It's important to set goals for personal development, but what can you do to attain these goals?
Enhance your vocabulary by learning a new word a day or a new word for the week. Then use it in a sentence. Yes, I am a retired teacher, but I love language and learning new words is a great boost to one’s self-esteem.
Parlez-vous français? Do you speak French? or any foreign language? Why not?
Music enhances our lives in untold ways. Learn to read sheet music and bring musical language into your life by learning to play an instrument. The easiest instrument to learn is the ukulele. With only four strings, not six like the bigger guitar, strumming simple chords is easier. Did you know that the word ukulele means "jumping flea" because one’s hand moves so quickly over the strings that it looks like jumping fleas? Once you have the basics down, you can apply your skills to a guitar.
The next instrument to play is the harmonica, also called the French harp or mouth organ. Sometimes, the voice weakens and people may find it hard to project or even produce sound. The harmonica forces us to blow, strengthening our vocal cords, and no matter how you blow, a harmonica always sounds great. This instrument is so small it will fit inside a pocket. Channel your Stevie Wonder and blow to your heart’s content.
Moving up the rhythm scale, we come to bongo drums. No drum sticks, just the bongos with your fingers creating the rhythm and the beat goes on. The bongo drums are an Afro-Cuban percussion instrument that are composed of two drums. Bongo drums are placed between the knees to play with the larger drum, called the hembra (female) in Spanish, placed on the right, and the smaller drum, macho (male) is on the left.
This next instrument won’t fit in your pocket but it is so enjoyable to play the piano or an electronic keyboard. Why would these be easy instruments to learn? Because the sheet music tells you exactly what notes to play, and if by chance, you play the wrong note, it will still sound great.
Lastly, the glockenspiel (glock-ench-peel) is a smaller version of the xylophone but rather than playing on wooden bars, the glockenspiel’s bars are made of metal that create a bright, clear sound. This instrument is in the percussion range of instruments and uses a pair of mallets to strike the bars. Bruce Springsteen featured a glockenspiel in his 1975 record,“Born to Run” played by Danny Federici. On other tracks, Bruce plays the instrument.