Language Learning in School

Oh, language learning. One of my favorite things, and one of the things I started in school. But is the classroom really the best place to learn a second language?

This past May, I finished a semester where I had two foreign language classes: Spanish and French. I was originally planning to major in Spanish, and the program I was in required a second foreign language. I have since then changed both majors and schools, and I intend to continue learning languages on my own. So, I thought now would be a good time to explore the pros and cons of foreign language classes.
I will start with the Pros:
A class is scheduled. You have a specific day and time set aside to go to class and work on your target language.
It is easier to find study buddies. When you are in a foreign language class, the other students are usually at the same level as you, which can be good when it comes to needing a practice partner. You both know what you have to learn, and you can help each mph other, since you understand how much the other person understands.
The instructor can be a good resource. As with any class, a good foreign language teacher can be very helpful to their students. You can go to them with questions about the material, and they should be able to help.
Next are the Cons:
A classroom is very structured.
This is probably a pro for some people, but I don’t like to have to learn specific material that I know I will hardly ever use. I think that structure is important for complete beginners. We should all know how to greet people and talk about ourselves, but there comes a point the vocabulary is not necessarily going to be the best for each person.
There are a lot of grammar drills. In a classroom setting, the teacher has to be able to teach anywhere from 5-50 students, and some schools and colleges have a specific curriculum that has to be followed. These lesson plans include a lot of busywork practicing grammar without really putting things into context with everyday life. This is fine for awhile, but it soon gets boring.
You are not as independent as you could be. You are stuck learning the same thing as everyone else, and if you are either  way ahead or behind the rest of the class, you will not have a good experience. If you are learning faster than average, you will get bored. If you don’t learn as quickly, you might become resentful of the language as catching up will seem like a chore.
Other thoughts on language learning in the classroom:
I think that when you are just starting to learn a new language, it is good to have some guidance. This semester, my Spanish class was intermediate, but I was in French I. The knowledge of a teacher was very helpful in beginning the language, and I believe that is especially true for someone who has never gone about learning a foreign language before. Once you have learned one, it is easier to teach yourself another, because you will then know the best method for you.
Thanks for reading!
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Best Websites for Flutists: A Complete Guide

I love the flute, it is my main instrument, after all. So, for this post, I want to let you know what websites I love for flute. I have a few categories and each has one or two websites for the category that I like to visit!

Killer Harmony | Best Websites for Flutists | Do you need help finding free sheet music, information, or accessories for your flute? I have a list of some of the best websites for flutists out there. Check out this list with links to all of the great websites.

The websites are broken down into the following categories: Sheet Music, Advice/Information, and Instruments/Gear.

FluteTunes is a great place to find sheet music for flute and you can find various instrumentations, such as flute solo, dust, trio, flute and keyboard, flute and bass instrument, and more. There are pieces of all time periods and difficulties. This website also has scales, fingering charts, and instructions on transposition if you want to play a duet or other piece with an instrument in Bb or Eb. This site is completely free, and with the wide variety of music, there is a good chance that you will find something that suits your needs!
The International Sheet Music Library Project (ISMLP) is a great place to find sheet music for almost any instrument you can think of. Flute is one of the instruments, and I believe they also have sheet music for the various auxiliary flutes like piccolo, alto, and bass flutes. They also have music for flute + other instruments. The site can be categorized by instrumentation, genre, composer, difficulty as well as other options. They have original music and arrangements.
MusicaNeo is a good site if you are looking for arrangements or pieces written by new and upcoming composers. They have some free sheet music, but a lot does cost money, though not much. I have a site on there with my pieces. If you do spend money on there, I believe that you are doing some good with your money, because you are supporting artists and composers who may not have a contract with a major publisher. This is another website for more than just flute, but for flutists, they do have a free PDF of the Taffanel & Gaubert flute book.

This site is run by a woman named Jennifer Cluff, she is based in Canada, so the information she provides regarding levels are based on levels in Canada, but she does convert them to other systems of determining the difficulty of music. She also provides information on buying a flute, starting lessons, and general tips that are not very specific but can be applied in different ways because they are general.
This site is more for people who play other woodwinds in addition to flute, but the owner of this site, Bret Pimentel, gives good advice and information about playing multiple woodwinds, including flute. You can also find advice on switching off between instruments when practicing. Other than that, I don’t have too much to say, but the blog is very good.
This site is a general online shop for wind instruments (they also have a small selection of strings and keyboards), but I think they have quality instrument accessories. I am not sure about the instruments, but they do have good brands. (Always check with a professional before you make a purchase)
While Amazon is a pretty generic website, they have quite a selection of accessories such as cases, instrument stands, cleaning swabs, sheet music, and a few instruments, but as with WWBW, check with a trusted pro before investing heavily in an instrument over the internet. This is a great resource if you already have an Amazon Prime account.
As of writing this, I have not had enough experience with flute-specific websites for instruments and gear, but I hope to add a couple of websites under that category sometime in the future.
Thanks for reading!

So do you play flute or another instrument? What are your favorite music-related websites? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @HannahHaefele

Is Meghan Trainor’s “Dear Future Husband” Sexist?

I don’t think so. In the song, she talks about having her own full time job. And anything she says that could be considered ‘sexist’ is something most people want in a relationship. I don’t think I would be mad at someone for calling me pretty or wanting to take care of me.

Meghan stands up for herself by stating what she wants, and I think that’s great! Some have claimed that the song and the video are anti-feminist. I do not believe that that is true. I think that what is anti-feminist is the people who are saying that you cannot want to be a good wife in order to be a feminist.
I think that the song and the video could be perceived as being sexist, but I don’t think that a message like that would come from someone who recently released a “girl power anthem”. Maybe I’m wrong, and maybe it is sexist and anti-feminist. What do I know?
Let me know you thoughts. Do you agree or disagree and why? Thanks for reading!

Twitter: @itsmixedarts / @thatssoromantic
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The Importance of Multilingualism

I have noticed that many people have finally come to realize that there is a need for people to speak multiple languages. I, being from the United States, grew up in a monolingual household. My parents only spoke and speak English. Is this bad? Not necessarily, but they are from a different generation. I think that the people of today, of all ages, should be able to speak at least two languages. Why? Frankly, it is just how the world is going. English is an important language, yes, but not everyone speaks it, at least, not to a great degree. Many people who move to an English-speaking country feel isolated because we don’t speak their native language. They might speak enough English to get around, but is that really enough? I will forever love this quote by Nelson Mandela, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
I am assuming the reader is from some English-speaking country, so if you are not, please excuse me. Imagine travelling to a place, say China. Not many people in China understand English. Sure, there will be diplomats and interpreters at certain places, but that’s it. You are alone in a country with literally a billion people. That is the feeling that most immigrants from Central America and other countries feel like when they come to the United States. In the United States, immigrants are basically forced to learn English. Why is it so hard for us to at least try to learn theirs?

Thanks for reading! Gracias por leer! Grazie per la lettura! Merci pour la lecture! Obrigada pela leitura! Mulțumesc pentru lectură!
And, in Bulgarian:
Благодаря за четене!

(Blagodarya za chetene!)

Twitter: @itsmixedarts / @thatssoromantic
It’s Mixed Arts:
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Cool Headjoint!

I recently came across a headjoint for flute called a “glissando headjoint.” It was invented by flutist Robert Dick, and it sounds really cool. He talks about how he was inspired by Jimi Hendrix and the whammy bar on an electric guitar.
Here is a link to his video interview and demonstration: