning mathematics as well. Besides, music is a good outlet for children, and pulls them away from less educational pursuits like video games or chatting online. By stimulating your child’s brain, you are allowing them to gain mastery of a subject. By sticking with lessons and completing them one-by-one, your child will gain in self confidence, too.

If your child loves to dance, there are courses at the arts or recreational centers in your community on ballet, tap or more. Sign up for a course in the topic he or she finds most interesting, and make sure to give encouragement as the courses progress. Dance promotes agility, grace and physical fitness. Install these interests early to set them up for interest in these disciplines as they mature. Go to the dance performance at the end of the course, and your child will be happy to know that you support all their hard work. It means a lot for them to see that you approve of what they are doing.

Art is most near and dear to my heart, as I am a trained illustrator. Let your child try a broad spectrum of different arts and crafts, so he or she can see what is most interesting to pursue further. For example, there are courses in pottery-making, drawing, painting, enamelling, sculpture and much more. I myself have taught children in drawing and painting, and they absorb what is taught to them like sponges when interested in the subject. Make sure to find a teacher who will make learning fun and give them positive encouragement. Many of my students have told me at the beginning, “I can’t do this. I can’t even draw a straight line.” That doesn’t matter, there is no right and wrong in creative art. It’s the artist’s creative license to do whatever he or she wants. My main concern with insecure students is to let them know that it takes time and practise, like in any branch of the arts, to become skilled. It doesn’t happen overnight, no matter how talented you are. Then, I go ahead and teach them, project-by-project, to gain confidence and see that art truly is for them. Some of my students have taken off to create projects on their own, once they realized that perfection isn’t expected of them. The pressure is off, and they can be free to enjoy whatever medium they like the most.

As a kid, my mother and father enrolled me in a wide variety of courses. As a shy child, it scared me at first, but even the courses I wasn’t as interested in were educational to me. I took away from each course a little more knowledge and appreciation for what the pros have to do to become good at their craft. Though I didn’t get into dance, I loved drawing, painting, music and pottery. And, trying different things pulled me out of my shell, making the shyness disappear later on.

I am a professional artist, my preferred style is realistic art, but I appreciate different disciplines unlike mine, such as impressionistic or abstract art. My mother teaches her young students to appreciate the Old Masters (painters like Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, etc.) every year, and they love it. Each child is taught to choose a painting they like, then try to paint it, using basic tempera paint. It is amazing how lovely the paintings can turn out, and every year she gets copies of the work before it goes home with the kids. Unbeknownst to these three to five year old children, classic training in painting includes copying the Old Masters further along in art education. Trying it early is invaluable, and there is no pressure to create a masterpiece, just in having fun and seeing how each child interprets the original painting. The kids love it, and work hard to do a good job, so they can go home and give it to their parents. A very worthwhile project.

Having grown up immersed in the arts myself, I truly encourage you to give your child exposure to them away from what they learn in elementary school. If they enjoy a certain branch of the arts, encourage it, and later as adults they will do this for their children in return. The arts make the world a prettier, more musical and interesting place. No time spent on learning them is wasted. So, go ahead and enroll them in a course after school. You won’t be disappointed, and maybe you will open their eyes to a new passion to pursue. It’s most definitely worth a try.

Free Streaming Videos

The Internet is filled with websites that offer free streaming videos. The contents of these videos range from a wide variety of shows. From a real-time view of a certain road in Germany to a short clip from a cooking show that aired today, the contents of free streaming videos are so diverse that it is almost like having a television with a thousand channels to choose from.

Many of the free videos being streamed are clips from newscasts – the weather report or an interview with a politician or celebrity. Movie and music companies also offer free streaming videos in the form of movie trailers and music videos. Sports websites offer free streaming videos of the day’s sports highlights – the dunk from a basketball game or the grand slam homerun from a baseball game.

News and sports websites also have a portion of their webpage space dedicated for streaming advertisement videos. Internet users are treated to a whole array of commercials that they also see on the television.

A lot of educational organizations provide free streaming videos of lectures, presentations, and demonstrations. Other organizations even provide videos of documentaries.

Although most of the free videos flooding the Internet are considered mainstream, there are also a lot of free videos posted online by your average Internet user. There are a lot of websites that offer free video streaming services, allowing users to upload their “homemade” videos and share them with the entire Internet-surfing population.

Another type of content that currently takes up a large share of the free streaming video market is made by adult video companies. Internet pornography accounts for a large portion of Internet users’ consumption.

So while there are advantages to having free access to streaming videos online, there is also a risk involved, especially with children who use the Internet.

Voiceover Jobs in the Music Industry

Getting into the music industry can be a hard road to travel, but if you are a voiceover artist you may have the upper hand over your competition.

With the right talent, education, training and qualifications you can overcome your competitors and become a DJ for a radio station, a radio broadcaster, an announcer covering the news, provide the voice for advertisements or even get a coveted position hosting a music show on one of the biggie networks like MTV or CMT. It’s advisable that all voice talent have representation from an agent and retain the services of a reputable and well-known voice company to promote you.

Disc Jockey

It’s true DJs play music, but they do a lot of voice work too; they report the news, sports, weather and talk about the community, do the voice-overs for commercials, and talk with guests. Being a good D.J. takes talent, personality, and technical know-how. Most DJs have a background training in communications, broadcast journalism and have had coaching in public speaking, drama and voice. The job market for this type of work is highly competitive. Many DJs have representation like an agent or voice company where they post their profile and a voice sample. Bigger cities pay more than smaller ones. The pay ranges from the lowest paid 10%, who make less than $6.55 an hour, to the mid range paid from $8 to $19 an hour, and the top 10% being paid more than $32 an hour. Most DJs do the job for the love of it, not for the pay.

Radio and Television Broadcaster

The broadcasting industry consists of radio and television stations and networks. In the music industry, broadcasters work for radio stations and networks and television networks such as MTV, VH1 and CMT. They host video shows or report music industry news or have their own music related shows. This is another of those glamour jobs that attract a huge number of job seekers, so there is a lot of competition. The industry is looking for voice talents with a college degree in broadcasting, journalism or a related field and lots of voice training. Of course, big city jobs pay more than smaller town jobs. Reporters and correspondents average around $18.00 an hour. A high profile job will pay better and will attract highly skilled competition.


Radio and television announcers perform a variety of jobs; they announce station program information, read public-service announcements and they introduce and close shows. They also read commercials and provide ad-lib commentary on air, interview guests and moderate panels. With competition for these jobs being so high, a well-rounded education is a must-have. A degree in communications, broadcasting or journalism and formal voice training is advised. The median salary for radio and television announcers averages around $13 an hour.

On-Air Voice Talent

Voice talents can provide services on the radio such as being a sidekick to a DJ on a radio show, providing the voice for advertisements, narrating projects such as music countdown shows and interviewing music performers. These jobs are tough to get and require, like most radio work, talent, skills, voice training and education. The educational background for this line of work should be in communications, performing arts or journalism. Or better yet, a combination of these. The pay is the same as other radio jobs, ranging from $8 to $12 an hour with more popular talents making more.