Ode to Joy #Music

If you’ve ever been to a student piano recital, or even if you haven’t, you’ve heard this piece by Ludwig van Beethoven. Adapted from his Ninth Symphony, it is often called “Ode to Joy.” But have you ever heard it played on zither? Now you will and I hope you enjoy it!

Want to learn this piece?

You can learn this and 9 other tunes on zither in my new beginner course! The price is $85 and includes the instrument, accessories, and audio-only lessons. There’s no need to read music, no print, and no Braille. I designed the lessons for anyone who is blind or visually impaired, and anyone who wants to learn to play an instrument by ear.

Course Contents
* Introduction and how to hold the instrument
* Tuning, with reference pitches
* Playing glissandos, the signature harp sound
* How to hold the pick
* Hand and finger position, for playing melodies and chords
* 10 folk songs, teaching melody and harmony for each one
* Tuning in different keys
* Christmas and hymns lessons are available separately

Zither Advantages

Not just a children’s instrument! Many people use the zither to teach children the basics of playing a musical instrument, as well as the concepts of melody, rhythm, and harmony. But it’s not just for kids.

If you’re looking for a lightweight, portable instrument, here it is. At 13″ long, 8″ high, and about 2″ thick, the zither is small. And weighing in at 2 pounds, it’s also very portable.

If you have arthritis or carpal tunnel, you can still play the zither easily. You can use the included guitar pick, or your fingers to create lovely melodies and harmonies.

Since the zither is played on your lap, those with back, neck or shoulder pain can play it comfortably.

As you can hear, the sound is bright, and offers a lot of sustain. This means you can play beautiful pieces without needing complex chords or many notes at a time.

The zither is so easy to pick up and play. After the first few tunings, it will stay in tune for some time. How long depends on the environment, but you can hear when it goes out of tune.

Looking for a way to relax? Playing this insstrument is very relaxing, and is also great for composing your own music, improvising, and meditation.

For More Information

If you have any questions, or you’d like to purchase the zither package and mp3 lessons using PayPal, please fill out the form below. This is not a payment form. Also, ask me about an installment payment plan if you need one.

Alternatively, you can email me directly at:
crystal (@) mysticalstrings.com
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Your information will only be used to contact you about this course and answer any questions you may have.

I look forward to sharing the joy of zither with you!

Five Practices Christians Should Avoid (Or not!)

Happy New Year, everyone! Please don’t do what I’m doing and start the year with a bit of a ranting, sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek article! This was not my plan. But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. I considered not saying anything. But everyone else has opinions, and most folks have no problem expressing them. Why should I be any different, as long as I do so in my own space, without hurting anyone?

With my justification out of the way, here’s what prompted me to write this article. This morning I listened to a video called “How the New Age Destroyed my Life.” I won’t link it here; you can find it if you choose. Now, I knew it might be triggering. After all, while I don’t label myself New Age, I agree with some of its philosophy, beliefs, and practices. So well I knew I wouldn’t agree with everything (anything?) this very well-meaning, fellow human being had to say. I knew that, yet I kept listening.

I would have stopped after the first part that said, “The New Age movement is full of demons, and all its practices are demonic and evil.” What kept me listening was the oft repeated quotes, “God is not the Universe. God is not the world.” And, “God is not the Source.” To which my question was, “Then who, or what, is?”

With that, here are 5 practices Christians should avoid, or not!

5. Don’t do Yoga.

Yoga came to us from the East. Some believe this fact alone makes it suspect at best, and evil at worst. But do they know that the word Yoga means “Union with God?” Do Christians want to be One with God?

4. Don’t meditate.

There may easily be as many types of meditation as there are people who practice it. However, the fear of its origins and the unknown makes some Christians panic and run the other way.

At its essence and the way I practice it, meditation is a means of relaxing the mind and body, in order to contact the Divine Spirit within. Is God out there somewhere, not caring about our lives? I don’t think so, and this is why I meditate.

Also, do I really have to mention the Saints, monks, nuns, and Christian mystics? They spent a lot of time in meditation and contemplation. Are they all wrong?

3. Don’t do Reiki or energy healing.

The word Reiki (ray-key) means Universal Lifeforce Energy. The same Power that created the Universe is the Source and the healer in Reiki. Science has proven the existence of energy fields, and Reiki and other energy healing practices seek to balance these fields. It can be for relaxation, self-development, getting over emotional hurdles, and realizing a spiritual Presence beyond your physical reality.

Some Reiki practitioners even pray before they begin, not to mention the idea that Jesus himself healed people. Now, I’m not saying He practiced Reiki, but He did heal. Ask yourself, is it wrong to offer yourself or someone else positive, compassionate, loving energy? If so, then God help us all!

2. Don’t use the law of attraction.

Here’s the one that made me write this. Above I quoted this Christian woman as saying, “God is not the Source.” I.e. when you use the law of attraction, you’re not asking God, and whatever you receive is not coming from God. And my question was who or what is the Source, and where do blessings come from?

Of course, the lady in the video said the source of anything received via the law of attraction is Satan. And yet, this same person still prays and (You guessed it!) asks for things! But because Christians call it God rather than Universe, that makes it ok.

Stay with me here. It’s the same process: “Ask and ye shall receive.” But it’s only right if you ask “God” specifically. Do you have to ask in English too? Or does He understand everyone? Does His, or Its, Universal Lifeforce Energy, which creates galaxies, know my heart, my needs, my desires? It must, or I probably wouldn’t be here. No, it’s a fact, I would not be here if something didn’t care for me.

It says, “Ask and ye shall receive; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.” It does not say, “Call me God, and ask in this way only.”

1. Don’t study Metaphysics.

Never, ever, under any circumstances study Metaphysics if you’re a Christian! Why? Because if you do, you’ll realize, for yourself and not by taking someone’s word as Gospel, that there is indeed a Higher Power, that it is universal, and that it is within you, right now and at every moment.

Go ahead. Read that paragraph again. I’ll wait.

The Creator does not make things or people, and then leave them. No, it sustains them, blesses them, guides them, and though we’re not always aware of it, lives within every person at all times. What about, “Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.” “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” Do they apply to you as they do to Christian mystics, or are they just pretty words?

If you’re a Christian and you’ve read this far, God bless you! If you understand, then I’ve done my job. If not, remember this: “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” And, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

Golden Rule, anyone? Is that still a thing? If you don’t want someone looking down on you and your spiritual practices, please, don’t do that to others.

At ease, carry on, and thank you for reading!

May the loving Universe bless you abundantly!

New Year’s Blessings and The Wassail Song #Music

“The Wassail Song” is an old English Christmas carol. But it’s fun, and I like the New Year’s blessings, so I sing it today, with ukulele. Enjoy, and have a blessed, happy, and God-guided 2020 and beyond! ❤

Lyrics here.

Click here to download mp3.