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Is Music Education for Children Hard?

The benefits of music education for children are enormous and many parents are aware of this fact. And yet, statistics reveal that only 6 percent of all children really take up an instrument to play. Why is it so? Why don’t parents want their kids to develop this wonderful art?

The answer is obvious – many parents seem to think that music education for children is too complex and difficult. Maybe, these parents are totally unaware of how musical notations are taught. Or secondly, it could be that during their own childhood they had bad experiences in music education. Perhaps they were forced by their parents to practice for hours upon hours against their will.

Actually, there can be various reasons why parents are unwilling to provide music education for children. The number one reason is that they fear that their investment will go to waste, as they have heard that many students drop out after just one-and-half to two years of education. It’s true that as soon as the training gets a bit tougher, many students quit because of laziness in coping up.

But let me assure you that the complexity of the syllabus is not the real culprit here. There are several reasons why kids find it hard to cope up. A major one is – wrong choice of instrument. I’ve often seen that parents decide which instrument their child should play.

A long-time friend of mine once said to me that she was always interested in learning the piano, but her parents insisted on a violin for her. The poor girl developed severe pain in her hands because she had to carry the heavy instrument not only during lessons and home practice, but also to and from school.

When I asked her whether she could remember the reason why her parents preferred violin over piano, she answered, “Of course! It was the cost factor. The price of the piano was $250 and tuition fee for piano lessons was $22.5 per month. The price of the violin was just $20 and the tuition fee was just $7.5 per month.”

This case happened more than forty years ago, but it is still very much relevant today. The cost factor drives parents to make their own choices of instrument instead of heeding to their child’s desire.

Right from the start of music education for children, the parents should pay close attention. They must know what to expect from the music school for their child. Most importantly, they should understand the criteria on which to select the teacher. Recommendations from friends and relatives may seem convenient, but they don’t always work.

If the teacher complains that your kid is getting lazy, understand that you didn’t select the right teacher. Kids can never become lazy and bored with music lessons if they get constant inspiration from teachers and parents. No inspiration means – no interest. And no interest means – the end of studies.

Continuing Medical Education for Anesthesia and Its Importance to MOCA

Continuing Medical Education or CME is a method for all medical professionals to stay updated in the latest technologies and discoveries in their field of choice. This is very important because medical science is an ever changing science, and what was true while you were still in school may not necessarily be considered to be helpful now. MOCA or Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology is an on-going process of assessment of one’s medical licensure specifically for anesthesiologists.

The concept of Maintenance of Certification started in 1999 with the ABMS or the American Board of Medical Specialties. Because ABA or the American Board of Anesthesiology is a member of ABMS, they implemented MOC activities. It was also a way for ABA to prove that they were committed to making certain that all their professional members strive for quality patient care as well as clinical outcomes. As I said, MOCA is a program that requires life-long commitment to the maintenance and improvement of an anesthesiologist’s quality of work. Only after a diplomate completes all MOCA requirements within ten years will he be awarded with a certificate for MOCA and be allowed to continue to practice in the specialty and subspecialty of anesthesia.

The MOCA program has four parts and this is where continuing medical education comes in. The first part is the professional standing assessment. In order for a diplomate to complete this part, he or she must maintain an active and unrestricted license to practice his or her profession in at least one part of the United States or Canada. The second part is the lifelong learning and self-assessment. As a diplomate, you must dedicate yourself to engage in continuing medical education with a total of 350 credits; at least 250 of those should be Category 1 credits. The third part is the cognitive expertise assessment. In this part, a diplomate must successfully complete an online test prepared and provided by ABA. A third of the test will be regarding general anesthesia and the rest will cover subspecialties in the field. The fourth and final part is the practice performance assessment and improvement; here a diplomate will be assessed in his performance in the clinical area either by peer review or case evaluation and simulation.

Although continuing medical education is only technically required in the second part of the MOCA program, it is necessary in the completion of the rest of the parts. If you look closely, continuing medical education is still required on the third and fourth part of the program wherein you will be tested on your knowledge and skills. With proper CME, you can ensure that you stay up-to-date with the skills and knowledge necessary to provide quality service.

We Need Continuing Education for Politicians, Bureaucrats, and Government Regulators

It is amazing how many rules and regulations are put forth by government bureaucrats and regulators demanding various professionals who hold licenses to go to ongoing education classes. Most of these classes are mundane, and more about demanding that the professionals submit to authority to maintain their licenses, than anything that will help the consuming public with important safeguards. In many regards as a business owner this totally irks me because we have bureaucrats in Washington DC, and at the state level making more and more rules and regulations each and every year.

It seems that they just can’t help themselves, and they assume that anyone that violates one of their rules or regulations is unethical, an evil doer, or trying to dodge their responsibility in protecting the public. That’s just not the case, often their rules and regulations don’t fit the circumstances, and the entrepreneur or business person is just trying to service their customers despite all the bureaucratic nonsense in the way.

I’ve come to the conclusion over the years, and I’ve even brought this up at our think tank, that politicians, bureaucrats, and government regulators need to have ongoing education for themselves. This is because many of them have never run a business, or participated in the free market system, therefore they don’t understand it.

Rather than the business community getting angry at all the nonsense, why not just make it mandatory that these people working in the government learn the ropes of the real world. What should we be teaching them? Well, here are three items below that might be a good start;

1. Free Markets
2. Constitutional Refreshers
3. The Inefficiencies of Government Bureaucracies

First of all, maybe they need some on-the-job training, and actually work in a business, and mirror as a temporary tagalong with an actual small business person to see how difficult it is to run their operation with all the nonsensical regulations that are put forth. Then I believe they need to read Milton Friedman’s “The Right to Choose” and DeLorenzo’s “How Capitalism Saved America,” and of course Ayn Rand’s classics.

Finally, I believe these bureaucrats and politicians need to take constitutional refresher courses so they don’t promote laws which impede our rights as citizens, business owners, or our right to free contract. You see, these folks need to understand that bureaucracies are by their very nature inefficient, and therefore every time the government does more, they create inefficiencies not efficiencies in free markets. Yes, we need ongoing education classes for politicians, for bureaucrats, and for government regulators. That’s only fair.