Cavatina From Deer Hunter – Learn to Play Classical Guitar Sheet Music

The classical guitar solo Cavatina was composed by Stanley Myers and became the musical theme in the 1978 movie The Deer Hunter played by the famous guitarist John Williams. The solo version has became a goal for many guitarists to learn but the composition is quite difficult to play and even more difficult to play well. Here are some useful tips on how to practice this beautiful piece of classical guitar sheet music for motivated students.

What guitar teachers will tell you

If you are a classical guitar student I assume that your guitar teacher would admonish you from trying to learn this piece before you are prepared musically and have the basic guitar skills necessary to play it.

For a start it is challenging to get the balance between the melody and harmony. There are also many barre chords throughout the piece difficult for an untrained left hand to execute in a relaxed way without fatigue. The chords also make it a challenge to play and sustain the melody smoothly and with legato.

The following suggestions are based on the challenge how to learn Cavatina if you are an inexperienced note reader but a classical guitar player with a lot of motivation!

Sight reading skills

Cavatina is usually executed in a slow tempo and to a listener it might sound like an easy piece to play. But the first challenge is to read the guitar sheet music score. It is quite complicated as you have the melody line interwoven with the harmony and you have to spot the melody line among all the music notes. You will also play the music in positions high up on the fretboard making note reading even more difficult.

To help you with the note reading challenge you can buy a version of Cavatina with both the sheet music and guitar tablature notation displayed. This way of notating guitar notes has become very common and there are some advantages with this type of notation as poor sight reading skills can prevent guitar students from playing pieces that they otherwise are prepared to play.

The disadvantage with guitar tablature is that you might never learn to read guitar sheets very well having this help below the notes. Another approach is to use only the sheet music version and solve the note reading problems one bar at a time as you practice learning Cavatina and memorizing the melody.

One bar at a time

If you learn each bar of the melody separately you will experience a visible progression that will create enthusiasm and help you hold out to the end. Sometimes you will come across note reading challenges and technical difficulties that will make it necessary to concentrate on even smaller segments than a bar.

It will speed up your progress tremendously to take small segments of Cavatina that you can memorize and master immediately. Practice slowly and try to play correctly as you memorize the notes. Mistakes has the tendency to slow down your progress!

I suggest that you commit the bars and the even shorter parts you practice to memory as you go along. You will probably not anyway be able to play this classical guitar solo with the guitar sheet music in front of you!

As you master the bars you will be able to connect them and gradually play longer segments of the composition by heart. As there are many barre chords to play in the piece I strongly advice you to be careful to rest your left hand when you experience fatigue in order to prevent injuries. Playing barre chords is not related to weight lifting but rather to the art of relaxation!

Two methods

When you practice memorized bars together you should practice using both these methods:

1. Practice level. Practice with musical feeling but when you spot a mistake or a technical difficulty you will stop and concentrate on polishing these notes until you have mastered this musical passage.

2. Performance level. Play as you would do in front of real people trying to create enjoyable music. When performing you will not stop when you make a mistake but instead you will minimize the effect of a mistake and proceed with enthusiasm and self confidence.

Practicing using both these approaches will help you be more prepared to play in front of people and you will reduce stage fright having the confidence that you can master mistakes. This will help you play more relaxed and concentrate on creating music!

Cavatina is music

Cavatina is a very beautiful piece of classical music but it has to be performed musically otherwise it is just a row of notes. You have to create music when you play and in order to be prepared for this endeavor you need to listen to a good interpretation of the composition.

There are many recorded versions of Cavatina available and I suggest that you find a version you like yourself and listen to it many times first of all for you own enjoyment. Listening to the classical guitar sheet music interpreted by a good guitarist will also help you be aware of the musical context.

This consciousness will make it easier to practice music from the start which will make your practice sessions more enjoyable. You will constantly be reminded of your musical goal and will enjoy the journey as much as the accomplished goal!

Source by Peter Edvinsson

The African-American’s Journey to Al-Islam

Today, in the western world, when we hear the word “Muslim” or “Islam” many American people tend to think terrorist or people from the middle east(the un-educated one). As of 2017, there are at least 3 to 3.5 million American Muslims living in the United States of America. The majority ethnic group that makes up this population is the African-American people. Yet, the question “How does this come about?” arises. If you want to know about the history of Muslims in America and its large spread, one cannot speak on this subject without mentioning the African or should we say African-American’s journey to Al-Islam.

In the Trans-Atlantic slave trade there were about 15 to 20 million enslaved Africans and of these slaves there were between 2% to 4% African Muslims. These Muslims were from the tribes of Mandinka, Fulani, Wolof, Soninke, Songhai, Ashanti, Taureg, Nupi, Yoruba, Susa, Kanuri, Mandara, and Vai. We are all familiar with and have learned from Alex Haley’s book (and motion picture) Roots, which was a story about an enslaved African Muslim, named Kunta Kinte, where he lived in a small village in West Africa, practiced Islam, was a student of Arabic and lived his daily African rituals. He was captured and brought to America as a slave, sold and given the name Toby. He tried to escape countless times from captivity, and married a house cook named Bell where they had a daughter named Kizzy who went on to have many children. There’s also documentation and stories where you can find information about other enslaved African Muslims such as; S’Quash, The Moor, Phillip The Fula, Sambo, Mahommah Gardo Baquaqua, Lamine Kebe, Lamine Ndiaye, Yarrow Mamout, Charles Larten, William Rainesford, and many more that were all well-educated and literate in Math, Arabic, Science, and different spoken languages. Throughout the years of slavery, the African people were oppressed and their cultural and religious practices were suppressed. Slaves took on names after their slave-masters as identity of one’s property and had Christianity forced upon them. Generation after generation, Al-Islam had eventually dissipated.

In the 20th century between 1900 and 1975, there were many African-American civil right activists and leaders such as Marcus Garvey, Father Divine, Noble Drew Ali, and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad who brought different teachings and ideologies to African-American communities to make blacks more self-conscious, self-sufficient, and to improve themselves socially and economically within these communities. Since the topic is “The African-Americans Journey to Al-Islam”, Noble Drew Ali and the Moorish Science Movement was one of the first and earliest movements to bring Al-Islam back to the African-American people. Ali’s teachings weren’t from the Holy Qur’an or nor did the Moorish Science Temple follow any practices of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh), but his claim was teaching Islam or “Islamism.” The Moorish Science Temple practices had some correlation to mainstream Al-Islam. For instance, followers would stand and face east during prayers, their religious service and prayer were on Friday, gender separation in seating, women instructed to wear a head scarf or turban, men to wear a red fez at all times and to dress modest. Noble Drew Ali also wrote his own Koran, calling it “Circle 7 of Koran”.

The number of Moorish Science adherents today is not specifically known, but it has been estimated that there about 10,000 scattered across 15 different cities in the United States. Following in the middle of this movement was Allah Temple of Islam, which was started by Fard Muhammad in 1930; the name would change to the Lost-Found Nation of Islam where Minister Elijah Muhammad would succeed Fard Muhammad as a leader and eventually lead the Nation of Islam. As time went on, he assumed the title of prophet and messenger of Allah, and Fard became clearly identified as being Allah or incarnation of Allah. This is not what Muslims believe. Muslims believe that there is only one G-d and alone he has no partners, no associates, nor was he born, nor would he die or have any begotten children and that Muhammad (Pbuh) is the seal of all prophets and he is the last messenger. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught the knowledge of G-d, self and to be self-independent. In 1960, the Nation of Islam had 69 temples scattered across 27 states, and membership was believed to have reached as high as 100,000.

Two years later, some estimates placed the membership of the NOI at 250,000 and at its peak 1 million members. The NOI was also extremely active in promoting African-American economy and had established a number of successful businesses in the 1950s and 1960s. For example, the NOI owned grocery stores, bakeries, clothing stores, restaurants, department stores, and numerous establishments providing various services. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad was a mentor to Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Louis Farrakhan, and Imam Warith Deen Mohammed. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad had 7 children and out of those seven children was Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, born as Wallace Delaney Muhammad. His name was selected for him by Fard Muhammad who predicted that the newborn would one day succeed Elijah Muhammad as the leader of the Nation of Islam. Wallace was only about 12 years old when he first became aware if the discrepancies between the message of the Qur’an and the teachings of his father. Because of his refusal to be drafted in the military, in 1961 he was sentenced to prison for three years. He had time to study the Qur’an and when he returned to the Nation of Islam he was hoping to transform it into a truly Islamic movement.

Following the death of his father on February 25, 1975, Wallace became the Supreme Minister of the Nation of Islam and immediately began a process of change that would result in the largest conversion of people to Al-Islam in the history of America. In 1976, he changed the name of the Nation of Islam to the World Community of Al-Islam in the West and changed his own name to Warith Deen Mohammed. He led a systematic and mass movement of his followers into the fold of orthodox Al-Islam. He taught the five obligatory prayers, Ramadan, Zakat, and encouraged making Hajj. In 1992, Imam Mohammed became the first Muslim to perform the morning prayers in the United State Senate. Today Imam Mohammed’s teachings still serve as a spiritual and religious guide to about 2.5 million Muslims in America. It is likely that he has been influential in converting more people to Al-Islam than any other Muslim in the world today.

To conclude, the journey to Al-Islam for the African-American people has been a long yet successful struggle. It’s coincidental that there were roughly 3 to 6 million African Muslim slaves in the slave trade and as of today there are about 2 million African American Muslims in the United States of America. It’s coincidental that even Non-Muslim African Americans have Muslim names such as: Ahmad, Rasheed, Jamal, Kamal, Aisha, Jamela, Tariq, Shakur, Jaleel, Malik, Malika, Khadijah, and Amina, just to name a few. Even though Al-Islam came to the African-American communities in a corruptive way these pioneers were “stepping stones” for the African American people to coming into the light of the Holy Qur’an and following the practices of Prophet Muhammed (Pbuh). If G-d wills it then it will be.

Source by Yasin Shahid

The Exploiting Christian Sacred Music

Someone makes a carton of Mohammad and Moslems through the
World riot in the streets. They burn images in effigy. They
Turn over cars. They burn cars. All because of an "insult" to
A religious leader who lived some 1300 plus years prior.

Someone breaks into a synagogue and steals a Tora. It is no
Longer a robbery, it is a hate crime. Certainly the
Perpetrators were antisemitic. They now become responsible to
All the atrocities done to the Jews for thousands of years.

But profane sacred Christian music and no one cares. Well I
Care. I am sure that others care all through the world.

You do not have to be Moslem nor Jewish to care about your
Religion. To care when it is profaned. To care when it is
Made light of.

"Messiah (HWV 56), is an oratorio by George
Fréderic Handel based on a libretto by Charles Jennens.
Composed in the summer of 1741 and premiered in Dublin on the
13 April 1742, Messiah is Handel's most famous creation and is
Among the most popular works in the Western choral literature.

"The name of the oratorio is taken from Judaism and Messiah
("The anointed one"). In Christianity, the Messiah is Jesus.
Handel himself was a devout Christian, and the work is a
Presentation of Jesus's life and its significance according to
Christian doctrine.

"Although the work was conceived and first performed for
Easter [citation needed], it has become traditional since
Handel's death to perform the Messiah oratorio during Advent,
The preparatory period of the Christmas season, rather than at
Easter. Christmas concerts often feature only the first
Section of Messiah plus the "Hallelujah" chorus, although some
Ensembles feature the entire work as a Christmas concert. The
Work is also heard at Eastertide, and selections containing
Resurrection themes are often included in Easter services.

"The soprano aria" I know that my Redeemer liveth "is
Frequently heard at Christianerals. It is believed that
Parts of this aria have been the basis of the composition of
The Westminster Quarters. Above Handel's grave in Westminster
Abbey is a monument (1762) where the musician's statue holds
The musical score of the same aria.

"The most famous movement is the" Hallelujah "chorus, which
Concludes the second of the three parts. The text is drawn
From three passes in the New Testament book of Revelation:

"And I heard as it was the voice of a great
Multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice
Of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God
Omnipotent reigneth. (Revelation 19: 6)

"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in
Heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the
Kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; And he'll reign
For ever and ever. (Revelation 11:15)

"And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written,

"In many parts of the world, it is the accepted practice for
The audience to stand for this section of the performance. "
[Wikipedia online]]

My sister taught me first to stand during the playing of the
"Hallelujah" chorus, back when I was a child. She explained
It was like the National Anthem for all Christianity and
Deserved the same respect.

Of course, this present culture has little respect for
Anything, even our National Anthem. I have personally seen
Spectators neglect to remove their hats during the playing of
It at sports events.

But I do not intend to accept the disrespect of our Christian
Heritage by a multinational conglomerate.

On September 3, 2007, while watching episodes of
The Closer on the TNT TV Network, I heard Handel's
"Hallelujah" chorus during a commercial.

Was this done in conjunction with some Christian event? Was
This for any Christian promotion?

No it was done to sell toilet paper. While cartoon character were being

Suppose they included Mohamad in their cartoon selling toilet
Paper. What do you thing the Moslems would do? Perhaps what
They have done before.

Suppose they worked in something like the Tora scroll as it is
Roled and so is toilet paper. What would happen then? Do you
Think Jews would react? They would get all those involved
Fired as antisemitic hate mongers.

So what is this blatant attack on Christianity. What are
Christians to do?

Fortunately the toilet paper maker has apparently stopped using that ad as
Have not seen it again.

But I have been at sports events and have seen "Hallelujah" with the sounding of a few bars of that distinct music. That also must stop.

Source by Douglas Johnson

Call Him Creator-Man

Like Walt Disney and George Lucas, Stan Lee has co-created some of the most iconic characters in pop culture: Spider-Man, X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, and the Incredible Hulk. Movie's based on his super-characters have generated more than $ 2.3 billion in US ticket sales. Toys, books and games have generated billions more.

Lee is one of the most important figures in American popular culture. He began working for Marvel (then Timely) Comics in 1939, with his first published work appearing in May 1941. The following year, at age 20, was editor and chief writer, creating stories for a variety of romance, horror, humor, Science-fiction and suspense comics.

By 1960, competitor DC comics had launched a team of superheroes called the Justice League of America. Marvel publisher Martin Goodman demanded a response, and in 1961, Lee and Jack Kirby produced Fantastic Four No. 1. Fan response was phenomenal, with critics today calling the work a masterful step forward in comic-book evolution.

Lee would continue creating and co-creating characters for Marvel over the next two decades. Along the way, he published some of the market's most valuable collectibles, with key issues of Marvel Comics often demanding more than a quarter million dollars.

With the Walt Disney Company in the process of purchasing Marvel Entertainment – further cementing his status in American culture – Lee is busier than ever. He most recently launched POW! Entertainment to create, produce and license new characters. He hosted two seasons of the Syfy channel show "Who Wants to be a Superhero?" And he's executive producer of several motion pictures based on Marvel characters (Black Panther, Nick Fury, Thor) that are yet to be released.

Surprisingly, Lee does not consider himself a collector. "Collecting is great," he says with a laugh, "if you have the time for it!"

Q: Of the 15 top-grossing movies in the United States, George Lucas' characters have grossed about $ 1.2 billion in ticket sales and your characters have grossed $ 1.1 billion.
A: Damn! He's always beating me! I do not like being in second place!

Q: Do you consider yourself one of the most successful creators in Hollywood?
A: Of course not! Lucas does movies. I only wrote a lot of comic book stories which other people have made into great movies. I had nothing to do with the movies and yet I seem to get so much credit for them. I feel like a phony!

Q: But Lucas created Luke Skywalker, you created Peter Parker. He created Darth Vader, you created Dr. Doom. Lucas wrote the stories, you wrote the stories.
A: Yeah, but he also produced and directed those movies. I did not have anything to do with the movies. That's the only thing. I think I was very instrumental in making these characters famous and successful as comic book characters. In the comic book field, I did very well and I am happy to accept all the credit that might be heaped upon me. But the movies that have made all this money you're talking about, while they were based on things that I wrote, they were written and directed and acted by other people. I had nothing to do with that. So I would be an idiot to compare myself to a George Lucas. I think I'm cuter! [Laughs]

Q: So there you are, working at Marvel Comics for more than 40 years, with comic books all over the place. But you never really collected them?
A: I never had time to be a collector. I was always too busy writing. You know, I'm probably one of the world's greatest hack writers because I got paid for what I wrote. The more I wrote, the more money I made. So I was writing all the time so I could pay my bills. Collecting is great if you have the time for it! Also, when I was writing, I never for a minute thought that years later these comics would turn out to be collectibles.

Q: Your wife Joanie is a collector.
A: Her tastes are very catholic. She was the first person I know who years ago latched on to African art when nobody knew what it was. She was buying these bits of sculpture from Nairobi and God knows where else. She collects paintings, sculpture, antique jewelry, watches. Anything that she finds attractive, she collects.

Q: Even though you had a full plate at Marvel, but wanted to do more. In the late 1950s, you started a newspaper comic, Mrs. Lyons' Cubs with artist Joe Maneely. Then in 1960, you and artist Dan DeCarlo created the Willie Lumpkin comic strip, and that was followed by The Virtue of Vera Valiant, which you did with Frank Springer. In 1977, of course, you launched the Spider-Man newspaper strip. Why the desire to produce a syndicated strip?
A: I was always trying to do something that would break out and be a huge success.

Q: But Stan, was not creating Spider-Man keeping you busy enough?
A: I did not know Spider-Man was that successful in the beginning. It took a few years before I realized we were on to something. I wanted to do something big, but we had bad luck.

Q: But you wanted to be syndicated because …
A: In those days, newspaper syndication was the big leagues and comic books were the minor leagues, the bush leagues. Maybe if you were good, you would graduate to newspaper syndication. The funny thing is today it's almost reversed.

Q: A few years ago, you started releasing, through Heritage Auction Galleries, your file copies from your days at Marvel. Those included Spider-Man # 1, X-Men # 1, Amazing Fantasy # 15 and Fantastic Four # 1.
A: Those books that went to auction were just books that somehow I had accumulated. I did not save them as part of any savings plan or collection. There might have been a story that I liked that I did not feel like throwing the book away that quickly. I was always giving the books away! These were just some books that I had not gotten around to giving away!

Q: What about original artwork?
A: You know, we never had room. We worked in one little office. … So we'd give the artwork away, the original artwork, to kids who'd come up to deliver a sandwich, or to a cleaning woman who did not want it. We did not know. We've thrown them away. Who knew?

Q: Finally, I have to ask. Did you ever mail off $ 1 plus 25 cents for postage and handling to get your very own X-Ray Specs?
A: As a matter of fact, Johnson Smith was the company that sold a lot of that stuff. The thing I sent away for most – I sent off for it a few times because I lost one – they have a little gadget that I felt was the most valuable thing in the world, because if you had this, you could do anything! It had a little magnifying glass and a little compass and a little knife blade and God knows what else. How I loved it!

Source by Hector Cantu

Traditional Entertainment of Kenya

With 42 tribes in Kenya, defining a specific entertainment as ‘traditional’ is nearly impossible without going into an excessive treatise on the subject. Each tribe has song, dance, costumes and musical instruments particular to their area. This article gives a brief overview of the types of entertainment, some examples from various tribes and where you can find traditional entertainment when you come to Kenya.

Song is a form of traditional entertainment almost globally so it is no surprise to find Kenyan tribes also singing. Each of the 42 tribes has their own language, so it is simple to tell where the song is from… so long as you can recognise the language! Across the tribes one thing is the same: there are different beats and words for songs associated with the various ceremonies. This means that when a Kikuyu returns to his village and hears singing he can tell what is happening. It doesn’t mean however that if a Taita goes to the Kikuyu village he will also be able to tell what is happening, unless he understands Kikuyu. So each tribe has circumcision songs, party songs, wedding songs, funeral songs, new baby songs and so on.

Along with singing comes dancing and, again, movements differ across the tribes. Kikuyus wear bells on their ankles with men and women pairing up, putting palms together and swaying. In Luhya culture, the dance is all about the shoulders and for Luos it’s about the hips. The Maasai men jump and it is a show of manliness if they can jump higher than their peers.

Dance is complemented by the traditional costumes which are made from materials found in a tribe’s area. Luo men wear grass skirts from the reeds by Lake Victoria and cow hide on their back. Towards the coast, Taita men wear kangas from the Swahili culture while the women wear grass skirts. In the central highlands, the Kikuyus’ costumes are a bit more substantial to protect against the cold, with sheepskin hats confusing many travellers as they look similar to the typical Russian hats! The men generally wear white and the women a brown-beige colour. Kikuyu men also carry swords and have a belt made of animal skin to carry the sword.

Musical instruments often accompany the singing and dancing and most people are familiar with the African drum. But there are even differences in how the drum is used across Kenya. For example, the Kamba sit with the drum between their legs while the Luhya hold the drum under their arm. Kamba also use a whistle to signify a beat change.

Story-telling is common with the old men teaching lessons through stories to the young boys. Nowadays comedy is becoming popular, with sketches performed between music sets. The stories and sketches are usually set in everyday situations that Kenyans can easily relate to.

Bomas of Kenya put on a lengthy performance every afternoon which showcases singing, dancing, costumes and musical instruments from each of the tribes. Shade Hotel in Karen also does a more informal afternoon of traditional entertainment every Sunday and on public holidays. If you visit a Maasai village on your safari, the villagers will perform a welcome dance for you. The Samburu villages do the same in northern Kenya. Finally, the Lake Turkana Cultural Festival might be the best opportunity to see a variety of traditional entertainment. A gathering of 14 tribes from northern Kenya, this Festival is a celebration of different cultures living together. They sing, they dance, they build huts, they cook, they dress traditionally – it’s fantastic! It is held every May in Loiyangalani on the shore of Lake Turkana and well worth the journey.

Source by Tracey A Bell

Free MP3 Music Download

With the emergence of the MP3 format, free music, unlike before, is no longer hard to come by. The Internet is practically teeming with free MP3 music downloads for all types of music enthusiasts. Although there has been some questions raised on the legal issues involved with online peer-to-peer file sharing, continued patronage of free MP3 music downloads has never quite died down. In fact, it is safe to say that it seemed to have acquired new life and vigor.

Free MP3 Music Download: What is MP3?

MP3 is a shortcut for MPEG – ½ Audio Layer 3. It is sometimes referred to as MPG3, MPG-3, MPG Level 3, MPG Level III, MPEG 3, et cetera. In essence, MP3 is a compressed and formatted copy of an original audio file.

The equations and algorithms used in the MP3 format are similar to that used in JPG when compressing photographs. If you notice, a JPG photo is not quite the same as that of the original. You notice some blurred or darkened parts, blotches, and some minor flaws that are too small to be noticed by the casual observer. This is the effect of file compression.

And because MP3 uses the same fractal-based algorithms as JPG, it should be noted that MP3 does not necessarily sound exactly the same as the original audio file. However, the difference in the sound of both file formats is too subtle and not enough to discount the many benefits of MP3.

Free MP3 Music Download: Why is it free?

There are two reasons why free MP3 music downloads are widely available. First is the fact that some musicians with real talent find it hard to break into the music business. Most artists who actually made it are groomed by recording industry moguls to look and sound that way in order to cater to the wants and music preference of the masses. It’s true that this isn’t very nice but it’s a fact that all struggling musicians have to grapple with. If you are going to be successful, comprises have to be made. Those who are unwilling to compromise or change just to please find themselves frustrated for they have no outlet for their many talents. This is where free MP3 music downloads come in.

Several sites, such as,,, and others, offer opportunities for unsigned artists to publish their works. Online users will find free MP3 music downloads by these artists, listen to it, and judge it by its sound. Many artists have been discovered this way through free MP3 music downloads that serve as a portal to let the general public know that they too exist.

Another reason why free MP3 music downloads are offered is the theory that people use it in product sampling. With free MP3 music downloads, you can sample the work of new artist, listen to a few tracks in an album, or listen to bits of a new single, before going out to the record store to buy the CD.

Informal polls have been conducted to test this theory on free MP3 music downloads and it has been found that many people do go out and buy the record after listening to it online.

Source by Gaz Hutchinson

Top 5 Moving Tips – Easier and Cheaper

So you made the plunge and closed the loan on your new home. Many thanks from those of us in the real estate industry.

Now comes the fun part – moving. We went through 5 moves last year between houses, kids and offices. We offer here the top moving 5 tips to help ease your moving process.

Before you get started, just make sure you review the moving timelines with your Realtor and in your contract. Many moves ago we had a bad experience as a seller. We thought we clearly told the Realtors that we needed two days to move after closing to get out of the house and clean it out. Something was lost in translation and our buyers thought that the "moving fairy" would move us out while closed. The result was an uncomfortable situation on Halloween night with us trying to move out of our house and our buyers sitting on the curve handing out candy. So make sure you have your deadline down before you close.

With that here are our top 5 tips:

5. Move your important papers and a tool box in your car, not in the moving van. Pack your important papers and files in a separate box, clearly labeled. Make sure your tool box has the proper tools to set up the beds and appliances.

4. Pack sheets and towels in your luggage.

3. Invest $ 50 in a furniture dolly. They're great for moving large items, are not that expensive, and do not take too much storage space. You've been surprised at how often you'll use this tool in the future.

2. Shop for used boxes on Craigslist. People who just moved are dying to get rid of their boxes. You can rehab any damaged boxes with a little packing tape. They're usually free – not a bad price.

1. This is a great tip for those of you looking to save money on the actual moving costs. U-Haul has a service on their website that allows you to contact local moving companies to help you load and unload your furniture. You do the driving – the movers assist with the difficult task of loading and unloading the big stuff, furniture, appliances and big boxes. We saved over 75% over the cost of hiring a crew to do the whole move. Crews usually charge a two hour minimum. We found that a two man crew could easily unload a large truck within the two hour minimum.

With a little advance planning your moving experience will be easier and cheaper. Good luck!

Source by Martin Cantu

Natalie Portman Biography

Oscar winner Natalie Portman's ancestor would make a feature film itself. Born Natalie Hershlag in Jerusalem she has dual citizenship in American and Israel, She has said she loves the United States but Jerusalem is where she feels at home.

Her maternal descendants were Jewish immigrants to the USA from Austria and Russia and her paternal ancestors were Jews who moved to Israel from Poland and Romania.

Her Great Grandparents on her father's side died at Auschwitz and her Romanian Great Grandmother was a spy for British Intelligence during World War II.

Her parents met at a Jewish student center at Ohio State University where her mother was selling tickets. They corresponded after he returned to Israel and were married when her mother visited a few years later.

Portman was born in Jerusalem on June 9th 1981 but she was 3-years-old when the family moved to the United States of America where her father trained to be a doctor.

After living in Washington DC they moved to Connecticut and finally settled on Long Island, New York in 1960. She went to Jewish schools where she taught to speak Hebrew and English. She has loved languages ​​from an early age and has studied French, Japanese, German and Arabic.

Portman started taking dancing lessons at the age of 4-years-old and at the age of 10 a Revlon agent asked her to become a child model. She had already decided she wanted to become an actress and turned down the offer to concentrate on acting.

In her school holidays she attended the camps camps and at the age of 10-years-old she auditioned for the off-Broadway show "Ruthless!" A musical about a girl who was prepared to commit murder to get the lead in a school play.

Portman and Britney Spears were chosen to understudy the star Laura Bell Bundy and in 1994 she auditioned for the role of a child who befriends a middle-aged hit man in Luc Besson's film Leon (aka The Professional) and got the part.

To protect her family's identity she took her grandmother's maiden name of Portman as her stage name. The film opened on November 18th 1994 when she was 13-years-old and this was followed by a short film "Developing" that was shown on television.

These two films launched her movie career and between 1995 and 1999 she appeared in a number of films. After turning down the leading role in "Anywhere But Here" because it would involve a sex scene she decided to accept the part of Ann August after director Wayne Wang and actress Susan Sarandon demanded a re-write of the script.

The film opened in late 1999 and she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role.

After playing the leading role of a teened mother in "Where The Heart Is" she moved into Harvard Road University to do a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. Apart from the Star Wars prequels she would not accept parts for four years until she had obtained her degree.

In July 2001 she played Nina in Chekhov's "The Seagull" at New York City's Public Theater, directed by Mike Nichols. Also in the cast were Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

In 2010 she played veteran ballerina in Darren Aronofsky's film "Black Swan". Film critic Kurt Loder wrote, "Portman gives one of her most compelling performances on the film."

To prepare for the role she trained for five to eight hours a day in ballet for six months. All the hard work paid off and she won both the Golden Globe and the Oscar for Best Leading Actress.

On the set of "Black Swan" she met ballet dancer Benjamin Millepied who was the film's choreographer and they announced their engagement on December 27th 2010. They are expecting their first child in the Summer 2011.

She has been criticized for US Republican politician Mike Huckabee for choosing to have a baby out of wedlock saying she is glamorising single motherhood.

Source by Craig A.

Celebrities With Graduate Degrees

Celebrities get the paychecks, the glory, the good stuff in the award-show gift bags and all the attention they want from the paparazzi. You may love them or hate them, but you're usually not surprised by their antics. What may shock you, however, is that many celebs are not just pretty faces and beach bodies or high rollers with more money than most developing nations. Some actually have brains. Check out these seven celebrities who have graduated degrees in their back pockets.

Not just a muscle head

If you do not remember 6 '5 "Swedish powerhouse Dolph Lundgren as Ivan Drago in" Rocky IV ", you probably were not born when the film came out in 1985. Fair enough, but you should recognize him side by side with Sylvester Stallone again in the recent top box office testosterone-seeped hit "The Expendables."

Before Lundgren was tempted into acting and kicking tail on-screen, he was months away from starting his doctor degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston on a Fulbright scholarships. Surprised? Lundgren graduated at the top of his class with a master's degree in chemical engineering at the age of 25. Although Lundgren considered himself successful once he achieved Fulbright scholar status, the academic world did not leave him as satisfied as show business.

Shaq attack

Bigger than even Lundgren at 7 '1 ", veteran professional NBA baller Shaquille" Shaq "O'Neal wears a not-surprising size 23 shoe. But you might not know that O'Neal has career aspirations that extend beyond basketball and do not Including his rap, acting and product endorsement successes. O'Neal has hustled to get the education and experience he needs to be a sheriff and eventually a chief of police, and them toppled it off with an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Not knowing for doing things on a small scale, O'Neal is currently working toward his doctorate degree at Barry University in Florida. Good thing he went for education rather than pursuing an acting career – he was nominated for a Razzie Award for worst actor for his work in the 1997 film ?? Steel.

All aboard the Pineapple Express to Yale

You may know him as one of Julia Roberts' love interests in Eat Pray Love or as the lovable drug dealer Saul Silver in Pineapple Express, but what you may not know about the quirky James Franco is that he is a graduate of Columbia University's MFA writing Program. He's also been accepted into the English PhD. Program at Yale, where he's expected to start this fall. Talk about life imitating art: Later this year he'll be on the big screen playing iconic Beat poet and writer Allen Ginsberg. Coincidence? Or method acting at its finest?

Special talents

Also known for his size, adult film actor Ron Jeremy was ranked the number one porn star of all time by AVN Magazine. Jeremy has starred in over 1,700 films, has directed 250 films and has had films and television shows made about his x-rated career success.

Before Jeremy was a porn king, he was a school teacher. In addition to two bachelor's degrees in theater and education, respectively, Ron Jeremy has a master's degree in special education from Queens College in New York. Jeremy refers to his education background – not his other well-known talents – as his "ace in the hole."

From the Oval Office to obscurity

Not to be outdone by the top porn star of all time, Monica Lewinsky also has her master's degree. She earned her graduate degree in social psychology from the prestigious London School of Economics in 2006. Almost 12 years to the day that this former White House interned her thong to then-President Bill Clinton, Lewinsky has disappeared from the public eye. Lewinsky's less-than-professional contributions to social psychology may be evidenced by a recent University of Kentucky study of sexual definitions that points to the Lewinsky-Clinton scandal as the reason why only 20 percent of college students think oral sex qualifies as sex.

Not just another pretty face

Christy Turlington was part of the 1990s supermodel craze when no last names were necessary. Everybody knew when they heard Christy, Naomi, Linda and Cindy exactly who was being talked about. Turlington's life took a 180-degree turn when she received her master's degree in public health from Columbia University, after becoming involved as a health advocate to other countries.

Turlington finds her work in public health much more rewarding than modeling and is quoted by the as admitting, "With every passing year I feel more fulfilled." Not bad considering that her modeling co-hort Naomi Campbell has been arrested numerous times for assault, most notably for throwing a blinged-out cell phone at her housekeeper and leaving a gash that required stitches.


Kristin Chenoweth earned a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance as Sally Brown in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." She also wowed television audiences this past spring with her cameo appearances on "Glee."

Although this act has been applauded for her many performances on the stage and in television and film, Chenoweth is classically trained with a master's degree in opera performance from Oklahoma City University. About her mentor and teacher, Florence Birdwell, Chenoweth said in a documentary, "She everything, she's my mentor. She's the person who taught me not only how to sing technically but really a lot about life, too."

Because of their successes, it can be easy to forget that many celebrities are as educated as they are talented. These seven celebrities' enthusiasm and commitment to their education – either before or after their celebrity lives – makes it easy to see that they are a bit more interesting than you might have given them credit for.

Source by Lela Saz

4 Important Tips On How To Promote Your Music

This past year I've been focusing a lot of time on how to sell my music online. I truly believe that internet has changed the game for musicians and I want to be one of those musicians that knows how to use the internet to help promote my music. I've been reading articles, watching videos, taking notes and buying different programs to try out. Here are just some points that I've learned along the way. Hopefully these tips will help you with your album promotion, those who want to promote a band, or for those who just want to get your songs heard.

1. Focus on Digital

Ever since Napster started back in the mid-90's people have fallen in love with digital and have never looked back. Physical CDs, while still good to sell at shows, are slowly becoming the least cost efficient way to sell your music. Think about it. You have to send the artwork out, get it printed, get it shipped (which is usually way more than what you expect), and then lug them around at shows trying to get people to buy them. Selling CDs is a traditional way of getting some money from live shows, but to be a successful independent musician you have to move with the trends. Everything is going digital nowdays.

Think about it. You can go on YouTube and find somebody's video from Japan. They might have a link in their description where you can download the song for $ 1. In an instant you can have downloaded a song from across the world. It's really amazing. People want it now and they want it fast. People are getting used to buying online now as well. I remember people were kind of touchy about buying online and how safe they would feel about it. Now everyone is getting into the action of buying online.

2. Use Social Media

If you have not guessed it yet, the way music is being promoted is completely different a few years ago. The boom of social media changed everything. It first started with sites like livejournal and then MySpace came into existence. You remember myspace, right? The mass amount of spam and also the profiles that were so super busy it took 3 minutes to load?

Now the world has found a new handful of social media sites to move into … Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Digg, etc … The options out there are endless. The best part of social media is that it's all free and if you have a good following, your post about your latest single can get shared around the world with a few clicks of a mouse.

How to Use Social Media

However, social media is more than just starting a profile and starting to send out messages and tweets and shoving your music in everyone's face. You have to know how to use social media so that you do not become a pushy salesperson. You've seen those people on a social media site. Sending out a post every hour …

  • "Buy my CD"
  • "I've got a show this weekend"
  • "Like my Facebook page"

But those people that send out those postings never asked themselves the simple question … why should they?

Really think about that for a second …

Why should someone who does not know you from Tom wants to share your information or support your music? You're just going to be considered another spammer because you have a bunch of followers who do not know who you. You failed to establish a relationship with your social media fans. I'm not saying that you should not let people know about what's going on with your music, but you also need to communicate with other people too and have a conversation with people online before selling your music to them.

So how do they get to know more about you?

That's the true power of social media that some musicians do not understand. Social media gives you a chance to really say who you are, what you believe, what kind of music you perform, why you love music, why you do anything at all. It's pretty easy to let people know who you are. Just join a conversation or reply to a tweet. Or share another musicians music. Start to collaborate with people online. The options are endless.

3. Collect Emails

A lot of people think that collecting emails is an outdated practice. People think that it does not make much sense nowdays because people are on Facebook and Twitter so much that they just think it's best to market on those sites. That is true, but there is an even larger truth.

Social media is a fad. They come and go.

What happened to all your contacts when everyone left MySpace? Did you have to try and reconnect with many of them or did you just lose them altogether? Think about how easy it would have been to email all your fans and say "I have a new Facebook page, check it out". How many times do people change their email addresses? Another thing is that people still check their email everyday. Your email list is one of the most valuable marketing tools you have.

4. Get Your Own Domain

What is a domain you ask? It's your own real estate in the world of web pages out there. Whenever you see a .com, .net, .biz, or .gov … those are all domains. This means you should have a website that you can direct people to at all times.

Why not use a Facebook page as a website? A lot of people have asked me that and I think that if you do that you're OK, but you also might face some issues in the future.

  • What if something happens to FB?
  • What if their server goes down?
  • What if they do not like what you said in a post and decide to turn your account off?

When you own your own domain, you have complete control of your own site. It does not matter if FB goes away. You still have your own server with your own domain. Plus it looks cleaner.

How My YouTube Account Got Canceled

I'll give you a little story of mine and why I believe so much in the whole "get your own domain" and "get your fans emails". I had my YouTube account for about 5 years now. In the past year, I recently started using YouTube more to make videos and share them with people. I would go and message people that I thought would like my music. While some people did not like the message I had 1000's of people support me and share my music. Some even signed up to my email list. I absolutely love YouTube and it is one of my favorite social platforms.

The sad part about it is that YouTube shut down my account last month. I had to start all over again. Why did they shut me down? Because enough people said I was spamming them for them to shut my account down. They did not give me a warning. They just shut it down. It was my fault for not backing up my videos, but I lost most of my videos. I had to re-upload all my videos which means I had to put the description in again, put the keywords in and do all the annotations over again. It took me a whole weekend of burying myself in my apartment to get it done.

The worst part of it all? I lost 95% of all my contacts. People from all over the world that really liked my music and would comment on my channel are now gone and I might never get them back.

Master How To Market Your Music Online

I hope that you found this article helpful. As musicians we have to move with the trends. The internet and digital age has changed everything for every business and music is no different. As musicians we should be leading the charge on how to get creative using the internet. After all, most of us do not have big budgets behind us so we have to carry most of the load ourselves.

Source by Emilio Basa