Archive for the ‘Education Resources’ Category

The Fascinating Histories Behind Your Favorite Fairy Tales

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

It’s a little disconcerting to know that the real stories behind the fairy tales that made your eyes go all sparkly as a child were originally tales of rape, self-injury and forced abandonment. But the inspiration behind these stories simply resonated more clearly and relevantly with audiences at the time they were created, and have since been adapted to please our morals and desire for happy endings today. Whether you’re a literature student or just interested in "real-life" accounts behind fictional tales, here are the fascinating histories behind your favorite fairy tales.

  • The Brothers Grimm adapted existing — darker — folk tales: Many of our favorite fairy tales are actually adapted folk tales that the Brothers Grimm re-appropriated from their Germanic neighbors and surrounding communities. Most of us know now that the Grimm’s tales were much darker and more sinister than our versions today, but even their stories were lighter than many of the original tales that had been passed down before them.
  • Snow White: A German scholar named Eckhard Sander published in 1994 his theory that the Grimm’s tale of Snow White was based on the real-life story of a countess named Margarete von Waldeck, who lived in the early 16th century. Raised in a mining town run by her brother, Margarete would have been surrounded by children who worked in the mines — and who became stunted because of their hard work and malnutrition. People in the town at that time referred to the miners as "dwarves," which, along with a real criminal who at that time was suspected of handing out poison apples to children, backs up Sander’s theory. And when Margarete was 16, she was sent away to Brussels, where she fell in love with the future Philip II of Spain, much to the fury of her stepmother. Sander and his fellow scholars believe her stepmother and Philip’s father hatched a plot to poison her.
  • Alice in Wonderland: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was written by Charles Dodgson, who wrote under the name Lewis Carroll. Though it hasn’t been proven exactly, many scholars believe that Dodgson came up with the story after spending time with a friend’s three young daughters, Lorina, Edith and Alice Liddell. Supposedly Dodgson told the girls a story to keep them entertained, and afterward, Alice asked him to write it down for her. Once he started writing, Dodgson realized the story had potential and completed an entire manuscript called Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, and which he had published after giving the original to little Alice Liddell. Other scholars believe Alice’s father and other real-life people could be inspirations for the story’s main characters, including the White Rabbit.
  • The Frog Prince: Today’s version of "The Frog Prince" may make young children squirm when they hear about the princess puckering up for a kiss with a frog, but the real version is much bleaker. The story, included in the Grimm brothers’ first collection of fairy tales, instead tells of a princess who hurls the frog against a wall, a traditional act from old folk tales to inspire shapeshifting.
  • Cinderella: The Brothers Grimm published their version of Cinderella in 1884, and as upsetting as the poor girl’s slavery is even today, their version is much bloodier. During the party scene, Cinderella wishes to leave after dancing with the Prince, but the Prince won’t have it. He "had caused the whole staircase to be smeared with pitch, and there, when she ran down, had the maiden’s left slipper remained sticking." The next day, the magician/prince goes to look for the slipper’s owner, and after Cinderella’s stepsister’s feet are proven too big, their mother — Cinderella’s wicked stepmother — forces her to slice off her heel with a knife. She does, and "forced her foot into the shoe, swallowed the pain, and went out to the King’s son. He took her on his horse as his bride, and rode away with her," until little pigeons adorably cooed that blood was filling up the shoe, staining the stepsister’s white stocking. After this graphic scene, the prince goes back and finds Cinderella.
  • Little Red Riding Hood: Called Little Red Cap by the Brothers Grimm and Little Red Hat in an Italian and Austrian fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood got the name we know her by today from the folk tale writer Charles Perrault. In his story, once Little Red Riding Hood figures out the wolf is hiding in her grandmother’s bed, the "wicked wolf fell upon Little Red Riding Hood, and ate her all up." Not much of a Disney ending, there.
  • Sleeping Beauty: One of the more shocking histories behind fairy tales is Sleeping Beauty’s. The Charles Perrault-penned story — published in 1697 — involves a king’s daughter named Talia, who (despite a warning from wise men) pricks her finger with a poison splinter and dies. Her father left her body in the palace and moved away, but a prince found Talia one day, had sex with her dead body, and impregnated her. Somehow, Talia was able to develop the fetuses and give birth to twins, who were then cared for by fairies. And one magical day, her son sucked her poison-pricked finger, and she came back to life. Of course the prince — who was actually married to someone else — returned, but his wife learned of his affair, and ordered Talia’s twins captured and cooked for supper. The cook couldn’t bear to kill the children, and when the wife found out, she tried to burn Talia at the stake. The prince saved her in the end.
  • Hansel and Gretel: There are many different versions of Hansel and Gretel (originally called Little Brother and Little Sister,) but one of the most surprising real-life histories behind the tale is the reason the siblings’ parents abandoned them in the first place. Now, the story blames an evil stepmother for banishing the children to the woods, as audiences today can’t imagine a birth mother abandoning her children. But during the time when the original folk tale was created, parents apparently used to abandon their kids semi-frequently, most likely in the story’s case because of famine.

Online College Degrees for the Criminal Justice Student

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

As cities and communities continue to grow, the need for skilled and trained law enforcement to uphold laws and ensure public safety will continue to rise. The need for trained officers to promote rehabilitation and ensure that offenders are working to better their lives is also an important role of the criminal justice system. For this reason, criminal justice degree programs are not only offered at different degree levels including at the associate, bachelor, and master degree level, but also in different specialized areas such as law enforcement and police administration, correctional administration, and legal studies.

Law enforcement and police administration criminal justice degree programs prepare students with the concepts, knowledge, and training they will need to work in law enforcement careers. Students explore and learn about the law, individual rights of people, ethics, the responsibilities of police officers and law enforcement, and how to promote and manage public safety. Some of the courses include (but are not limited to): community policing, ethics in law enforcement, politics in law enforcement, and management in law enforcement. Graduates of law enforcement administration degree programs are qualified to pursue careers with local police departments, Sheriff’s departments, and correctional facilities.

Correctional administration degree programs in criminal justice prepare students with the skills they will need to work in corrections within the criminal justice system. Correctional administration degree programs focus on teaching students about the correctional system, how probation and parole work, social work, psychology and sociology, and human behavior. Courses may include (but are not limited to): corrections, project management, criminal behavior, substance abuse, rehabilitation, and the roles of correctional officers. Graduates of correctional administration degree programs will be qualified for work with local, state, and Federal agencies and in jails and prisons for careers in (but not limited to): probation and parole officers, correctional officers, wardens, and correctional treatment specialists.

Legal studies degree programs prepare students with the skills and knowledge they will need to excel in the legal field. Legal studies degrees focus on the fundamentals of the law, ethics, the legal and courts system, law theories, and researching the law. Common courses in legal studies program may include (but are not limited to): criminal studies, legal research, civil law, the legal system, criminal justice, constitutional law, and social control. In addition, these courses will help students develop and enhance legal writing and research skills, comprehend different areas of law, create effective policies, and understand law procedures. Graduates of degree programs in legal studies can pursue careers as paralegals, legal researchers, and data entry clerks, amongst others.

Online College Degrees for Those Interested in Education

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

As education continues to be a necessity, particularly for young children and adolescents, the need for trained and skilled educators will be on the rise. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of teachers in general is expected to grow by 13% over the next several years. There are plenty of degree program levels for those students interested in working in the education field including associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s level degree programs, with some schools also offering doctoral degrees in education.

Early childhood education degree programs are geared towards providing students with the skills they will need to work with young children, generally up to age 5. Development is important in young children and it is extremely important for children to be able to socialize, develop relationships, and develop the ability to learn in the early years of life. Students in early childhood degree programs are taught the knowledge they will need to teach young students the necessities that will help them to shape and influence their own lives. Early childhood education degree programs focus on the fundamentals of early childhood, growth, development and health of young children, psychology of young children, teaching strategies, and help students understand the learning patterns of young children. Graduates of early childhood degrees can work with young children at schools, daycares, or with organizations that work with young children.

Education degrees are also offered at secondary education levels for those students that wish to earn their degrees and teach students that are older than early childhood. Some of the courses included in secondary education degree programs include foundations of education, development and psychology in adolescents, strategies and methods in teaching, and student teaching. Earning a secondary education degree is also commonly done to teach a specific subject such as English or math. Essentially, after certification, secondary education degrees allows graduates to teach students to teach at the middle school and high schools levels. Those with secondary education degrees can qualify for jobs in teaching, tutoring, and other jobs within education.

Some schools will differ in the way that they offer their education degree programs. Some schools offer education degrees that are specialized with specific concentrations including those in sciences or math. Students that earn a degree in education and intend on teaching must also become certified by the state in which they wish to teach in order to be qualified, with specific requirements varying between states. Either way, most individuals that have earned education degrees and certifications will qualify to teach at most levels and subjects within most schools.

10 Colleges That Allow Guns on Campus

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Unfortunately, shootings at high schools and on college campuses punctuate recent American history. But while some students and teachers feel vulnerable if they’re unarmed and unable to strike back should another tragedy occur, others believe that the more guns that are on campus, the higher the risk for accidents and shootings. The debate is going strong in state legislatures, on Facebook, and at school, and if you’re a prospective college student, you should know the existing gun laws at the schools you want to attend. Besides the schools listed below, even more colleges do allow guns — these are some of the biggest, well-known schools and ones that represent different states and regions.

  1. Colorado State University: Colorado schools have the option to allow or prohibit guns on campus, and the large CSU in Fort Collins has granted students permission to carry guns since 2003.
  2. Dixie State College of Utah: This four-year university in St. George, Utah, allows of-age concealed handgun permit holders — they must be 21 — to carry guns on campus.
  3. University of Utah: Located in Salt Lake City, the U of U has a total enrollment of over 29,000, and approved permit holders can carry concealed guns on campus.
  4. Utah State University: Another large state school, Utah State is the number one public university in the West — and one that allows students to carry guns.
  5. Weber State University: Located in Ogden, UT, Weber State is an attractive choice for nontraditional and traditional students alike, but students can carry guns on its 500-acre Ogden campus.
  6. Michigan State University: As more states debate allowing guns on campus, Michigan’s largest state school — one of the largest universities in the country — does allow guns on campus. The ruling isn’t statewide yet, though.
  7. Southern Utah University: Cedar City’s SUU offers technical through graduate programs, allowing approved students to carry guns.
  8. Blue Ridge Community College: Virginia’s Blue Ridge Community College, a Shenandoah Valley-area school, is a rare East Coast school that allows students to have guns.
  9. Utah Valley University: Utah Valley is the second largest institution in the Utah System of Higher Education, and it, too, allows guns on campus.
  10. Community College of Denver: Denver’s community college has also chosen to allow guns on campus. The school actually has four campuses scattered throughout the city.

40 Amazing iPad Apps for the Learning Disabled

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

The iPad is a device that many lust after as a shiny new toy, but many people with disabilities can benefit from what it has to offer as a functional tool. Students with learning disabilities can enhance and develop their communication skills, learn how to adapt to situations, and develop social skills. Check out this collection of iPad apps that can make a difference in the life of a learning disabled child.

  1. Crazy Face Lite: Crazy Face Lite encourages shy students to speak more often, and is great with students who have trouble speaking.
  2. Autism Timer: This app offers a digital timer for students with autism.
  3. Behavior Assessment Pro: BAP identifies factors related to problem behaviors for autistic kids.
  4. Awareness!: Awareness allows students to listen to their surroundings while also playing games, watching a video, and more.
  5. Everyday Skills: Use this app to find self-directed learning for students with autism and learning disabilities.
  6. Proloquo2Go: Proloquo2Go offers picture-based communication for children with communication disorders.
  7. ArtikPix: Children with speech issues can use ArtikPix to practice sounds and words at home.
  8. Aurify: Aurify is a challenging and rewarding audio game for students, especially those with learning disabilities.
  9. iEarnedThat: This tool can help parents track and reward good behavior.
  10. Model Me Going Places: This visual teaching tool can help your child navigate challenging locations with appropriate behavior.
  11. iWriteWords: Encourage fine motor skills using IWriteWords for practicing writing letters, numbers, and words.
  12. MyTalkTools Mobile: MyTalkTools Mobile offers augmentative and alternative communication for learning disabled students.
  13. First Then Visual Schedule: Provide positive behavior support using the First Then Visual Schedule app for the iPad.
  14. Idea Sketch: Draw mind maps, flow charts, and more with Idea Sketch.
  15. Off We Go!: Off We Go! can help children with special needs become more comfortable in new situations.
  16. AutismXpress: Autism Xpress makes it easy for people with autism to recognize and express their emotions.
  17. StoryBuilder: StoryBuilder can improve auditory processing for children with autism or sensory processing disorders.
  18. iMindMap Mobile Pro: Let creative thoughts flow using iMindMap Mobile Pro.
  19. Grace: Grace can help autistic and special needs children build sentences to communicate effectively.
  20. Which Does Not Belong: This app will help your learner discriminate which items don’t belong in a group and encourage vocal imitation.
  21. My Choice Board: Kids with autism, communication delays, or learning differences can express their needs and wants through this choice board.
  22. iThoughts: iThoughts will enable students to see the big picture and concentrate on multiple thoughts at once.
  23. LivingSafely: LivingSafely can help students with autism and developmental disabilities practice self-directed learning.
  24. iCommunicate: Children with autism and visual challenges can use this app with pictures, storyboards, routines, and more.
  25. Toy Story 3 Read Along: Toy Story’s app is a great early literacy tool for early language learners.
  26. ACT Spell: ACT Spell offers games for training motor/visual/executive functions.
  27. Stories2LEarn: Promote social skills and literacy by creating personalized stories on Stories2Learn.
  28. iConverse: iConverse works as a picture exchange communication system for autistic individuals and those with communicative disabilities.
  29. MyTalk Mobile: Those with communication difficulties can express themselves through MyTalk.
  30. MindNode: MindNode makes creating mind maps easy.
  31. Storyrobe: Storyrobe offers a simple and easy way to produce digital stories.
  32. Flashcards for iPad: This app can be used effectively for special needs learners.
  33. Glow Draw!: Glow Draw! is a fun drawing app for students with visual development problems.
  34. What Rhymes?: Encourage reading comprehension with this reading comprehension tool for visual and auditory learners.
  35. MyHomework: MyHomework can help students with trouble concentrating keep track of their next task.
  36. Bigger Words: Bigger Words can help kids read easier.
  37. iSpectrum: iSpectrum offers an assistant for color blindness.
  38. Dragon Dictation: Dragon Dictation is great for students who have reading disabilities or are unable to write.
  39. Talkulator: Talkulator can help students with visual problems count and do arithmetic.
  40. Read2Me: Read2Me will import a text file and read it aloud to weaker readers.

Cut College Costs by Taking Online Classes

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

If your tuition bill seems as if it is getting bigger every year, it’s probably because it is. College Board reported in its 2009 study "Trends in College Pricing" that the tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities increased by an average rate of 4.9 percent per year beyond general inflation from 1999-2000 to 2009-2010. This resulted in a tuition bill that averaged $7,020 in the 2009-2010 academic year, and after factoring in costs like room and board, students ended up spending an average of $15,213. With prices like these, four years of college will end up costing the average student over $60,000, a price tag that significantly increases if student loans are involved.

It’s no wonder more and more students are looking for ways to cut college costs, but luckily they may not have to look much further than their own computer. Online courses can often be a cheaper way to go when it comes to earning college credit as they may not involve the same fees associated with those taken on campus. Students enrolled in online schools usually don’t have to pay the extra fees that are associated with traditional universities such as those for services concerning student health, athletics, and recreation. Although of the time students taking online courses do end up paying a library or technology fee just like any other student would. But these fees are actually worth your while as an online student, because you will most certainly use the electronic resources associated with them. A technology fee will cover the cost of the additional technical and administrative support online courses require as well as the cost of maintaining technological resources. You also might be wondering why you would have to pay a library fee if your school has no campus. A library fee is generally applicable because most library resources are available online and students can access research databases through the school’s Web site.

If you find that courses from online universities aren’t any cheaper than those from traditional universities, your community may offer a cheaper route to a secondary education. Online courses through community colleges could end up costing significantly less than earning credit through a university. According to the College Board study, the average cost of tuition and fees for students enrolled full-time at public two-year colleges was $2,544 in the 2009-2010 academic year. A significant savings of $4,476 when compared to what those at a four-year university paid. Given the difference in overall tuition, it makes sense that individual courses taken through two-year colleges will cost you much less than those at four-year colleges. Most community colleges these days offer a wide variety of flexible course options, including online options, to meet the dynamic educational needs of the communities they serve.

15 College-Budget Beers That Aren’t Bad

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Surely you’ve heard that life’s too short to drink cheap beer. But what if cheap beer could be good beer? It’s possible. Read on to find out how you can drink great beer, even of the micro and craft brew persuasion, without blowing your college student budget.

  1. Homebrew: Although you’ll have to put plenty of work into it, you can get about 5 gallons of beer for less than $100. And that’s just your first batch-subsequent batches should run about $25-$40 each or even less, leaving you with custom made beer on the cheap and readily available at your home.
  2. Local beer: That brewery across town isn’t just a great place to go taste beer on a tour, it’s a source of cheap beer. Reduced shipping costs and cheaper marketing makes your local brewery one of the cheapest drinks around.
  3. Full Sail Session: While many six packs are going for $7 and up, Full Sail’s Session sells twelve for about $11. It comes in attractive bottles, and is a barley malt lager with a craft beer stamp of approval.
  4. Sam Adams: Sam Adams is the largest craft brewery in the US, and as such, can put out lots of pretty good beer for cheaper than the little guys. Enjoy their lager or pick up a seasonal offering on sale.
  5. Steel Reserve: Although certainly among the most iffy on this list, Steel Reserve is a cheap beer with merit. Coming in at 8 percent and full of strong lager flavor, this beer has a lot to offer for a little.
  6. Fat Tire: New Belgium puts out some great beers, and often those beers have a price to match. But Fat Tire is a hit with cheap college students and can often be found on sale.
  7. Abita Turbodog: Brewed in Louisiana, Abita’s Turbodog is an English brown ale that’s readily available for not a whole lot of money.
  8. Simpler Times: Made for Trader Joe’s, Simpler Times sells at a smokin’ price of about $3 for a six pack. It’s brewed by Minhas Craft Brewery, and has earned a passable rating on Beer Advocate.
  9. Shiner Bock: Shiner products, particularly Shiner Bock, can often be found for about the same price as Miller or Budweiser. But this beer offers a small town brewery taste that outshines the big guys.
  10. Budweiser American Ale: Although craft beer lovers may shudder at the thought, Budweiser American Ale offers a craft-like quality from a big brewery. And at under $7 a six pack, it’s worth giving it a go.
  11. Genessee: This cream ale is decent and makes for a good summer beer. Although there’s no hiding its cheap ingredients, Genesee has a smooth taste and nice head.
  12. Sierra Nevada: One of the biggest breweries in the craft business, Sierra Nevada offers good beer in a large volume. Their beers can often be found on sale at discounted prices all over the US, but you’re most likely to find a great deal in California.
  13. Yuengling Lager: As America’s oldest brewery, Yuengling represents a part of brewing history. Although it’s not available everywhere, those lucky enough to live within its reach love both the flavor and price of Yuengling.
  14. Bud Light Lime: Bud Light Lime is perfectly made for an outdoor party, BBQ, or day at the beach. Although it’s still Bud Light, its lime flavor takes over to help you forget.
  15. Blue Moon: Believed by many uninformed beer drinkers to be a craft brew, Blue Moon is in fact made by Coors. Nonetheless, this big brewery beer serves up a pretty nice flavor and aroma for a good price and easy availability.

Tackling the Beast That Is a Research Paper

Monday, March 21st, 2011

When you are assigned a length research paper, you can immediately feel overwhelmed. As soon as the due date is posted on the wall your mind can go through the wringer stressing on how you will find the time to put in the necessary work to achieve the grade you desire. However, if you are able to stop at this moment and take a deep breath and climb this mountain one step at a time, you will find that this assignment can be almost enjoyable. First you need to fully understand what is being asked of you. By knowing all of the different parts you can easily divide up your project in chunks, tackling one small battle at a time, as oppose to taking on a big war by yourself. You just need to go into the process with a calm mindset. Read everything your professor has presented to you. Make sure you understand everything and fully get what is being asked of you, and then if there are any holes that need to fill in raise your hand in class or visit your professor during his or her office hours. Sometimes the questions you may have are the same for other students.

When have finally settled in to your comfortable and cozy library chair and have the laptop open, fully charged and ready for your fingers to punish its keyboard, now is the time when you have to let all of the thoughts that going around in your head like a cyclone rollercoaster, go. You need to not worry, and be intimated by the blank page that is starting right back you. Let your first draft come from your heart and then you can go back revise again with your brain. If this is not possible without your favorite songs on your iPod playing, then plug in those headphones and turn the library into a concert hall. You want to find the best situation you can that will give you the opportunity to not let your mind drift off into thinking about how long of road you have ahead of you. Be precise in your statements, and ensure that all of your sources are reliable. You are not in a race, so there is no need to take a shortcut. As long as you begin your paper early on in the game, you should have ample time to complete your assignment. Just like many things in life, sometimes it is the mental battle that can be the toughest part of any task.

The 50 Best Blogs for Music Theory Students

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Music theory examines the very essence of music, from how it functions to the elements of which it is composed. Knowing about music theory is essential not only to gain a better understanding of music, but to make a career as a musician, music teacher or academic in the field, especially if you want to go on to get a master’s degree or other higher degree. Here you’ll find a great collection of blogs that will let you learn more about music theory, from the absolute basics to innovative ways to apply these ideas to composing and performance.


These blogs touch on a number of great music theory ideas and topics.

  1. musi[cube]theory: This blogger is a music teacher, sharing teaching materials that can help students learn concepts that are essential to music theory and performance.
  2. Music Theory: Looking to learn the basics of music theory? This site is an excellent place to start.
  3. Learn Theory of Music Blog: From choosing the right instrument to understanding the fundamentals of music, you’ll find a wide range of articles here.
  4. Theory in a Box: Theory in a Box is a music theory software program that students young and old can use to learn more about music theory. On their blog, you’ll be able to read about school using the programs, news and much more.
  5. Learning and Loving Music Theory: Find free lessons and resources in music theory through this blog.
  6. InTune: Not everything on this blog is pure music theory, but it’s an excellent place to learn more about composition, arranging and playing music.

Instrument Specific

Focusing on instruments like the piano and guitar, these blogs will teach you about music theory as it applies to each.

  1. Play Piano: This blog is a good place to look if you’re trying to better understand the chords and progressions of piano music.
  2. Learn Guitar Music Theory: Here you’ll find some basic lesson on the fundamentals of guitar music theory, like scales, reading music and more.
  3. Guitar Music Theory: With some great links and helpful articles, this blog can help any music theory student better study the guitar.
  4. Gibson’s Learn and Master Guitar Blog: Guitarist Steve Krenz helps performers and academics alike learn more about music made for the guitar here.
  5. From the Woodshed: Follow along as this guitarist practices, learns and shares musical discoveries here.
  6. Guitar Answers: Have a question about playing the guitar or music for the instrument? This blog may be the spot to find the answer.
  7. Basics of Music Theory: Learning the basics of music theory for the guitar is the focus for this helpful Indian blog.
  8. The Classical Guitar Blog: Find lesson, tips, tricks and interviews all about the guitar here.

Musicians and Composers

If you want to get a musician or composers take on music theory issues, give these blogs a read.

  1. Piano Kat’s Meow: This piano player and music nerd ruminates on everything from performance to music theory on this blog.
  2. Graham English: Through Graham English’s blog, you’ll find information on songwriting and recording as well as a number of music theory and criticism posts.
  3. From the Composer’s Chair: Composer Vince Lauria gives lessons in music and music theory on this blog.
  4. Roger Bourland: Roger Bourland is a composer who shares his passion for music and life on this blog.
  5. The Rambler: Learn more about modern composition and theory and hear some rare and beautiful music on this blog.
  6. Daniel Thompson-Microtonal Composer: If you’re not familiar with tuning theory and microtonal music, use this blog as a means to learn more.
  7. Richard D. Russell: Want to read about news and happenings in the world of composing? Check out this blog from composer Richard Russell.
  8. A View from the Podium: Performing musician Kenneth Woods shares what he knows about music, focused mostly on the orchestral, on this blog.
  9. Music Composition Weblog: If you have any interest in music composition, whether doing it yourself or learning how it all works, give this blog a read.
  10. I Was Doing Alright: An aspiring jazz trumpet player maintains this blog, with posts on jazz, practice and ear training.
  11. The Musician’s Blog: With posts on both performing and teaching music, this blog is a great resource for students hoping to learn more about music theory.
  12. Alphonse Nguyen: Music composition requires knowing a great deal about theory, and you’ll get to see how the process works on this composer’s blog.
  13. Laureate Conductors: Check out this blog to learn more about some of the greatest conductors and performances in music history.


Written by professors and music teachers, these blogs will help you learn about the academic side of music theory.

  1. Sonic Labyrinth: On this blog, you’ll get a chance to learn more about classical music from professor Jeffrey Johnson of the University of Bridgeport.
  2. Music Teachers Blog: Whether you teach music or just want to get insights into how music can be taught, this blog is the best resource out there.
  3. Texas Tech University Music Theory: You don’t have to go to Texas Tech to take advantage of the great music theory information listed on their blog.
  4. Berklee Music Blogs: Here you’ll find an amazing collection of blogs, with posts from music professionals, educators and faculty.
  5. Sociomusicology: Dr. David G. Herbert shares his research into society and music through this blog, with studies that can help you better understand music and music theory.
  6. Music, Education and Technology: Through this blog from the Dean of Continuing Education at Berklee College of Music, you can not only learn more about music education but the role technology has to play in it as well.
  7. Music Matters Blog: Music teachers and students alike can take advantage of the learning resources available through this blog.
  8. Music Education: This guide introduces you to the basics of learning about music, from music theory to history and everything in between.


While not focused exclusively on music theory, you’ll learn a fair amount about it as you study the history and culture surrounding music through these blogs.

  1. Amusicology: Find short but sweet posts to help you learn more about musicology here.
  2. Smooth Atonal Sound: Here, you can read the thoughts of a musicologist on a wide range of music from Mozart to the Grateful Dead.
  3. Unsung Symphonies: Learn more about some of the great symphonies of the world that have been largely ignored on this blog.
  4. On an Overgrown Path: Get thoughtful music analysis and insights into what’s worth listening to from this blog.
  5. Zeitschichten: This web magazine and blog will help you understand music in relation to politics and history.
  6. Random Classics: What is it that’s so appealing about the sound of vinyl? On this blog, you’ll be able to listen to classic tracks recorded from the medium, imperfections and all.
  7. Miss Music Nerd: Music appreciation, sharing and education are the focus of this interesting blog.


These blogs take music theory and apply it to the real world, analyzing and criticizing compositions.

  1. Antti Sunell Music Blog: This blog will help explain great music in explicit detail — perfect for those hoping to learn more about theory.
  2. Joe Musicology: On this blog, you can read reviews of new albums and nerdy music talk.
  3. My Fickle Ears Dig It: This blogger isn’t just a music performer, but discusses theory, music school and more on this blog.
  4. Behind Ears: Read music criticism, analysis and news on this site.
  5. The Music Issue: While mainly about music, this blog delves into a wide range of pop culture issues.
  6. David R. Adler: Professor of jazz history David Adler shares his expertise and thoughts on musicians, compositions and the music world here.
  7. The Rest Is Noise: Here you’ll find the blog of the music critic of the New York Times, Alex Ross.
  8. Ethan Hein’s Blog: Author and musician Ethan Hein talks about music, math, technology and much more on this site.

Simple Grammatical Mistakes You Need to Avoid

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

College papers, even ones assigned from an online professor, are expected to be flawless. While some professor’s are a little bit more lenient about structure and organization, there are some professors who are drill sergeants when it comes to making grammatical mistakes, especially simple ones. To make sure that your online professor doesn’t take off a hefty amount of points because you made a simple grammatical mistake, make sure you scan your paper and look for these typical mistakes made below.

While students should have learned about the differences between possessive and contraction words in grade school, it still seems to confuse some college students. It’s no surprise that there is still some confusion, especially with younger students who are immersed in social media and are too familiar with "netspeak." This is because those students are used to just simply writing "ur" for both the possessive and the contraction. But there is a huge difference between "your" the possessive and "you’re" the contraction. "You’re" is short for "you are" such as in "You are going with me." Without the apostrophe, it should suggest ownership, as in "Your car is parked in the garage." Students also fub on other possessive and contraction words such as "their," "there" and "they’re," and "it’s" and "its." A good way to avoid this mishap is to skip contractions all together—just so there is no confusion.

Students also have a tendency to use commas incorrectly. Typically commas represent a pause, but they should be used with a conjunction. Conjunctions are words such as "but," "so," and "therefore." However, generally students think a sentence needs a pause but they add no conjunction. For example, they may write "I went to the mall, I was running late." This particular example can be fixed in two ways. The first is to remove the comma and separate it into two complete sentences. The trick is that if the portion before and after the comma can stand as their own individual sentences then there is no need for a comma. So it should read: "I went to the mall. I was running late." Or you can use a semicolon: "I went to the mall; I was running late." You can also add a conjunction to fix the issues: "I went to the mall, but I was running late."