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Over the past ten years a majority of the top ten songs on the Billboard charts has been consistent trendsetters. Songs that have saturated radio airwaves by the masses are placed in constant rotation to enthrall us. These songs appeal to a certain audience that often allow those in the music industry to capitalize on the opportunity to gain new fans of the most popular genres of music today. But some of these genres of today music have lost the luster for true music lovers, that they often resort to the classic CD’s from their youth just to hear music they deem as good music.

But what is considered “good music”? According to industry executives, “good music” is “any music that can capture the attention of an audience.” However; for the demographic of listeners in their mid twenties to mid thirties, “good music” is music that’s worth listening to many years after, and whose lyrics has meaning and depth.

So if the music industry has released nothing but “good music” over the past ten years, then why is it that the demographic of listeners in their mid twenties, thirties and older doesn’t find it worth listening to?

After further discussion with Atlanta’s LS Muzik Group, a company representative says, “most of the music that is released today has a certain appeal that reflects the trend set during that time. If at that time, snap music or crunk music is the sound that’s in, then that’s what the trend will follow. It is rare that you’d find “good music” [from the likes of] a Neyo, R. Kelly, Usher, Mary J Blige, Anthony Hamilton, or Musiq Soulchild to name a few. Not including good folk, rap, country, gospel, blues, jazz, or alternative rock music from some great artists who are worth listening to also. But out of the few named, there’s really not that many artists today that has potential for longevity. These artists are force fed to the consumer just to make record sales. We truly doubt half of them will be around to play sold out arenas in the next ten years.”

Hoping to bridge the gap between the two demographics of listeners in their mid twenties to mid thirties, the company looks to bring back good music that is worth listening to by adapting the Motown approach by signing good talent and releasing heartfelt songs with meaning.

Although the idea to bring back good music is what LS Muzik Group intends to do, there’s still that certain group of listeners the company may struggle to gain. Mainly because the music industry have already captured the attention of this group over the past ten years with music that has a sound of its own, a sound that has captivated them with what LS Muzik Group deems as over synthesized sounds. It is unclear however, as to how the company plans to win over that demographic, when all they know is what the music industry have force-fed them.

And because of this, the dividing line between the two demographics has left a void in the music industry, simply because true music lovers aren’t as fascinated with listening to over synthesized sounds that has little to no substance. This has crippled record sales over the past ten years.

In spite of the clever marketing initiatives by the music industry to capture true music lovers, the effort hasn’t been significant enough to impact their decisions to enjoy listening to the music released today thereby causing most of the music released today to barely go gold or platinum. This is all due in part not only to the Internet, but because true music lovers in their mid twenties, thirties, and older who enjoy good music, are not buying what is most popular today. But if what’s popular is Trey Songz or Chris Brown, then how is it that either of the two artists survives in such an industry where their level of success or failure is dictated by their marketing, and not their music.

“Record companies have gotten somewhat smart on how they market and release artists. Their idea to market and release Chris Brown or Trey Songz on the same Tuesday as they would Robin Thicke or K Jon isn’t the same. Simply because record sales for Chris Brown or Trey Songz may be slim for the first week of release, that marketing and releasing Trey Songz against K Jon on the same date would immobilize their sales goal of going gold or platinum, against a more likely artist that can, who has a more mature fan base of true music lovers who enjoy listening to good music,” says one industry executive.

This scenario is all too common in the industry today, whereas album release dates are rescheduled all due in part to industry executives being aware of the competition. Often times that competition is welcomed in what appears to be a rivalry to see who can out sell the other, as with the Kanye West and 50 Cent release in 2007. Rivalries such as this makes for clever marketing that will often propel record sales through the roof the first week of release, causing artists to go platinum. However at what cost to record companies? “Record companies can pay millions of dollars to market an artist all at the expense of gaining a few true music lovers. The gamble is to win the few they think will be loyal followers. While hoping the artists does their part to deliver good music to keep them [the fans] loyal.”

But with dismal record sales on the rise, artists are struggling to deliver good music to keep true music lovers devoted. Long gone are the days of the Motown Sound, Disco, P-Funk, and New Jack Swing era that we’ve all grown so accustom to that has found its way in music today through the practice of “sampling”; that most artists have lost all sense of creativity to produce almost anything remotely appealing to true music lovers. In order to win them over without the over synthesized sounds, they must sample or take portions of music from great artists like Teddy Pendergrass or The O’Jays just to get their attention.

So how can music get a fresh revitalization to capture the attention of true music lovers? Well according to LS Muzik Group, “bring back live musicians and artists who feel passionate about love and family values.” This could well be true, being that everything in heavy rotation on the radio is all about sex. “Where are the family values in the songs we hear today, there aren’t any. Most parents today don’t want their children listening to the radio, mainly because all they’re hearing is about sex.” From Trey Songz “Invented Sex”, to R. Kelly’s “Number One”, songs like these have saturated commercial radio and have left somewhat a bad taste in the mouth of true music listeners.

However artists like R. Kelly who has a solid fan base of loyal true music listeners, releasing songs like “Number One” is often well taken, being that an artist of his caliber is able to release just about anything and go platinum.

The musician in R. Kelly has allowed for him to survive in an industry that lacks creativity. Yet, he manages to stay in touch with his fan base while adjusting his talents to accommodate both younger and older audiences with songs like, “Number One”. But can the same be said of an artist [like a] Trey Songz? “Trey Songz is a talented artist; however, his fan base of course is entirely different from that of an R. Kelly or Robin Thicke not only because of the way he’s marketed, but also how he appeals to an audience that doesn’t understand good music. But considers what he sings to be. Keep in mind we are talking about a group that may not have even grew up listening to “good music” from the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s.”

Because of this lack of understanding, Trey Songz is able to sustain a fan base based entirely on his talents as a singer, songwriter and producer and thereby, creating music that his record label deems worthy of marketing and releasing to his fans. It is this group of listeners who are twenty-five and under, the music industry caters to without a second thought of catering to the older audiences. Why is this? It appears that a majority of the top ten songs on the Billboard charts is created by artists who themselves are twenty-five years of age and under, and who are basically creating music just for their age group. This has allowed for teenagers and young adults with a great deal of disposable income to spend their earnings from part-time jobs, birthday and holiday money on music, thereby pumping a small breath of life into the industry to keep it a live. So what’s going to happen once this age group gets much older and mature? Are they likely to even consider listening to Trey Songz or Chris Brown ten years from now?

The combination of good marketing combined with good talent can make artists such as Trey Songz a huge success because of the trend set in the industry today. Allowing record companies to capitalize off their talents now, and possibly tomorrow, depending on the terms of the artist-recording contract. Whereas in the days of Motown-“good music” was all it took to propel the success of an artist. It was imperative that Berry Gordy developed and released artists he knew could create “good music” that’s worth listening to many years after. This process of artist development became a critical element in the music industry up until 2000, when record labels took the time to develop an artist for longevity.

But if the trend has been set in motion to follow music that’s been hot for over the past ten years, then going against what the industry is doing to bring back “good music” with great lyrical content, is what LS Muzik Group looks to do and pave a way of their own in the industry.

With a well driven team of professionals and a roster of talented musicians and singers like Mr. Tao Jones and Jackie Watson who seek to change the direction of music released in the industry today, it is likely that “good music” can make a major comeback in commercial radio.

But what would be the downside to all of this? One major downside would be discovering more artists like Mr. Tao Jones and Jackie Watson who have the passion to write and sing “good music”. The other is how to reach the demographics twenty-five and under who are captivated with what they’ve heard on the radio for the past ten years. To this group of listeners, growing up in an era where music is either sampled or synthetically created is all they know to be good music. However not understanding where the music they’re listening to originally derived from.

Music from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s is now considered old school to this younger audiences, which today has all become obsolete, leaving room for a younger hip sound that’s all synthetically created like fast food. So what was once old, is now new again.

Take Monica’s “Everything”, a melodic rendition of Denise Williams, “Silly”. This is a classic example of an artist who feels passionate about love and family values, has great talents, a solid fan base, and understands that the industry needs “good music”. However with the odds against her to accommodate her fans, record label, and a younger audience who thinks her music is old school, it is difficult for Monica or any artist of her stature from 70’s, 80’s and 90’s to make a comeback.

“In order to survive in the music industry today, an artist who once were in high demand during those days, would have to readjust their talents to accommodate the trend today in the industry. This doesn’t necessarily mean change the style of music that made them successful for years, but do what it is they do best while incorporating a younger hip sound that will appeal to both audiences.”

However not all artists can readjust and appeal to a younger audience. Artists like Monica are learning that the industry has changed dramatically over the years with an all-new sound that has made it somewhat complicated to adjust to, making it difficult to comeback. But often times an old school artist can return like they’ve never left and go platinum. Take Charlie Wilson, former member of the famed G.A.P Band or George Clinton architect of the band Parliament-Funkadelic, these artists have set a perfect example on how to readjust their talent in rap music to accommodate the trend of the industry to reach the younger audiences. It is this adjustment that Charlie Wilson and George Clinton were able to comeback with rap artists like Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube.

Although this strategy may have worked for Charlie Wilson and George Clinton-it is by far a long shot that other artists of 70’s, 80’s and 90’s can achieve. Because of the generation gap within the music industry, it is clear that fans are divided between what’s considered “good music” and what’s not. Therefore making it difficult to bridge the gap. And if record executives continue to overlook this issue, artist they consider as today stars will suffer immensely with record sales in the coming years, leaving them with a short term musical career. Here today, gone tomorrow.

Reminiscing about the good old days when we were growing up is a memory trip well worth taking, when trying to understand the issues facing the children of today. A mere 20 years ago, children used to play outside all day, riding bikes, playing sports and building forts. Masters of imaginary games, children of the past created their own form of play that didn’t require costly equipment or parental supervision. Children of the past moved… a lot, and their sensory world was nature based and simple. In the past, family time was often spent doing chores, and children had expectations to meet on a daily basis. The dining room table was a central place where families came together to eat and talk about their day, and after dinner became the center for baking, crafts and homework.

Today’s families are different. Technology’s impact on the 21st century family is fracturing its very foundation, and causing a disintegration of core values that long ago were what held families together. Juggling work, home and community lives, parents now rely heavily on communication, information and transportation technology to make their lives faster and more efficient. Entertainment technology (TV, internet, videogames, iPods) has advanced so rapidly, that families have scarcely noticed the significant impact and changes to their family structure and lifestyles. A 2010 Kaiser Foundation study showed that elementary aged children use on average 8 hours per day of entertainment technology, 75% of these children have TV’s in their bedrooms, and 50% of North American homes have the TV on all day. Add emails, cell phones, internet surfing, and chat lines, and we begin to see the pervasive aspects of technology on our home lives and family milieu. Gone is dining room table conversation, replaced by the “big screen” and take out. Children now rely on technology for the majority of their play, grossly limiting challenges to their creativity and imaginations, as well as limiting necessary challenges to their bodies to achieve optimal sensory and motor development. Sedentary bodies bombarded with chaotic sensory stimulation, are resulting in delays in attaining child developmental milestones, with subsequent impact on basic foundation skills for achieving literacy. Hard wired for high speed, today’s young are entering school struggling with self regulation and attention skills necessary for learning, eventually becoming significant behavior management problems for teachers in the classroom.

So what is the impact of technology on the developing child? Children’s developing sensory and motor systems have biologically not evolved to accommodate this sedentary, yet frenzied and chaotic nature of today’s technology. The impact of rapidly advancing technology on the developing child has seen an increase of physical, psychological and behavior disorders that the health and education systems are just beginning to detect, much less understand. Child obesity and diabetes are now national epidemics in both Canada and the US. Diagnoses of ADHD, autism, coordination disorder, sensory processing disorder, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders can be causally linked to technology overuse, and are increasing at an alarming rate. An urgent closer look at the critical factors for meeting developmental milestones, and the subsequent impact of technology on those factors, would assist parents, teachers and health professionals to better understand the complexities of this issue, and help create effective strategies to reduce technology use. The three critical factors for healthy physical and psychological child development are movement, touch and connection to other humans. Movement, touch and connection are forms of essential sensory input that are integral for the eventual development of a child’s motor and attachment systems. When movement, touch and connection are deprived, devastating consequences occur.

Young children require 3-4 hours per day of active rough and tumble play to achieve adequate sensory stimulation to their vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile systems for normal development. The critical period for attachment development is 0-7 months, where the infant-parent bond is best facilitated by close contact with the primary parent, and lots of eye contact. These types of sensory inputs ensure normal development of posture, bilateral coordination, optimal arousal states and self regulation necessary for achieving foundation skills for eventual school entry. Infants with low tone, toddlers failing to reach motor milestones, and children who are unable to pay attention or achieve basic foundation skills for literacy, are frequent visitors to pediatric physiotherapy and occupational therapy clinics. The use of safety restraint devices such as infant bucket seats and toddler carrying packs and strollers, have further limited movement, touch and connection, as have TV and videogame overuse. Many of today’s parents perceive outdoor play is ‘unsafe’, further limiting essential developmental components usually attained in outdoor rough and tumble play. Dr. Ashley Montagu, who has extensively studied the developing tactile sensory system, reports that when infants are deprived of human connection and touch, they fail to thrive and many eventually die. Dr. Montagu states that touch deprived infants develop into toddlers who exhibit excessive agitation and anxiety, and may become depressed by early childhood.

As children are connecting more and more to technology, society is seeing a disconnect from themselves, others and nature. As little children develop and form their identities, they often are incapable of discerning whether they are the “killing machine” seen on TV and in videogames, or just a shy and lonely little kid in need of a friend. TV and videogame addiction is causing an irreversible worldwide epidemic of mental and physical health disorders, yet we all find excuses to continue. Where 100 years ago we needed to move to survive, we are now under the assumption we need technology to survive. The catch is that technology is killing what we love the most…connection with other human beings. The critical period for attachment formation is 0 – 7 months of age. Attachment or connection is the formation of a primary bond between the developing infant and parent, and is integral to that developing child’s sense of security and safety. Healthy attachment formation results in a happy and calm child. Disruption or neglect of primary attachment results in an anxious and agitated child. Family over use of technology is gravely affecting not only early attachment formation, but also impacting negatively on child psychological and behavioral health.

Further analysis of the impact of technology on the developing child indicates that while the vestibular, proprioceptive, tactile and attachment systems are under stimulated, the visual and auditory sensory systems are in “overload”. This sensory imbalance creates huge problems in overall neurological development, as the brain’s anatomy, chemistry and pathways become permanently altered and impaired. Young children who are exposed to violence through TV and videogames are in a high state of adrenalin and stress, as the body does not know that what they are watching is not real. Children who overuse technology report persistent body sensations of overall “shaking”, increased breathing and heart rate, and a general state of “unease”. This can best be described as a persistent hypervigalent sensory system, still “on alert” for the oncoming assault from videogame characters. While the long term effects of this chronic state of stress in the developing child are unknown, we do know that chronic stress in adults results in a weakened immune system and a variety of serious diseases and disorders. Prolonged visual fixation on a fixed distance, two dimensional screen grossly limits ocular development necessary for eventual printing and reading. Consider the difference between visual location on a variety of different shaped and sized objects in the near and far distance (such as practiced in outdoor play), as opposed to looking at a fixed distance glowing screen. This rapid intensity, frequency and duration of visual and auditory stimulation results in a “hard wiring” of the child’s sensory system for high speed, with subsequent devastating effects on a child’s ability to imagine, attend and focus on academic tasks. Dr. Dimitri Christakis found that each hour of TV watched daily between the ages of 0 and 7 years equated to a 10% increase in attention problems by age seven years.

In 2001 the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement recommending that children less than two years of age should not use any technology, yet toddlers 0 to 2 years of age average 2.2 hours of TV per day. The Academy further recommended that children older than two should restrict usage to one hour per day if they have any physical, psychological or behavioral problems, and two hours per day maximum if they don’t, yet parents of elementary children are allowing 8 hours per day. France has gone so far as to eliminate all “baby TV” due to the detrimental effects on child development. How can parents continue to live in a world where they know what is bad for their children, yet do nothing to help them? It appears that today’s families have been pulled into the “Virtual Reality Dream”, where everyone believes that life is something that requires an escape. The immediate gratification received from ongoing use of TV, videogame and internet technology, has replaced the desire for human connection.

It’s important to come together as parents, teachers and therapists to help society “wake up” and see the devastating effects technology is having not only on our child’s physical, psychological and behavioral health, but also on their ability to learn and sustain personal and family relationships. While technology is a train that will continually move forward, knowledge regarding its detrimental effects, and action taken toward balancing the use of technology with exercise and family time, will work toward sustaining our children, as well as saving our world. While no one can argue the benefits of advanced technology in today’s world, connection to these devices may have resulted in a disconnection from what society should value most, children. Rather than hugging, playing, rough housing, and conversing with children, parents are increasingly resorting to providing their children with more videogames, TV’s in the car, and the latest iPods and cell phone devices, creating a deep and widening chasm between parent and child.

Cris Rowan, pediatric occupational therapist and child development expert has developed a concept termed ‘Balanced Technology Management’ (BTM) where parents manage balance between activities children need for growth and success with technology use. Rowan’s company Zone’in Programs Inc. http://www.zonein.ca has developed a ‘System of Solutions’ for addressing technology overuse in children through the creation of Zone’in Products, Workshops, Training and Consultation services.

As an “Abundant Life Coach” I get asked about the meaning of “financial abundance” very often. What this means to you can be the difference between living the lifestyle of your dreams, or settling for something less than your dreams. I want you to live the life of your dreams!

Here, then, are 5 Essential Factors of Financial Abundance:

“The Abundant Mindset”

Thousands upon thousands of books, articles, media, programs, and so much more have been produced that discuss the awesome power of our minds, and the influence of our thinking upon our lives. It is difficult to say enough or emphasize enough that truth. As I see it, we are exactly as we think.

In my work, I recommend the adoption of an “Abundant” mindset. This means so much more than finance or money, however, for the purposes of this article, I will discuss abundance only as it applies to the world of money and finance.

A financial abundance mindset means enjoying an abundant amount of money, and yet not allowing greed. Greed does not work (sorry, Gordon Gekko). Of course “financial abundance” will be a relative concept; it will probably mean something different to each person. Greed, however, is fairly obvious; it is almost like knowing (within your mid or heart) the difference between right and wrong.

Further, a financial abundance mindset means having the monetary means or resources to enjoy an abundant lifestyle, yet balancing your financial wealth with philanthropy and generous giving (see point 4). When one’s personal motives are clearly defined and one’s goals are aligned with those motives, then financial abundance becomes clear.

“Specialized Knowledge”

The largest difference between the rich and poor (or the “haves” and “have-nots”) is knowledge. Or, more specifically, the largest difference is a specialized knowledge; meaning that they have the “right” knowledge and also know how to use that knowledge to their advantage. In other words, specialized knowledge is the information or data itself, coupled with the wisdom to know how to use the information or data.

For many, specialized knowledge is an academic education such as medical or law school, while for others this might mean computer programming, aviation repair, or something. Further, many of those with a financial education know how to leverage their own money to make more money. Obviously the point is that specialized knowledge translates to earning ability.

“The Power of Compounding Interest and Investing”

For many people, diligent savings and investment of a consistent percentage of income over considerable lengths of time has lead to financial abundance. I would certainly add that economic factors always play a significant role with regard to risk in investments. Even so, living well within one’s means while investing and saving can very often lead to financial abundance.

“Generous Giving”

Generosity does not necessarily mean giving away or donating money. Mr. Zig Ziglar has said: “If you can dream it, then you can achieve it. You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”

This is so very true. It must be an unwritten law of nature that over time, our generosity is paid back several times over. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, and yet employing an attitude of generosity is always a safe bet for a great return. And, if nothing else, it is an illustration of excellence of character.

“What You Love Over Time”

We should seek ways to turn what we love to do into a good living. I am a firm believer that when we do what we love doing, money very often comes as a byproduct, because our focus is not so much on making money as it is on enjoyment and lifestyle. Over time, money tends to take care of itself in large part when we are doing what we enjoy, especially when it helps others.

In conclusion, the very first point – having an abundant mindset – sums up all of the points I have made in this article. When we do what we love to do; when we are generous and seek to help others; when we live within our means and save money; when we always seek a more specialized knowledge…we then have an abundant mindset, and are bound to realize financial abundance.

Due to British colonialism in India, India’s culture has been significantly affected by the West. With globalization, Indian fashion today does reflect the Western influence. Halter tops, handkerchief-cut kurtas etc are common today and have become a part and parcel of one’s wardrobe. With 28 states, 7 union territories and multiple dialects, India is a land of great diversity and each state has its own unique fashion.

Conventional sarees, blouses, salwar kameezes and necklines have undergone great changes. The latest Indian fashion trend has a touch of the West. Indian fashion designers are working day in and day out to meet the new demands of the market. Let us see some of the Western influences on Indian dresses.

Short- Style Kurtis

Even a few years ago, traditional kurtis with bold prints were popular among the masses. Though they still continue to be in demand, yet short-style kurtis with halter necklines are giving their traditional counterpart a tough competition. Earlier, kurtis were worn along with chudidars, but today wearing them over jeans is the latest Indian fashion. Right from a celebrity, to the girl next door, short-style kurtis are a rage. Floor length anarkalis are also in high demand these days.

Casual Crinkled Crepes & A-Lined Skirts

Lehengas have always been loved by ladies among all age groups. The traditional embroidered lehenga is one of the best Indian bridal wears. However, lehengas have evolved into a casual crinkled crepes and A-lined skirts which are considered ideal for a party, social gathering or an informal meeting.

Half-Lehenga Style Saree

Saree is the most traditional Indian wear. Sarees are the perfect wear during weddings, religious functions and parties. However, the latest Indian fashion has seen the evolution of a new style saree which mixes both the saree and lehenga into a single wear. This is capturing everyone’s attention. This type of saree is known as half-lehenga style saree. This is pretty comfortable for those who are not well-acquainted with the traditional hanging saree.

Strap & Halter Neck Blouses

Earlier and even now, short-sleeved or long-sleeved blouses are very much popular among ladies. However, today blouses with straps and halter neck styles have also started making inroads. These types of blouses have become very common and are in great demand.

Denims

Denims are highly popular among men and women in India. Earlier in parties, formal wear was a common sight. Though it still is, yet today in many parties and even in offices, there is no dearth of people wearing denims. There are several international brands of denims available in India and each and every day the market is witnessing arrival of new designs.

There are always new styles which are developing from time to time. The western influence on Indian clothing is making them trendy and elegant. A new design can evolve anywhere. It is up to us to adapt to the changes according to our own style, convenience, preference and choice.

 

Planning on having a vacation with your family? Do you want to have a hassle free option for you to set up your travel plans and choose the best travel destinations around the world? No worries. The easiest and the most convenient way to book your ticket and help you with your travel itinerary are through the internet. You can find so many websites about travel guides and tours that would certainly help you with your trip.

You can find online travel agencies that can be helpful in giving you information about great destinations around the world without going to any travel agency office or talk to a travel agent. These online travel agencies will surely give you all the comforts to set up your destination plans in front of your laptop or PC. When you choose your online travel destination, you have to remember to find the best deal that allows you to choose your own destination and at the same time gives you all the comfort and convenience.

The benefits and advantage of online travel agencies is having low cost and convenience. Online travel agencies is also available at any time, as long as you go online, you have all the time for bookings that you need to complete. With all these online agencies, you have all the option to choose the best deal and the right budget for you. It also gives the comfort in the country of destination; you are provided with the transfer to your hotel and agencies are the one taking care of any problems you might encounter.

Also, the advantage of choosing online agencies is your control on your decision without influences or pressure from travel agents. If you visit a travel agency office, many travel agents have the same tone like a salesman; remember that most of these people are working under a commission program. So basically, you might be pressured by their sales pitch and book a trip without checking other good options and much less affordable.

Usually one of the concerns for online travel agencies is the security of paying large amounts of money online. Online security is a major issue for any online business, so it is very important to make sure and choose a travel agency online with a good reputation by checking customer reviews and feedback. Not all agencies can be relied on because some of them might disappear with your money. There are so many scams over the internet nowadays, so b very careful. It is better to be safe than sorry.

So overall, make sure to choose the legitimate and quality online travel agencies to avoid scams. Always seek some tips and assistance if you’re not sure about the online travel agency. Most importantly plan your trip carefully to avoid any hassles or problems. Good luck and enjoy your vacation.

It is not clear how music influences the individual. Some experts insist that music and musicians influence young people. Other sources insist that certain individuals respond to particular types of music and musical expression. Either way, today’s youth can see how their favorite musicians dress and behave, both in public and in private, via the multiple media sources which are constantly monitoring the world’s celebrities. Young people can then elect to change their own appearance and behavior to reflect the musician and musical style that they most identify with.

Two separate, but related, theories explain how individuals relate to and express themselves through music. Social identity theory indicates that people “borrow” their identity from the society in which they live. The individual’s adopting of a group identity through music is a way for that person to conform to the ideals, goals, and norms of the society as a whole. The opposite of social identity theory says that some individuals elect to behave in a manner that is contrary to societal norms. These people prefer to adopt their own style and stand apart from everyone else. This is called personal identity theory. These theories are interrelated because, even though personal identity theory identifies the individual aspects of expression, the person is still identifying as a part of a sub-group.

Young people are more likely to subscribe to varying forms of identification through music; especially those forms that my not conform to the larger society. As young people move through the adolescent years and into young adulthood, they are more likely to explore and experiment with their own identity through music than older adults, who have likely settled into one genre that they identify with. Looking at music in this way makes it easier to see how it has always been, and remains, a socializing agent; a way for young people to explore their independence as they move away from the authority of their parents.

This perspective on music can hide the influence that music has on children. The music of the past century has played an important role in the lives of young adults, yet music may be having an expanding effect on individuals who are even younger. Remember that music has always been an important part of every society. Children are socialized through songs that are shared with them at many ages. Children’s songs can be as simple as songs that teach basic information, such as ABC’s and 123’s, and they can teach social skills and acceptable behavior (think Sesame Street and Barney). Still, children have access to the same music that young adults have access to; and sometimes this music is not age-appropriate. This phenomenon has ushered in the debates about whether or not exposure to certain musical influences is having a harmful effect on the nation’s youth.

Interestingly, one study has found that females are more likely to be influenced by music than males, although both genders find expression through music satisfying. This may be because females are typically socialized as members of a societal group and males are typically encouraged to be self-sufficient. The study’s authors believe that the socialization process makes females more susceptible to musical influences than males.

So you’re vegan and have this passionate love of food. You would like to pursue this passion further, but you’re not sure what the vegan cooking school options are out there. Happily, there are plenty! There are quite a few schools that focus on plant-based meals, and many that aren’t exclusively vegan can be geared toward you, so you won’t find yourself chopping chickens and preparing fish if you’re not into that.

There are many casual plant-based cooking classes around the world if you’re looking for something just for fun without any fancy certification. In this article, though, I focus more on professional programs that have varying degrees of intensity. Some require only a little time and money if you don’t want to be a professional chef; others will take you the full distance to running your own kitchen.

Without further ado and in no particular order, here’s a list of some popular schools around the world, with some information about each.

Living Light Culinary Arts Institute
Where is it? Fort Bragg, California
What do they offer? 100% vegan and raw food instruction
When do the programs run? Multiple times a year, depending on the program
Website: rawfoodchef.com

The Living Light Culinary Arts Institute is located in a small coastal community on the Mendocino coast. If you love the ocean, temperate weather, and raw vegan cuisine, you’ll love this school. Run by Cherie Soria, the “mother of raw food”, this is THE raw foods institute. This is the one that draws people in from all around the world and produces top-of-the-line celebrity chefs of all kinds.

There are several types of courses, including a Gourmet Chef Certification Series (6 weeks), Advanced Instructor Training Certification Series (4 weeks), Raw Food Nutrition Educator Series, and the full-out Professional Chef Series, which runs almost an entire year, including a 250-day internship at the school.

Many of the well-known raw food chefs around the world went to Living Light for their training, including Chad Sarno and Jennifer Cornbleet.

The Natural Gourmet Institute
Where is it? New York, NY
What do they offer? Public classes and professional chef training that are plant-based and vegan-friendly
When do the programs run? Inquire by e-mail on their website
Website: naturalgourmetinstitute.com

The Chef’s Training program they offer is an intensive, professional course which can be taken part-time or full-time, but runs 619 hours. This school does teach people how to prepare seafood, chicken and eggs, but if you’re vegan you can opt out of that. This school teaches a wide range of cooking styles, including how to ferment, prepare raw foods and macrobiotic foods, and even Chinese medicine and medicinal cooking. The emphasis is on whole, plant foods.

The Natural Gourmet Institute offers a fun Friday night dinner, where the people enrolled in the school prepare a fine-dining experience for the general public at big, communal tables (with candlelight!), so if you’re in the area, you could swing by and see what it’s all about.

The Matthew Kenney Academyformerly the 105 Degrees Academy
Where is it? Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
What do they offer? Chef certification program in raw foods
When do the programs run? Monthly, or several times a year for the more advanced classes
Website: kenneycuisine.com

Matthew Kenney offers very small and personal raw food chef’s training classes (typically 4-8 people). It’s designed for beginners and chefs alike.

There are two 4-week training sessions – Level 1: Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine, and Level 2: Advanced Raw Cuisine. The Level 1 courses run every month and is Monday to Friday, 9am – 3pm. The Level 2 course runs 4 times a year and is the same hours as the Level 1 classes.

Cordon Vert School
Where is it? Altrincham, Cheshire, UK
What do they offer? Vegetarian leisure classes and workshops, a diploma program for professional chefs only
When do the programs run? Several times throughout the year; programs are short
Website: cordonvert.co.uk

The Cordon Vert School offers classes at their Vegetarian Society headquarters, and they even have rooms for lodging. They have a variety of vegetarian courses, ranging from 1 to 2 day workshops, classes for leisure, and professional classes. Their professional diploma class, a week in duration, is only available to professional chefs. However, their workshops and leisure courses are open to the general public, and occur frequently throughout the year.

Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts
Where is it? Austin, Texas
What do they offer? Full professional chef program that is vegan-friendly, public classes
When do the programs run? Begins every August and February
Website: naturalepicurean.com

This school specializes in vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic, ayurvedic and raw food preparation and cuisine. They offer a full 900-hour professional chef training program. All of the training takes approximately a third of a year, if you jump straight from training into internship. This is an intensive course that will fully prepare you to work in a natural kitchen.

They also offer public classes, though they’re sparse and seldom due to the emphasis on the professional chef training program.

The School of Natural Cookery
Where is it? Boulder, Colorado
What do they offer? Professional training as a foundation course, with the option to go further
When do the programs run? Most are in the Fall and Spring
Website: naturalcookery.com

The foundation course at the School of Natural Cookery is a 16-week diploma course where you learn fundamentals, bread making, gastronomy, nutrition and more. If you achieve a very high mark in this course, you may take a 4-week personal chef course or teacher training course. However, in order to pursue the teacher training course, you must have finished their classes as well as have five years experience with natural food.

Courses are typically offered for a spring semester and a fall semester and run the duration of a typical school semester.

Vegan Culinary Academy
Where is it? Anguin, California
What do they offer? Online courses and a 1000 hour professional apprenticeship
When do the programs run? Anytime
Website: veganculinaryacademy.com

There are two major highlights of this school – first, someone who is looking for a professional apprenticeship opportunity will find it here, and it can be completed in six months to two years depending on how much you work, and second, they offer a distance learning program. The online program requires only that you have a camera and a computer with internet, and each student gets personal attention from the instructors in addition to all of the class materials and lessons. The apprenticeship is geared toward those who are already chefs, dietitians or food service directors.

Heaven on Earth Vegetarian Institute
Where is it? Hamilton-Stoney Creek, Ontario
What do they offer? A vegan, macrobiotic and ayurvedic 3-module program
When do the programs run? Mid-October to mid-March for all 3 modules
Website: heavenstudio.ca

This institute offers a Holistic Health Consultant & Cooking Certification program that runs in 3 modules and goes far beyond cooking. It delves into many aspects of holistic health, including yoga, pranayama, diet and lifestyle changes for preventing diseases, and of course healthy food preparation. All of the cooking is vegan with the exception of one class, where fish is included.

Natural Kitchen Cooking School
Where is it? Mercerfield, New Jersey, Haddonfield, New Jersey and New York City
What do they offer? A natural chef training program
When do the programs run? October to May, one weekend each month
Website: naturalkitchenschool.com

This school has several locations and occurs during weekends, making it more accessible. The class sizes are kept small (12 or less) so personal attention and assistance can be given.

This list is by no means comprehensive, but it does cover the major vegan-friendly cooking schools out there. Every year, more and more small classes pop up in different cities, so if you’re just looking for some basic instruction and have no interest in pursuing a career in cooking, check out what your city (or nearby city) has to offer. If you are looking to get serious with preparing that awesome vegan food, there are a few great choices on this list that could help you achieve your dreams.

You might be surprised to learn that there are different types of locksmiths around. This is essential especially for those who want a more specialized service. Residential, commercial, automotive and forensics are the types of locksmiths that are accessible although the forensic ones are rare as they usually work with investigative agencies or law enforcement agencies.

Residential

Residential locksmiths are experts when it comes to making the home safe and secure. As most homes have the regular locks installed near window frames, it might compromise the safety of the family. These experts can install a double cylinder lock that needs a key inside for the door to open to give extra security. Aside from this base-knowledge they can also re-key locks as well as have them replaced in such a way that these are not easily tampered. They can also do entry gates, screen doors, sliding as well as emergency services.

Commercial

A commercial locksmith specializes in locks that are manufactured for business purposes. Examples would be installation of panic bars, replacing locks in file cabinets, installation of automatic door closer, safe/vault installation as well as installing a master-key system. Panic bars are especially important as they would provide workers a means to exit the building premises in case of emergencies.

Automotive

Automotive locksmiths are the ones that you go to if you ever need a spare car key or want a replacement when you’ve lost the original car key. These experts can help automotive owners in choosing the right type of car keys that would best suit their needs. Most automotive locksmiths are familiar with transponder car keys and can also do re-programming at a lower price compared to the same service that car dealers offer. Aside from transponders, they can also unlock cars, change or replace ignition locks, provide laser cut keys and even offer lock services for high security vehicles.

Services

In choosing the locksmith that would best suit your need(s), it is important to deal with a company that is licensed and has done background checks on their employees. This is to make sure that the company that you would be transacting with is legal and since some items in the house might be valuable or important documents are inside vaults or safes, one is assured that the person they are dealing with is someone who they can trust. Consider talking with someone who knows a reputable locksmith especially if you’ve just moved in or purchased a new home or office.

When people decide to leave the comforts of their home and venture to other locations there is usually a reason behind it. Whether the cause to travel was a last minute whimsy or had an actual purpose, it makes one think about all of the reasons why people travel. Reflect on the last time you left your location and ventured to another one. Did it have a purpose behind it? Let’s look and see if your motive to travel matched any of the one’s listed below. These are not listed in any particular order.

1. Romance- There are thousands of people who are involved in long distance relationships. At some point though, they need to see each other. For the sake of love, people will travel for hours to spend as much time as they can with the love of their life.

2. Relaxation- All work and no play is not a good thing. People need to get away from the stress of everyday life, and a nice sunny location with a beach might just be what the doctor ordered.

3. Family/ Friends -Many people have family/friends that are located in different parts of the world. They need to visit with them even if it’s for a short period of time.

4. Religion- There are places in the world that hold religious importance for many people. Religious travel is often related to a purpose such as seeing where the last pope was buried, or traveling to the town where Jesus was born.

5. Death- A relative, friend or acquaintance has passed away and travel is required to attend the funeral which is located out of town.

6. Honeymoon- You’re getting married and are going somewhere special to celebrate. This usually occurs right after the wedding, but there are many occasions where people celebrate a honeymoon years later.

7. Education-You’re getting your education somewhere other than where you live or you are going away on an educational school trip.

8. Celebration- Wedding, Anniversary, Birthday, Birth- There’s always something to celebrate and it doesn’t always happen where you live.

9. Medical/Health- Sometimes the treatment you need isn’t available in the city/town where you live. Often the best medical care is costly and requires travel to receive it.

10. Work- Job requirements might mean a fair bit of travel is involved. Even if the travel is within your own country it still has a purpose attached to it.

Overall, traveling can be a wonderful experience or it can be draining, expensive and just plain torture. Nonetheless if you need to go then embrace it for what it is, and try to make the best of it even if it wasn’t planned.

 

Music has been one of the key features of the entertainment industry. People have become so addicted to music that they can’t imagine their lives without it. Listening to music reduces the stress level and helps to calm an individual. It also rejuvenates and soothes one’s mind. Truly, music refreshes an individual and acts as a stress buster for the people whose lives have become monotonous due to the hectic schedule.

These days, music systems come with a variety of features and enhancements and are well equipped with proper bass, vibe and treble. They have a better sonic resolution. One can arrange their music tracks in their order of preference while listening. One can also take it as a disc jockey when arranging for a party. The karaoke is another important feature introduced in these systems. This feature shows a listener, lyrics of the song being played which increases the interest of a listener even more. Moreover, a listener can sing the song along with the same beats and rhythm.

Music industry is aware of the demands of listeners and so keeps on updating the music systems with new software. Sonos is the foremost digital music system that enables an individual to play music in all the rooms of the house.

Internet is another medium that makes music accessible to the people around the world. No matter if it is an old song that one wants to hear or a latest track all can be downloaded from the Internet. Computers are equipped with memory, software, sound card, processors, record and play features that can play the same track infinitely. One such software is named file-sharing program. This enables the internet user to browse a site and download the music in a digital format. Moreover, all the songs can be downloaded free of cost with best quality voice.

DVD players are another source of music. These players make use of digital video discs to store data and movies. Though priced quite reasonably, they have features that are parallel to high-valued models. They are portable and also have a video screen. It can be used for listening all different types of music like jazz, rock, soft and many others.

Thus, music is an important source of entertainment and can be listened anywhere through various sources available. The means of music systems vary and are distinctive in range, whether it is music system, Internet music or DVD players.