Are you inspired by The Piano Guys, that you want to learn how to play the piano?

The Piano Guys are awesome. If you don’t know who they are, then I think you haven’t use the internet for a long long time. Just like Lindsey Stirling, they are famous musicians who gained their fame from YouTube. Nah, they are not people who come up with funny pranks or speak nonsense and get their fame from there.

They are true musicians who bring music to wherever they go!

piano guys

After watching The Piano Guys concert, there’s a feeling that many people are going to be inspired to learn the piano. Even adults who have stopped learning the piano when they are young, suddenly want to pick up piano again! If The Piano Guys are not enough to inspire you to pick up piano again, here’s are some benefits why you should learn piano again!

First, people who can play musical instruments are remarkable. They can create beautiful melodies and rhythms that are music to our ears. Music, according to Confucius, a Chinese philosopher, produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without. It can give us comfort, motivation and even spirit.

The feeling of listening to music and the feeling of playing the music doesn’t have much of a difference. But there are some things that you can benefit out of playing that you cannot obtain through listening.

One of the most popular musical instruments I know is the piano and I have known a lot of benefits that you can obtain out of playing it. This includes the enhancement of brain functions, the boost of self-esteem, the betterment of one’s social skills and the benefit of having a private emotional outlet.

Researchers say that playing piano have a huge impact to our brain. Therefore, it develop coordination in both mind and muscles that improved one’s hand-eye coordination and allows the full use of both left and right side of the brain. Playing piano or playing any other musical instruments just have the same benefits.

According to an article of from the Telegraph online magazine, “New research suggests that regularly playing an instrument changes the shape and power of the brain and maybe used in therapy to improve cognitive skills.” You can watch the video below to have a deeper and more scientific explanation of what I am saying.

TED Talk on playing an instrument: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0JKCYZ8hng&spfreload=10

Playing piano also boosts our self-esteem. As humans it is important for us to have a healthy and positive self-esteem because this gives us courage to try new things and the power to believe in ourselves.

We can boost our self-esteem by playing the piano in such a way that it makes us feel satisfied and proud of ourselves that we can make other people happy by producing good music.Self-esteem and social skills are just interconnected. The more we are confident with ourselves, the more it is to have confidence to socialize with other people. By playing piano, we can also join bands and orchestras. This way we can gain more friends and establish a lifelong friendship.

Lastly, playing piano can provide you a private emotional outlet. Sometimes, we can feel sad and lonely and talking about it with our friends won’t comfort us. So, we just have to seat right next to the piano and start to play music about what we feel. Like what my friend Joshua said “When nothing else soothes, sitting at the piano and letting my fingers express the intensity of my wordless emotion heals my heart and mind.”

Letting our feelings out is healthy. It helps us cope up with our daily problems and different issues in life. So, if you do know how to play the piano and you only see it as one of your hobbies think about these benefits. You should realize and remind yourself that you have more great reasons to play.

If you are keen to take a step to learn the piano, then this is probably the right time. You can find good piano teachers in Singapore quite easily using online. You can send in your request to tell the teachers what you want to learn, and how you want to progress. Because as you can see, learning an instrument brings you more benefits and adds more to your life!

Alright, go start now, and let’s have a great music journey together!

 

What Are The Venues for Team Building Games in Singapore?

As I shared with my friends about mortgage plans and property financing solutions, I met up with my long lost friend who is in business. Recently, we catch up with each other and share about what we do. And I found out that my friend does company events such as teambuilding, leadership training and retreats for their staff.

So as we thought of working with one another, I would like to share with you what he has to share today – Venues for team building games in Singapore. If you are a business owner who wants to bring your employee out to have a day of fun and team bonding activities, this article will help you with your event planner. So, over to you Ken!

Have you always thought of bringing your people out of office just to have a day of fun and learning, and get back to work the next day bonded stronger, communicate better, and produce more results? Yes, and that’s what my job is! I help companies organise teambuilding programs that will shift people’s behaviour, to make them more proactive, more purposeful, and of course, more productive.

We do these through a series of fun and activities, and the people love our programs so much that they remember every bits of it, even years later.

However, in this article, I will want to share with you what are the venues you can go to for such company events in Singapore. If you were to organize one for your team (or you can get our teambuilding experts to help), then this list of venues will help you!

1. Sentosa

sentosa

Sentosa is known as Singapore’s most popular playground. It is a tourist location, and one of the places Singapore is known for. So what’s best for Sentosa?

If you would like some outdoor activities under the hot sun, with the beach and the sea, then Sentosa is the way to go. And please, if you are in Sentosa, do not stay indoors. Sentosa is meant for outdoor games like frisbees, flying fox, water games, beach volleyball. If your company want to organise treasure hunt, this is a good place too!

2. Gardens by the bay

gbtb

This is another popular travel location of Singapore. MNCs who fly in foreign delegates into their Singapore headquarters will want to use tourist spots for their activities. One, they can show their foreign delegates around Singapore, plus, they can have fun with their colleagues there!

Gardens by the bay have big event hall, and smaller function rooms for rent. It will be good for big events of up to a few hundred people.

3. City Hotels

orchardroad

Of course, you can consider hotels in the city areas too, like Raffles Hotel, Swissotel, or Marina Bay Sands. You can also choose hotels in the popular shopping district of Orchard Roads, and there are hotels like Marriott hotel, Hilton Hotel, and Hyatt hotel.

These hotel are situated right in the popular area of Orchard and this makes travel convenient. They also have different function rooms to cater to your event needs. That’s not all, you can be assured of top customer service for all your functions.

So there you go, a list of venues in Singapore for your company events. If you would like to know more about teambuilding information, you can follow our Facebook or Google Plus for more updates!

What’s so great about Lindsey Stirling?

If you don’t know who Lindsey Stirling these days, people will look at you and say “Do you know what YouTube is?”

lindsey-stirlingIt is now the time where people can get famous on YouTube, shooting videos, doing talk shows, and of course, record music covers! This is how Lindsey Stirling got her breakthrough in music. She was just a typical violinist and can play fantastic tunes. However, she is just normal. As we know in art, normal is never good. If you want to be good, you have to stand out.

And that’s how she stood out! She is not just a violinist. She can dance, while playing the violin! Yes, I repeat, she can DANCE while holding the violin, and PLAYING the song out! Now, that’s what I can say is great about her. And this is how she charmed her audience world wide with her dance steps and beautiful music, on stage, and on YouTube records.

If you haven’t watched any of her videos, then you must. Now, this is free on her YouTube. (Warning: Once you start, you can’t stop!)

Lindsey’s videos have hit records after records, and she has millions of subscribers now on her YouTube channel.

Lindsey also came to Australia for her concert, and without surprise, her concert is full house. I didn’t know there are so many of her fans in Australia alone. I’m one of her fans, but I just watched all her videos on YouTube, and that’s all. I didn’t even know any of my other friends who enjoys her video.

(She’s coming back to Australia again!)

If there’s something that I like about Lindsey, is her hardwork and perseverance. And this is important to us artists who want to make it in the big scene. When she was kicked out of America Got Talent, people laugh at her, her judges laugh at her and said she will hardly make it, as not everyone will enjoy her style of music.

But guess these judges were wrong. The public bought it. I bought it.

What can Lindsey teach us artists?

1. Audience is the judge

Art is very subjective. One person may say she is amazed by your fantastic dance, but another person may say you are doing the wrong way. So who is right? The only way we know, is by the response we get from our audience. One judge’s comment doesn’t ascertain our performance. Afterall, we don’t just perform for one person. We perform for people who want to see us perform, and we do a great performance for them.

2. Be creative

As we progress in our dance performance, we have to branch out of the traditional way of doing things. Just like Lindsey, no body believes one can move around playing the violin. Because if you attend orchestral performance, musicians always stay in one place – they sit down, and don’t even stand up until the performance is over!

3. Don’t give up! 

If you are in our sphere long enough, you will receive lots of praises, but also lots of criticism. Nothing is sweet here. People may just slam your performance for nothing. You can let their comments drown you down, or you can pick yourself up, learn from the comments, and become better. Lindsey become better and prove the judges wrong. We artists should do the same!

Let me end off this post with this short clip, on the Rise of Lindsey Stirling.

Cool Artistic Furniture That You Want For Your Office!

Today, let’s stray a little bit out of our usual art topics. Nah, we are not shifting the focus on our blog. It just so happen that I chanced upon this article on Bored Panda about super cool offices.

At first when I read the headline, I thought, how much coolness can you give to an office, other than the world famous Google office? However, I was wrong! I was really amazed by some of the other offices in the world! Forget about just the design. Some of the office furniture, tables, chairs are simply too ‘cool’. If you are a new-gen guy like me, you will be blown away too.

Let’s enjoy some of the offices.

Google. (Who else?)

google

 

google office

Invention Land Design Factory

invention-land-design-factory-office invention-land-design-factory

Dropbox

dropbox
dropbox-office

Are these offices considered art and design?

You see, we have never worked in such cool offices before. If you want to compare it to my own art college, I can say we can compete the layout, design, art work, cool furniture with them. But that doesn’t matter. What it amazes me is that you don’t have to be an art college to have artistic workplace!

Hold on, there are more cool furniture that you must see. If you must, get them for your office! What about us people here who have a plan to start a drama or theatre company in the near future? Sure, we may want to have these cool chairs in our office too, since we are ‘artist’ too!

You see how they move the table away to create space, and slot it back so that you can have your dining table back? Look at how they ‘modify’ the chair into something that you can do without, but when you need it, you just need to flip it up?

There are many more really cool stuffs out there (other than our own stage) that we should explore and see how much we miss out in the world. Overall art is not just about ‘watching a musical or a play’. It can be part of our daily lives, on how we apply them to live better, stay comfortable, and be like these cool offices, impress people.

Meanwhile, if you are keen to check out cool furniture, you can visit the facebook page on Office Furniture here!

The Value of Art

theatre-art

The culture of any place is highly influenced by the art form practiced in the area. Art can be of any form; Painting, Music, Dance or Theater. Though art is an integral part of our everyday life, it is not easy to appreciate it enough.

You must learn to recognize the quality work. Not everyone can understand the beauty. You need to spend time listening to music, watching drama, visiting art galleries, going to opera shows to start enjoying it deeply.

You should also choose any form of art which appeals you most and start practicing it. Some people see it as a waste of time thinking that it has no benefit at all. But, such people are simply ignorant about the benefits behind appreciating and practicing art.

They should learn more about it. It does not matter whether you indulge in art as an artist or an art lover, both are equally enchanting. Make it your hobby. The more you indulge in your hobby, the less you think about worries
in your life. Appreciating art is similar to falling in love with someone. It makes you happier.

It makes you feel good. We all know, a happy heart resides in a healthy body. So, isn’t it a miracle that you can be healthier just by looking at great art like those of Picasso, Leonardo Da Vinci, Von Gogh etc.. Art appreciation is in fact a well-established way of healing. Watching and/ or participating in theater is
another way to nourish your mind and soul.

The world is full of imposing and beautiful theatres.

The Seebühne (floating stage) juts into the Austrian waters of Lake Constance, and is the most dramatic setting for performances at the Bregenz Festival.

floating-stage

Venice’s La Fenice theatre staged world premieres of operas by Rossini, Donizetti and Verdi.

The Fox Theatre, Detroit, uses a blend of African and Asian motifs – called as “Cambodian Gothic”

The futuristic, curvaceous Guangzhou Opera House in southern China simply stands out. What can you use to describe this magnificent stage you see below?

gz-opera-house

Cornwall’s Minack Theatre was constructed at the end of a garden in Porthcurno to stage productions put on by local players

The Winter Garden is one of the last remaining stacked Edwardian theatres, constructed seven storeys above the Elgin Theatre in Toronto, Canada

Sydney’s Opera House visible from the ocean as well as from the bridges, it is one of the most iconic opera houses of the modern age.

And this is Dream Theatre from Boston Opera House:

There are many more such alluring and magnificent theatres in the world. All these countries represent different continents but they all have one thing in common; the love for art.

There cannot be a better way than a good opera show to relax yourself, to get rid of all the negative energy. Enjoy a really good
show and feel the difference in your life.

Understanding What A Mortgage Is

From the previous article, you have understood what a reverse mortgage is. Now, let’s go deeper into understanding what mortgage is, and some of the important things you have to know about mortgage.

Let’s kick off this with a video about mortgage.

mortgageMortgage: A financially legal and binding procedure to facilitate the transactional flow of money between two parties, referred to by the term lender and borrower, in exchange of any immovable/movable entity with a physical significance under the given laws and conditions.

The borrower gets money in exchange of the entity being under the ownership of lender for a mutually agreed stipulated time. The lender has the rights and necessary privilege to claim on borrower’s property in case if the later faults on the line of repayment or does not respect the terms and conditions of the agreement previously agreed upon.

Technical Terms

There are few technical terms associated with mortgage:
Loan Amount
Loan amount is the money which borrower takes from the lender in order to pay for the property given under the care of lender.

Pre-payment

This is an option with the borrower which he can exercise to fast re-pay his pending loan in order to secure his property.

Principal Amount

The total amount loaned by the borrower from the lender.

Interest Amount

This is the amount which is paid as interest on the principal amount by the borrower to the lender over the specified period.

Typically, mortgage is of two:

Fixed Rate
Under this category, there is a mutual agreement between borrower and lender whereby the fixed time period is decided upon and fixed repayment amount on regular interval, usually a monthly phase out activity, to repay the complete amount.

Floating Rate
Under this category, there is no fixed amount being paid over the mutually decided period, which usually ranges from 5 to 30 years entirely dependent on the loan amount. The rate is calculated based on the market fluctuations and economic scenarios.

This is a very crucial phase in everybody’s life when it comes to applying for loan to secure your dream home. Usually, we all opt for reputed banks, if possible government undertaking, to make sure that they are no risks involved and preferably lower interest rate involved. It is very imperative for us to do proper analysis before we opt for the property and then for the bank of our choice.

1. Note down your financial liabilities & daily expenses
a. Once you have made up your mind to go for your dream home, make note of all your financial responsibilities in terms of any existing investment and total amount.
b. Now, monitor for close to 2 to 3 months to see how much you spend on your household activities. The sum of a & b will give you clear perspective about how much bandwidth you have in terms of opting for the loan amount.

2. Analyze your future projection in terms of earnings
a. Based on your current total household income, make a calculation about the future
earnings for next 10-15 years and see how much you could probably save.
b. Keep aside a portion of amount for any eventuality from the projected amount.

3. Tax exemption
a. Considering the existing investments that you have around for the sake of tax saving, calculate the expected principal and interest rates. Once you have followed the above three steps, you will have the clarity around your financial strength to decide about the price range for the house. These steps will also give you clear perspective about how you can save your tax by stop investing in other financial instruments that you had in past.

Love this article? We will be sharing more about mortgages, real estate, and anything that can make you financially wiser with property!

What is reverse mortgage about? A little introduction guide

We all know what mortgage is.

When you buy a house, you will usually take a housing loan from the bank. If the bank lends you $300,000 to buy a house, that will be the money you owe the bank. Throughout the years, you can decide how long you want to pay back the bank. Of course, it cannot be as long as 80 years. A typical home loan range from 10 years to 25 years. The shorter the loan, the higher the monthly installment you pay. The opposite is true too. The longer the loan, the lower the monthly installment.

That is mortgage. You pay monthly mortgage to the bank.

When you have finished the mortgage payment, you fully owned your house. The house is yours.

What about reverse mortgage?

Here’s a short video to explain to you:

You can watch the video on Youtube here too.

In short, reverse mortgage means you convert part of the equity of your home into cash from the lender, who is the bank. You can do this without selling your home or pay additional bills. There are a few countries who have supported this initiative, and it is usually started for the elderly who are 60 years old and above.

In Canada and US, reverse mortgage are quite popular as it is one way for the elderly to receive cash payments for their retirements. This initiative has given some opportunity for the elderly to ‘cash out’ their house, without selling them. The Singapore government is starting to look into this initiative, because of its increase in elderly population too.

You can read more about Reverse Mortgage on wikipedia too.

Is this reverse mortgage initiative to be supported? Will you support it?

Let us hear your views below.