United Conservatory of Music - October 2018

LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE AS A FAMILY Let Your Children Speak to the World

As the weather cools down, finding ways to spend quality time as a family can become challenging. It’s too cold to camp or barbecue, and money may be tight with the holidays coming up. So why not turn learning a new skill into a bonding experience this fall? You can do it inside, it’s free, and it will open doors around the world for the rest of your children’s lives. Why learn a new language? Speaking multiple languages creates opportunities for your child. Being bilingual makes you more qualified for a variety of exciting careers and can improve your competitiveness in the job market. Knowing a second language can also allow you to travel with greater ease and become more culturally well-rounded. There are some studies that claim learning languages is even good for your health. Research shows that our language acquisition skills peak in childhood or adolescence, so starting young is the best way to become fluent. If your child is in school, they probably already know classmates who speak another language. Which language should you learn?

world, and we border the largest, so learning this language is a great way for children to communicate with more people in their community, and they’ll be more hirable as adults. Bonus : It’s commonly considered one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn. Mandarin is the most-spoken language on the planet, and China’s growth as an economic powerhouse has made this language even more useful around the world. German, Arabic, and Japanese speakers are also highly sought-after in the job market. Of course, you can always let your wanderlust or passions decide for you! Is your child obsessed with K-Pop? Have them learn Korean. Want to take them to Paris someday? Enroll in French classes. The languages of the world are at your fingertips. Learning a new skill has never been easier! While there’s no substitute for a full-time class or moving to another country, there are countless ways to teach yourself a new language right at home, usually for free. YouTube tutorials, podcasts, and audiobooks let you rewind and listen to the lessons as many times as needed to master pronunciations. Can’t tear your child away from their cellphone? Download Duolingo, rated by PCMag.com as the best free language-learning app of 2018.

Did you know that 40 million Americans currently speak Spanish at home? The U.S. is the second-largest Spanish-speaking country in the

Why There Are Kids on Your Porch Asking for Candy The History of Trick-or-Treating

As Halloween looms and you load up your grocery cart with candy, you may ask yourself, “Why do I provide these spooky gremlins with a sugar high every Oct. 31, anyway?”Well, when your doorbell starts ringing around 6 p.m. this All Hallows’ Eve, you can thank the Celts for this tradition of candy and costumes. Halloween itself is a kind of mishmash of four different cultural festivals of old: two Roman fêtes, which commemorated the dead and the goddess of fruit and trees (not at the same time); the Celtic Samuin or Samhain, a new year’s party thrown at the end of our summer; and the Catholic All Saint’s Day, designed to replace Samuin and divorce it from its pagan origins.

pillowcases in hand, the Celts believed that Samuin marked an overlapping of the realms of the living and the dead. To trick the spirits leaking into our world, young men donned flowing white costumes and black masks — a great disguise when ghosts were about. The Catholic Church was never a big fan of these pagan traditions, so they renamed it “All Saints’ Day” and gussied it up in religious garb. By the 11th century, people were dressing up as saints, angels, and the occasional demon instead of spirits. Eventually, costumed children started tearing through town begging for food and money and singing a song or prayer in return — a practice called “souling.”

souling turned to “guising,” which gave way to trick-or-treating in mid-20th-century America, and the costumes diversified. So put on some clown makeup and a big smile, scoop up a handful of sweets, and scare the living daylights out of ‘em — ‘tis the season!

Long before there were young’uns on your porch dressed as Thanos with candy-filled

But when did they start dressing up as Minions? Starting in the 19th century,

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