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NEW Top 5 SHOCKING Mistakes You Make on Social Media Every Day: Keeping it Real dispels a recent fake controversial viral
story about public bathrooms.
In our world of social media obsession, everything and every thought being tweeted, vined, snapchatted, and instagrammed. Most individuals do not know how to communicate electronically. Relationships can get destroyed, false information is passed on as truth, and anger seems to be the most prevalent emotion, especially during this heated political season in the US. 

So here are the Top 5 Shocking Mistakes That You Make on Social Media

1. You Post Every Thought without Thinking

We've all seen it. A bad break-up, a fight with a loved one, a bad day at work...Some people just post and post and post and post and don't think about the permanence of online posts. Even if you "delete" the post, it is still there, somewhere. And the juiciest information may have already flown through cyberspace via other social media sites before you have a chance to retract your statements. If you are heated, don't post. It's that simple.

If you can't read your post with a smile 
on your face, then delete it!

2. You Take Everything Too Seriously

This past election cycle, I personally have had several messy arguments over posts I have made that were not meant to be serious, at all. They were just up for fun, or just for satire, or because I have a strange sense of humor and find some things funny. It's social media. If something really, really offends you, then take the time to call someone and talk about it before you overreact. And if you don't have their phone number, then you probably aren't enough of a friend to warrant getting mad about it in the first place. 

3. You Think the Internet is Real

It is a virtual world. It is NOT real. Your BFF's Facebook page may be all rosy and happy and full of amazing feats like climbing Everest every weekend, but in reality she probably lives as dull a life as you do. She just doesn't post it. If you see a post that makes you angry, don't jump to ridiculous conclusions and build up a massive conspiracy in your head. Talk it out with the person over coffee. If you would never meet for coffee in the first place, then you probably aren't a real friend anyway, so just chalk it up to a miscommunication and move on. 

4. You Think Internet Memes and News Stories are Real

Next time you see a story that angers you or a meme that is controversial, take a moment to Google the site or check out the story via a site like Snopes, which specializes in dispelling fake news stories. It honestly takes less than two minutes to find out if a story is real. If the story is only being pushed by a company, "non-profit" organization with an agenda,  a political group of any kind, or the story actually goes to an Error message, then it is not a real story. Instead it may be hidden advertising or even a link to a malicious website with malware. On any given day, at least 75% of the stories and memes on my newsfeed are fake. With a little research, you may find the same on your newsfeed. 

5. Be Real and Cut the Screen Time

I challenge you to cut your "screen time" in half and use that extra time to cultivate real relationships offline. Take the time to have coffee with a friend, join a club, volunteer, write letters, call someone just to chat, or simply walk in the park and meet new people. Too many people rely on the Internet to maintain their personal and business relationships. Social media is an excellent tool for keeping in touch with old friends, finding new customers for your business, or even inviting everyone to your 45th birthday party, but it's no substitution for real community and relationships. 

English: Infographic on how Social Media are b...
English: Infographic on how Social Media are being used, and how everything is changed by them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)





Music Secrets: How to Write an Opera, Part 1

Feel like writing an opera is only for big name composers with big budgets? Or are you willing to take the plunge and create a work in one of the most compelling and cutting edge musical opera?

Almost two years ago I embarked on the largest musical production I have created to date -  Libertaria: The Virtual Opera. After writing the award-winning Creation Oratorio and dozens of multimedia works, I wanted to combine my love of the audio and the visual into a single large scale work. 

Find a Great Dramatic Story
You need a strong story to write a compelling opera. Fortunately you can easily borrow from thousands of public domain works and modernize them. Think of West Side Story (just a contemporary version of Shakespear's Romeo and Juliet).
Many great operas use Shakespeare, the Brothers Grimm, and Biblical stories, all of which include interesting characters, strong themes, and action.
Libertaria borrows heavily from messianic stories, but is set in the future and changed…

Free Classical Sheet Music and Free Opera Downloads @ Scribd

Sheet Music (Photo credit: jayneandd)Awhile ago I decided that I would upload the bulk of my music scores and sheet music to sites like Scribd, the Petrucci Music Library, and for free sheet music downloads. Some musicians told me that it was ridiculous to give away my music. The truth is that I don't depend on music publishing sales of my scores, and I would rather inspire a young piano student, percussion ensemble, opera singer, grandma, bored music student, or music teacher to play and study my music than hold on tight to my copyrights and let my music scores collect virtual dust on my hard drive. 

The Petrucci Library, Scribd, and all have dozens of free music scores available for choir, vocal solos, piano, percussion, orchestra, opera, multimedia works, and more. You can see a short list of available free sheet music by checking out the Scores page.

You might want to check out scores to my modern opera Libertaria: The Virtual Opera, an exciting sci-fi o…

What is Blue? and other Post Postmodernist Thoughts

1000 Pennies for Your Thoughts - NARA - 534149 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)One of my many hats is online university instructor. I teach courses in Media and Music History. In my Media in American Society class, we discuss many aspects of media, including truth in media, media conglomeration, marketing, advertising, and the like. 

Today my students had an intriguing discussion/debate online about news and partisan politics. The debate was a healthy one, with some students claiming that they see all sides, others describing their favorite political pundits, and others lamenting the lack of authenticity in the media today. In the end, the fact that there would be no answer to today's questions, largely due to the lack of authenticity and the inability to trust anything in print, online, on a TV, spoken by a political leader, etc. etc., I brought up a short discussion on postmodernism, postpostmodernism, and its effects on American culture. 

Here is a small snippet that I thought would be …

Got the Election Blues? Animated Sci Fi Musical Showing TODAY in Buffalo New York 3:15pm EST at the Screening Room Cafe 3131 Sheridan Drive, Northtown Plaza Amherst, NY

Got the Election Blues? Animated Sci Fi Musical Showing TODAY in Buffalo New York3:15pm EST at the Screening Room Cafe 3131 Sheridan Drive, Northtown Plaza Amherst, NY Libertaria The Virtual Opera At the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival

What the critics are saying about Libertaria: The Virtual Opera: “One of my favorite things about this story is its odd apocalyptic tone and strong sci-fi/fantasy foundation. The dark quality that comes with it is the cherry on top.” –
“...As a story, it is very much in line with the good-vs.-evil sci-fi tradition, with the added bonus of a plucky female heroine…There are a good many percussion effects in the #opera, and its tone is primarily quite dark and sinister, very much along the lines of a contemporary video game score.” Palm Beach Arts Paper Music Critic Greg Stepanich
Based on the "groundbreaking" and "epic" animation sci-fi film

How to Make Epic Film Music: Getting Started

SONG FOR THE FORGOTTEN ROSE - Beautiful Piano Solo Classical Music

In this beautiful romantic classical music work  a forgotten flower finds redemption when she is rescued by a traveler. Composed by award-winning composerSabrina Pena Young for her wedding day. Dedicated to Nathan Young.  Scores are available through the composer's website ( and the Petrucci Library. ASCAP. Pena Young Publishing.


In the Garden of Life

Midnight hid the scarlet Rose

Wilted and torn, she cried to the Heavens

Petals upturned, imploring of God,

The Grace shine down from the Mountain

In this land journey a stalwart traveler

Alone, he had conquered roads forgotten

This path had led him through hills and valleys

His search for beauty

And God, looking down upon his creation

saw what they could not see

Hope in the hands of the Great Orchestrator

in the form of a rose and a man

Buried in the shadows

The wanderer stumbled and fell on roots he could not see

Lying among weeds

His eyes alighted on Beauty

For there, near h…

Haiti Disaster Relief Efforts Hurricane Matthew Needs Blankets, Sheets, Pillows, Donations as Death Toll Rises

New Missions in Haiti and the Dominican Republic are collecting NEW blankets, pillows, sheets for Haiti. Send to: New Missions
2500 Sand Lake Rd
Orlando, Fl 32809 Financial Donations Additional Information: HELP HAITI: In the wake of #hurricaneMatthew please continue to pray. We have these ways you can help #Haiti now:
1. Donate
2. Pack shoebox gifts
3. Collect pairs of new sneakers
4. Send new pillows, blankets, and sheets  New Missions is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, serving in Haiti since 1983 and the Dominican Republic since 2000. Your financial gift is tax deductible.
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