Getting started is always the hardest part. If you’ve been physically inactive for a while, it’s hard to begin an exercise routine. The gym can be an intimidating place if you don’t know your way around. Where do you start if you haven’t done a crunch or walked more than the distance from your car to your desk at work?

Get started with a new fitness routine:

1. Start slowly. Your level of fitness during your senior year of high school is still fresh in your mind. You could lift 200 pounds over your head, do the splits, run a 6-minute mile, and still have energy left for the dance after the football game. However, you’re not 18 anymore.

* Perform workouts that match your current physical condition. Hurting yourself is the fastest way to ensure that you never get in shape.

2. Stress yourself, but not too much. The perfect workout will stress your body enough than it must adapt, but not so much that your recovery time is lengthened or you hurt yourself.

* There’s great news: you don’t need to do much at first to see real results if you’ve been switching back and forth between sitting at a desk and sitting on the couch. A short walk on the treadmill will provide a lot of benefit. If you haven’t done a push up in 20 years, doing pushups against the wall is enough.

* Enjoy the advantages of being a beginner. You can get more results from10 minutes of easy exercise than a highly fit person can get from 90 minutes of hard work.

3. It’s all about consistency. A mild, daily workout will do more for your fitness than one hard workout each week. Instead of focusing on your effort, focus on making it to the gym regularly.

4. What you eat is important. Assuming you want to lose weight, what you eat is far more important than the exercise you perform. It’s easy to eat more calories in an hour than a professional athlete can burn off in three hours. Pushing yourself away from the table might be the best form of exercise.

5. Find a workout buddy. It’s not easy to make it to the gym or to put on your running shoes each day. Knowing that someone else is counting on you increases your compliance.

6. Get expert help. Get some professional guidance if you’ve never exercised before. Learn effective techniques and have your coach design an intelligent program for you.

7. Keep it simple. A few exercises are enough to provide all the benefits you’ll ever need. The basics never go out of style.

8. Make it fun. Love basketball? Join a basketball league. Find a form of exercise that you enjoy. Unless you’re training for a bodybuilding contest, there are many forms of exercise that can fit the bill of increasing your fitness.

9. Be well-rounded. Flexibility, cardiovascular fitness, and strength are all important, especially as you age. If all you do is run, your flexibility and strength will suffer. Ensure that you’re hitting these three areas of concern.

10. Focus on progress. Just a little bit of progress each week can keep your motivation high. Enjoy the fact that beginners make great progress!

Get excited and start on a new exercise routine today. You don’t even need to join a gym. A pair of walking shoes and a set of exercise bands are enough to get started. Get some expert advice for an effective plan. Take your time and enjoy the journey.

Great leaders share many common traits. Though criteria for leadership in the workplace can vary from company to company, the majority of effective leaders exemplify certain skills. By focusing on developing these same skills, you can take your leadership abilities to the next level.

Develop the important traits necessary to become a great leader:

1. Self-motivated. As a leader, it’s important to be able to motivate yourself to take action to move forward toward your goals – whether they’re personal or team goals. Leaders are driven to get things done and they lead their team to do the same.

2. The ability to delegate. You can’t do it all yourself. The most effective leaders surround themselves with skilled people, define their responsibilities, and then get out of the way. A single person is quite limited, but many hands can get a lot done. Learn how to share your workload.

3. Communicate effectively. You might have a clear picture in your mind of what you’d like to see happen. Unfortunately, no one can read your mind. A leader is responsible for sharing his vision and making his desires known.

* People can give you what you want when you can communicate clearly what needs to be done.

* Provide status updates and keep everyone on the same page. Employees lose motivation when they don’t understand the current situation fully.

4. Develop others. Being a leader isn’t just about utilizing others to reach your goals. It’s developing those around you. From a more selfish perspective, the more skilled your employees, the more they can assist you and the company.

* Share your expertise and help everyone around you to grow.

5. Be committed. You can’t expect greater commitment than you’re willing to provide. A leader sets the ceiling. Everyone else settles in somewhere below that point. Set the ceiling high and show them what true commitment looks like.

6. Inspire others. A great leader knows how to inspire others to do their best work. It’s not always easy to inspire those content to simply show up each day and collect a paycheck, but it’s possible. Show your motivation and commitment.

* Even if you’re only able to inspire a few people to do their best, it will make a positive difference.

7. Have a clear focus. If you don’t know what you want, you won’t get it. Leaders are clear on their vision and readily share it with others. A clear vision serves as a roadmap. Employees can easily ask themselves if their actions are contributing to the attainment of your vision. Know your focus and communicate it effectively.

8. Show respect. Strive to treat everyone fairly and avoid playing favorites. Everyone is worthy of a basic level of respect. Ensure that you’re giving it.

9. Confidence. It’s natural to be drawn to others with confidence. You are viewed as more capable and trustworthy when your confidence level is high. Be comfortable with your skills and your plan.

* A lack of self-confidence will limit the ability of others to trust your vision and judgment.

10. Decisiveness. Leaders make the tough decisions fearlessly and take responsibility for the outcome. It’s easy to make quick decisions when you’re clear on your values and those of the company. If you can’t make up your mind, your leadership skills will be called into question.

* Practice by making small decisions quickly and following through on them. It gets easier with practice. You’ll be surprised by how much more you accomplish when you’re able to make a clear decision.

Leaders are necessary in any organization. Great leaders share common characteristics that you can develop in yourself. Even if you don’t feel you currently possess these qualities, you can grow your capacity to be an effective leader.

When it comes to using meditation to manage anxiety, multiple studies have reached the same conclusion. Mindfulness can help you to stop worrying.

Almost 7 million Americans experience Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and many more have occasional bouts of fretfulness due to pressures at work or home. While you can’t remove the stress from daily life, there are steps you can take to feel more at ease. Try these natural remedies.

Anxiety-Related Benefits of Meditation

Researchers have been studying how meditation affects a wide variety of health issues. Last year, the American Medical Association reported that meditation appears to be most effective in addressing anxiety, depression, and pain management.

1. Focus on now. Most anxiety tends to be centered on rehashing the past or anticipating the future. Meditation encourages you to engage fully with the present moment. Your attention switches from useless regrets and fears to constructive endeavors.

2. Connect with your body. Chronic anxiety takes a toll on your physical health through inflammation and other symptoms. Scanning your body reminds you to lower your shoulders and unfurrow your brow.

3. Change your brain. Meditation alters your brain so your contentment will grow. Stress hormones decrease and serotonin levels rise. Gray matter enlarges, while the amygdala, which processes fear, shrinks.

How to Meditate to Reduce Anxiety

Meditation can be adapted to suit your individual needs. Take classes or sit at home for free on you own schedule.

1. Start off gradually. The benefits of meditation can often be seen within a week or two, and even 10 minutes a day pays off. Set aside a brief time each day for contemplation.

2. Clarify your purpose. You may want to use meditation as part of your spiritual practice or take a completely secular approach. Meditation is not necessarily religious. You can develop greater peace of mind with your own set of beliefs.

3. Separate facts from feelings. Introspection helps you to distinguish between actual events and your inner thoughts and emotions. As you train yourself to think objectively, you can achieve greater control over your reactions.

4. Develop insights. Examining your mind also helps you to understand yourself and others. You may discover the root causes of your anxieties and how best to deal with them. Maybe you’ll want to replace negative expectations with a sense of curiosity. Perhaps you’ll pay more attention to the kindness you receive from others instead of conflicts.

5. See your doctor. While meditation is powerful, your physician may recommend treatments including cognitive therapy and medication if your anxiety persists. You can still practice meditation and other self-care to aid your recovery. Let your doctor know what you’re doing on your own.

Other Natural Anxiety Aids

Meditation is even more productive when you combine it with other healthy lifestyle choices. Take a look at your daily habits.

1. Eat whole foods. A diet full of processed foods and sugar aggravates anxiety and depression. Get most of your calories from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins.

2. Limit alcohol and caffeine. Too much coffee may give you the jitters, and self-medicating with alcohol usually backfires. See if cutting back makes a difference.

3. Exercise more. Physical activity melts away anxiety and stress. That’s especially true for vigorous aerobic workouts like running or rowing.

4. Rest and relax. Fight anxiety with a good night’s sleep and occasional breaks during the day. Go to bed on a consistent schedule.

If anxiety is interfering with your life, help is available. Achieve greater peace of mind through meditation, and see your doctor if you need additional support.

Grit versus Talent

Would you rather be talented or be tough? It’s an interesting question. The athletes and actors we see on TV seem to have a lot of talent, and many of them do. But having the resolve to continue under any circumstance can be much more valuable and can be applied to all areas of life. In other words, your athletic ability won’t do anything to help your scholastic efforts.

Talent has advantages, but is overrated:

1. Talent can make the journey easier. If you have talent for a particular area, such as music, you’ll have an easier time making progress. The journey is smoother and faster.

2. Talent is insufficient. Talent doesn’t eliminate the need for practice. Talent without practice is no more valuable than not having the talent in the first place. The athletes you see on TV have both talent and years of intense practice.

3. Talent isn’t a choice. You can’t choose to have a particular talent. You either have it or you don’t. Ideally, your interests and talents are in alignment.

4. Talent is only necessary at the highest levels. Can you be the world’s greatest pianist or golfer without talent? No. But you can make a good living playing the piano or playing golf without much talent provided you work hard enough and long enough.

There’s nothing wrong with being talented. The more talent, the better. But talent isn’t enough to ensure success. It only determines the extreme upper limits of your success. It also makes progress easier and faster.

Grit can be enough to ensure success in all areas of life:

1. Grit is enough to achieve 99% of your goals. Forget about talent. If you have the ability to persist and maintain a positive attitude, you can be successful at almost anything.

2. Anyone can have grit. Grit is the result of a certain way of thinking and viewing the world. You can choose your beliefs and your thoughts. Therefore, you can have grit. Start today. Make yourself do something that you don’t want to do, like clean out your desk or purge your unneeded emails. Be tough and get it done.

3. Grit begets grit. Developing grit is like building your biceps. Your ability to demonstrate resolve grows with practice. Make yourself do something each day that’s unappealing.

4. Grit is calming. That might seem counterintuitive, but it’s true. When you have determination, you don’t have any choices to make. You simply keep moving forward. Constant self-questioning is stressful and exhausting. When you only have a single choice, life is simpler. Having too many choices creates anxiety.

Grit is among the most important attributes to possess. Grit can overcome a lack of talent in most situations. Unless you need to be in the top 0.25% of something, talent is irrelevant. It only makes the journey a little easier.

Grit versus talent, which is better? The amount of grit you possess is more relevant than the amount of talent you possess. Talent is nice to have. It’s like having a sports car instead of a new economy sedan. Both will take you to the same place. One just takes longer.

But all the talent in the world is useless if it isn’t applied diligently. The ability to persist during any challenge is the key to long-term success. Take control of your beliefs on success and your perspective on life. Believe that persistence is more important than talent. Hopefully, you have some of both. If you can only have one, grit is more useful.

Is there a hole in your life where your diet used to be? If you’ve been struggling to lose weight, reaching your target could leave you wondering what to do next with your new and thinner self.

Give yourself credit for making changes to enhance your health and be prepared for more work ahead. Slimming down affects more than your waistline. Take a look at what’s in store for your body, mind, and relationships.

Things to Do for Your Body

Reaching a healthy weight is worth a few less pleasant side-effects. These are some common issues you may face.

1. Eat less. A recent study found that contestants on The Biggest Loser gained back most of their weight due to slower metabolisms and increased hunger cravings. If you want lasting success, you’ll need to keep watching your portions.

2. Train for strength. Boost your post-diet metabolism by building up muscles that burn more calories than fat. Lift weights or do push-ups.

3. Tighten your skin. Depending on your age and how much weight you lost, you may see saggy skin. If it doesn’t bounce back in time, surgery or compression garments could help.

4. See your doctor. Are you taking prescription medications? Ask your doctor about lowering the dosage since being overweight could have aggravated chronic conditions. Also, if you’re having stomach pains, look into being tested for gall stones.

Things to Do for Your Mind

Your brain may need time to catch up with your new figure. Pay attention to your mental and emotional wellbeing.

1. Adjust your image. Do you realize that your dress size shrunk and you’re taking up less room on public transportation? Buy new clothes and check the mirror to develop a truer picture of what you look like now.

2. Deal with feedback. You may like how others treat you with more respect, or you may resent their shallowness in accepting you only because you’re thin. Remember, their attitude says more about them than you.

3. Resolve other issues. Overeating can cover up other concerns, and some dieters feel let down when weight loss doesn’t automatically make them happy. Manage your expectations. Plus, now that you’re thin, you can shift your resources to tackling other challenges.

4. Enjoy life. There are so many wonderful things you can do now that may have been difficult when you were larger. You can spend more time playing with your kids and sleep sounder at night.

Things to Do for Your Relationships

In an ideal world, your significant other would be cheering you on. In reality, things are more complicated.

1. Offer reassurance. Your partner may feel threatened by your appearance, and friends may wish they were in your shoes. Let others know that you still appreciate them.

2. Find middle ground. There may be some compromising in store if you used to socialize by eating pizza, and now you want to play tennis. Avoid nagging your loved ones. When they’re willing, encourage them to join you in being more active.

3. Move on. On the other hand, you may have outgrown some relationships. If you feel that someone is trying to undermine you, it could be time to wish them well and keep your distance.

Dropping excess pounds has more pros than cons. Weight loss gives you more energy and lowers your risk for serious conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Keep these benefits in mind while you’re managing the trickier consequences so you can lead a longer and more fulfilling life.

You probably know that any form of physical activity beats sitting on the couch if you want to look and feel younger. However, some exercises are more effective than others. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic figured out how you can design your workouts to reverse the clock as much as possible in as little time as possible.

The Mayo team tested 3 different exercise programs on men and women under 30 and over 65. After 12 weeks, high intensity interval training (HIIT) proved to be the anti-aging winner, compared to lighter cycling and lifting or strength training alone.

That’s because HIIT made changes at the cellular level, enhancing mitochondrial function. Participants over 65 had a 69% increase in their cells’ ability to take in oxygen and produce energy, while those under 30 had a 49% boost.

While that might sound a little technical, it means slowing down age-related physical decline, including osteoporosis, arthritis, hypertension, heart conditions, and digestive issues.

Learn how to stay young. Follow these guidelines for a workout program that reverses aging.

High Intensity Interval Training to Fight Aging

1. Understand the concept. High intensity interval training means alternating between short periods of intense exercise and gentler activities. In the Mayo study, this involved 4 minutes of fast cycling followed by 3 minutes of easy cycling repeated 4 times.

2. Be consistent. You’ll need to do HIIT regularly to see results. Aim for at least 2 to 3 workouts each week.

3. Proceed gradually. Avoid injuries by giving your body time to adapt. You might start out with just a few minutes of HIIT, and work your way up slowly to 15 or 20 minutes.

4. Rest up. The gentle periods are just as important as the more intense phase. That’s when your body becomes conditioned to return to your normal heart rate quickly.

Strength Training to Fight Aging

1. Build muscle. Strength training may not rival HIIT for cellular changes, but it’s good at slowing down age-related muscle loss. Otherwise, most adults over 30 lose about 5% each decade.

2. Challenge yourself. Heavier weights and lower repetitions will give you faster results. Try picking the biggest dumbbell that you can lift safely 4 to 8 times.

3. Take time off. Work hard at the gym, but rest between sessions so muscles can heal and grow. Take a day of rest or do other activities like biking or running.

Other Anti-Aging Training Tips

1. Steady yourself. Training for balance will protect you from falls and may help prevent some forms of dementia. Take a yoga class or practice standing on one foot while you brew coffee.

2. Stand tall. Good posture helps you to look younger and puts less strain on your spine. It also enhances bodily functions like respiration, circulation, and digestion.

3. Target your whole body. Include lots of full body exercises in your workout. You’ll burn more calories and increase your coordination. Plus, you’ll see more gains in functional fitness that prepares you to handle real-life tasks like vacuuming and yard work.

4. Engage your brain. Your mental health matters too. In addition to exercising your brain with word puzzles, try physical activities that make you think, like waltzing or playing tennis.

5. Be social. Connecting with others is like a fountain of youth. Work out with a buddy or go running with your spouse.

Any work out can help you manage your weight and reduce inflammation, but HIIT does more to maintain healthy cell functions as you grow older. Make high intensity interval training part of your formula for fitness and anti-aging.

Whether your loved one is dealing with an illness, addiction, career change, or other serious issue, it’s hard to watch them suffer. You want to wave a magic wand that makes them happy and solves their issues. However, you don’t have a magic wand. So what can you do?

When your loved one is struggling, you can help in several ways:

1. Avoid letting your fear take over. You may be incredibly worried and concerned, but fear can make things more difficult. It can cloud your judgment and make you choose the wrong path to help those you care about. Ensure that fear isn’t affecting your decisions.

2. Listen to their wishes. Your loved ones may want to talk about big decisions. It’s important to refrain from interrupting them or stop the conversation. As their support system, one of the best things you can do is to listen and pay attention to what they want to say.

* They may say things that are hard to hear. They may discuss how they want to handle their illness or addiction. They may talk about relocating for a new job or trying a different career path.

* Avoid the impulse to judge, criticize, or argue. Your loved ones need to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts with you. You may be the only support they have right now.

3. Recognize that you can’t fix everything. It’s tempting to rush around and try to end their suffering, but it’s not possible for you to fix everything in someone else’s life.

* Accept the limitations and try to make the best of the situation. Understand that sometimes your loved one needs to be in charge and make their own decisions.

4. Ask for help. You don’t have to do everything alone. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re weak. Many times, it takes great strength to ask for help.

* You may be using a great deal of energy to help your loved one. To be at your best, take time to take care of yourself, too. If you’re sick, worn out or tired, then you can’t be an effective helper.

* Reach out to others to grow your network of support so you can get help when it’s necessary.

5. Be careful how you try to cheer them up. One of your natural responses may be to try to cheer up your loved one. However, this may not work out well. Be sensitive to their emotions.

* If you try to show them pictures or videos of happier times, they may become sadder.

* If you try to invite friends over and throw a party, they may feel uncomfortable and out of place.

* Even comfort food may not be effective in cheering them up. They may be on a special diet or have difficulty eating. Your cooking efforts may be wasted, and you may end up resenting the time you spend making special dishes.

* Before you jump in and try to cheer up others, stop and think about how they really feel.

You can reduce the suffering of your loved one. You have the power and the ability to lighten their burden. Try these techniques to help you both get through this challenging time.

Does it take days for you to recover after your workout sessions at the gym? This is a sign that you may be overdoing it and need to cut back. Learn more about important signals from your body that warn you to slow down, and what you can do to make your fitness routine work better for you.

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it’s time to evaluate your fitness routine:

1. Soreness after more than 48 hours. It’s normal to have some soreness after a hard workout However, if you’re still sore and in serious pain more than 48 hours after your last workout, then it’s a sign something is wrong with your exercise plan and its severity.

* This soreness shouldn’t even appear if you’ve been doing the same workouts for months.

* Muscle pain, stiffness, and soreness are signs that you’re overdoing it at the gym and may have an overuse injury. There could be micro tears in your muscles, sprains, or other issues.

2. Lasting joint pain. Joint pain can also point to an overuse injury.

* You may need to rest and get medical attention for joint pain that doesn’t go away after a few days.

3. Backsliding results. Naturally, you want to see your workouts bring results, but you may end up backsliding if you’re overdoing it at the gym.

* For example, if you’re pushing yourself too hard and getting injured, then your results could drop from being able to do 10 laps to 5 laps at the gym. Another example is if you’re not able to lift the same weights that you could lift a few weeks back.

* Backsliding results shouldn’t be ignored because they’re a sign you’re doing too much and hurting yourself.

4. Dreading workouts. Everyone wants to skip the occasional workout and eat a bagel. However, if you dread your workouts to the point that you’ll come up with any excuse to avoid them, then it’s time to reevaluate.

* Exercise might not always be fun, but it shouldn’t make you miserable. If you avoid or reschedule all of your workouts, consider if the main culprit is that you’re overdoing it.

* You may be pushing yourself too far and want to skip the pain that comes with exercise.

* Once you start a workout, you would normally tend to cheer up because serotonin levels increase. However, if you’re not any happier while you’re doing the exercises, it’s a clear sign that something needs to change. You may need to redo your routines or cut them down to a more reasonable amount.

Adjusting Your Workouts to Avoid Injury

If you’ve been forcing your body past its limits, you’ll benefit from seeking professional help to adjust your workouts:

* If you’re overdoing it, then a trainer can help you slow down and actually get better results.

* A trainer can work with you and push you just beyond your limits without sacrificing your health. A professional trainer knows how to avoid injuries and overuse of muscles, so you don’t create lasting damage.

* If you prefer not to hire a trainer, consider help from trusted sources online, such as videos from experts.

Exercise shouldn’t hurt your health, and overdoing it at the gym is dangerous. Pay attention to the warning signs from your body and take steps to avoid damage.

Belly bloat isn’t easy to beat. You try to diet, exercise, and wear different clothes. You try supplements, pills, and shakes. Yet, the bloat won’t disappear.

Fortunately, it’s possible to get rid of the large midsection that bothers you!

Before you give up and resign to living with a large stomach, try these ideas to defeat belly bloat:

1. Avoid chewing gum. Chewing gum forces you to swallow air. The excess air ends up in your stomach and can make bloating worse.

2. Reduce carbohydrates in the evening. Research shows that eating too many carbohydrates in the evening can make belly bloat worse in the morning.

* Feel free to eat carbohydrates during the day. However, if it’s close to your bedtime, avoid covering your plate with them. Your body needs time to digest them, and it’s easier to do this if you’re active during the day instead of in bed.

3. Stop your soda habit. Soda pop and all carbonated beverages can make your stomach bigger. Instead, drink water, juice, or herbal teas.

4. Add more potassium to your diet. Potassium in food can help reduce belly bloat. You’ll get more potassium if you eat bananas, tomatoes, cantaloupe, spinach, and other produce. Nuts also contain high levels of potassium.

* The reason why potassium works to fight bloating is because it controls fluid intake in your body and cells. By eating more of these foods, you’ll have better fluid control on a cellular level.

5. Avoid fake sugars. You may think you’re helping your diet by eating artificial sugars. However, you’re actually making your bloating worse.

* Artificial sugars are hard for your body to digest. They can often lead to unnecessary and annoying bloating. In addition, in large amounts, fake sugars can lead to cramping and stomach aches.

* To avoid artificial sugars, read package labels carefully. Artificial sugars can be in candy, cookies, baked goods, and other items. If the label has “sugar-free, “low calorie,” or similar wording, that food is likely to have artificial sugar in it.

6. Add more probiotics. Whether you turn to more yogurt or kimchi, filling your diet with more probiotics will help you get rid of belly bloat.

* Probitiocs can greatly benefit your digestive system. They can help you balance the good and bad bacteria in your gut. They’re an important part of defeating bloating too.

* You can find probiotics in yogurt, fermented dairy products, kimchi, sauerkraut, and other foods. The key is to find some probiotic foods that you love and will enjoy eating every day, or at least several times a week.

7. Drink tea. Instead of drinking juices or coffee, you may want to switch to tea. For best results, pick natural herbal teas without GMO ingredients. Focus on organic ingredients. Green tea and peppermint tea may help you with belly bloating.

* Studies show that green tea may help your metabolism and make it easier to burn fat in the body.

* Peppermint tea is an ancient home remedy that is used to relieve digestive issues and help the stomach. It has a calming effect. However, it can also get rid of annoying bloating after a big meal.

Belly bloat doesn’t have to be a permanent part of your body. Use these strategies and win your battle with bloat.

Are you a parent who’s concerned that your children may be missing out when it comes to music education? Budget cuts in arts programs at public schools could limit your child’s opportunities to play an instrument or learn about the great composers.

Help your child discover how music can enrich their life. Take a look at the benefits of raising a music lover, and find out how to share your love of music with your child.

Benefits of Music Education:

1. Enhance academic performance. Some studies have shown that kids who can play instruments receive higher SAT scores. Engaging with music involves math, science, and memory skills, as well as motor coordination.

2. Explore other cultures. Even if your knowledge of French is limited to Frere Jacques, you realize how rhymes make it easier to speak other languages. Music also provides a window into how others live around the world.

3. Promote teamwork. Bands and orchestras collaborate and resolve challenges. Each member waits their turn and respects the others’ contributions.

4. Teach delayed gratification. Video games like Guitar Hero may be fun, but they don’t really teach you to play guitar. Kids who practice with a real instrument experience the rewards of perseverance.

5. Build confidence. Racking up tangible accomplishments boosts self-esteem. Performing before a live audience can also be an early lesson in leadership and presentation abilities.

Encouraging Your Child’s Music Appreciation:

1. Start early. Many experts think that the capacity for musical sensibility peaks between birth and age, nine so use age-appropriate methods. Your baby loves the sound of your voice, so chant while you rock them. Encourage your toddler to make noise with homemade shakers and drums.

2. Sing together. Babies will often mimic any sound you make, while slightly older kids will enjoy silly songs. By the time they’re ready for elementary school, you can start introducing simple concepts like tempo and beat.

3. Share activities. Keep it interesting with crafts and outings. Draw pictures of instruments to color, and check neighborhood calendars for children’s performances.

4. Broaden their exposure. Drench your home in pleasant sounds. Play classical music and jazz on the radio. Offer sheet music and books.

Supporting Your Child’s Music Studies:

1. Talk with the teacher. Choose a music instructor with a warm personality who can describe their lesson plan in convincing detail. Ask them how you can assist your child, especially if you don’t know much about music yourself.

2. Attend classes. Your child might feel more comfortable if you go with them to classes at first. Try to observe closely without distracting them from listening to the teacher.

3. Praise effort. Let your child know you recognize their progress. Be specific about what they’re doing well, whether it’s practicing on a daily basis or playing an entire piece without hitting a single wrong note.

4. Show enthusiasm. Show up for each performance that you possibly can. Give a big round of applause and take pictures for posterity. Help your child stay on track by engaging them in setting daily goals and figuring out activities of their own for holiday breaks and summer vacation.

5. Make it fun. Remember that the main purpose is to help your child enjoy music, so let them decide how far they want to go. Let them know you love them just as much if they want to trade in their piano lessons for horseback riding.

Make symphonies and pop songs part of your family activities. Increasing your child’s understanding of music will enhance their performance in many arenas, and give them a source of joy and relaxation they can count on throughout their lives.