Babysitter or music teacher?


Being a parent is hard sometimes. I’m not a parent, but I do have to talk to parents now and then because I teach their children music lessons.

In the past, I would teach piano, guitar and voice from my home. Happily, I state now that I teach individual music lessons in a music studio in an arts and cultural centre.

The one thing I like about having individual music students, is because students generally know what is expected of them.

When I used to teach at home I encountered situations where my music teaching studio was being turned into a babysitting service.

Perhaps it was not deliberate, but I recall times when mom or dad didn’t pick up their child for hours after their lessons were over.

The TV would be on in the other room and the student would just sit and watch and wait for their ride home.

After a few of these¬†“extended music lessons,” I realized I was being taken advantage of. It drove me to stop teaching privately for awhile.

In the future, I believe teachers will find parents are a lot more appreciative of the one on one attention their kids receive when it is more costly, and more scarce.

When parents appreciate that a teacher’s time is valuable and respected, then teachers will be more willing to teach.

Musically yours, Amy Zents

The Straight Path to Freedom


Freedom is what we all love. The law allows us all a measure of it. Along with relative freedom, you also get a whole bunch of opportunities to find enjoyment and fun in life, in a variety of ways.
However, if you use your freedom to drink to a point where your thoughts are muddled by an excess of booze, and you put others and yourself in harm’s way, your freedom is taken away, and rightly so.
It’s crazy to believe that if you harm others, then pass out, or black out from whatever you may be under the influence of, that you should be free of responsibility. Sorry, life doesn’t work that way, especially if you are a grown-up.
Perhaps that is why we all need each other. We always have to remind ourselves and each other of our own responsibility to ourselves and others.
I fear that in the future, as a society we may lose our current freedom, if we do not watch it. If things keep going the way they are, I predict there will be developed more blatant stop-gap mechanisms put in place to prevent criminals from breaking the law, and hurting themselves and others.
If we don’t want the law to take over because we can’t manage ourselves, then it seems necessary we should make up our minds as individuals to keep on the straight path to freedom by being responsible grown-ups, and not insensitive, selfish losers.

Musically yours, Amy Zents

Tortilla Chip Wisdom

You can consume your favorite Internet content in a variety of ways just be sure what you hear or see rings true

The choices by which you have to consume content online are multitudinous. That’s a ten dollar word for “many.” You can watch it, you can read it, you can hear it, you can see it, you can even interact with it in 3-D!

The question is, which way do you like to consume Internet content? I find them all interesting.

My only gripe with reading, or watching, or listening to advice spewn by so-called experts, is that once in awhile their wisdom is questionable.

Experience has taught us that when someone says, for example, “You can’t make a living as a poet,” or “You can’t make a hit movie on $7 grand,” or you better not do this or that, ¬†the fact is, someone else has done or is doing what the experts say is impossible!

In short, consume your favorite content in any flavor or style you like, just remember to take some things like you take your tortillas, with a grain of salt!

Problems and passions

wp-1457538422474.jpgYou have your problems, I have mine. You have your passions, I have mine. The key to finding out what makes us feel free is deciding what direction we should go. Do we want to be led, or must we be pushed? Are we being led by pain or by passion? Whatever we decide or do not decide to do today about our future, we know there is a measure of the outcome we can control.
Mainly, the possibilities found in establishing good habits is a great way to get the ball rolling. We can be happy by focusing on what matters. Health, home, relationships, relaxing and traveling are part of what enhances our lives. Central to a great life is our career. Work is the place to start and work rewards are many.
Problems and passions co-mingle at times, but the power of habit can help to keep us on the right track to where we want to go.

Musically yours, Amy Zents

The Beer Revolution


I went to a beer tasting class this weekend. I learned a lot about beer making and it’s primary ingredients water, barley, hops and yeast. A good beer is made up of a few simple components, and a bunch of scientific processes. The cult of craft beers has taken beer-making into another realm.
I found out that in our town, there will soon be a new tap room that only serves sour beer. Sour beer is a cross between champagne, wine and beer. In pushing the boundaries of beer, the beer-makers use fresh fruits such as, lemons, apricots, gooseberries, raspberries and other fruits to make a variety of this puckery, bubbly concoction.
We think of the future of beer-making and we ask ourselves how can they improve on beer? Just pass one over here. Whether or not you like sour beer, lager or good old-fashioned ale, the beer revolution is on. In the science of beer-making the brewmaster is a scientist and an artist. Both roles are valuable to him. When it comes to yeast culture in the beer, the brewmaster can be happy to exclaim: “It’s Alive!”

Musically yours, Amy Zents

Future communities

Your tribe is out there

So are you afraid of the future?
Some prognosticators imagine that in about 75 years all drudge work will be automated. Already, a lot of jobs have been lost to computers, automation and oblivion. So if you hate your job, wherever you are on the totem pole, there’s a big chance your job will be taken over or eradicated, eventually. It will most likely be taken over by a robot. Robots have a lot of assets we humans do not. We are building smarter robots, and we are relying on them more and more.
However, the Internet has created a bridge that is conducive to human connection, communication and creativity. When you go online you are able to address a much bigger audience then at the local town hall. Are you on the edge of society? Is there a niche you are drawn to? Whether you love cribbage, history or physics, know there is a tribe just for you. It is possible that your online community will help you embrace the future and earn your keep. Seek and you shall find. Your community is out there.

Musically yours, Amy Zents

The future of feedback


If the glass is half empty or half full you should be able to say it without signing your name to it

Sometimes it hurts you to be criticized and sometimes it helps. But more often it is the critic who gets punished. People don’t like you when you speak the truth. In the future, I think people will be able to express their opinion in a way that is helpful without compromising their personal security. I found in smaller cities and towns you cannot write an editorial to be published in a newspaper without revealing your name. If your identity has to be put on the line, how can you express the truth? Granted some people have less than noble motives for criticizing the system or others, but nevertheless, I don’t think a person who puts forth an idea or a valid argument should be punished for it or have to reveal their name.

Musically yours, Amy Zents