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MOV Parent: Music is important in a child’s life

Along with children getting a well rounded education, they also need to be exposed and involved with music, sports and different activities.

Many children are born with special talents that need to be brought out and developed. Some have a natural ability in the different arts, such as playing a musical instrument, singing, dancing and so on, while others in acting, painting or in some sport such as swimming, running, tennis, golf and so on.

We are very fortunate to offer music education in our schools at a child’s early age and receive guidance, which enables a child to learn to play a musical instrument of their choice or become a member in a chorus, band or orchestra.

These are activities that enable children to take part in various groups or activities their entire lives as adult. Therefore, I feel it is good to encourage your child to choose an instrument of their liking and then encourage them to be sure to make it fun and practice regularly, always keeping in mind that “practice makes perfect.” Lessons are offered in school, but it is also very advantageous to acquire private lessons if it is at all possible.

Keep in mind that music along with some sports is something that they can participate and take part in their adult lives, plus be able to entertain themselves and others.

We are fortunate in our area to have good programs and also have exposure to music, art, theater and even the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

The West Virginia Symphony comes to Parkersburg several times a year from Charleston to present a variety of concerts and music experiences. Not only do the children have a chance to attend the concerts at the Blennerhassett Junior High School, but also the orchestra makes various appearances especially just for our school students in the Mid Ohio Valley and be exposed to good music.

Exposing children to good music at a young age helps them to learn to appreciate good music from not so good music.

Our family was exposed to music because my husband was a violinist and music director for 34 years. We met in 1965 when he was working on a music degree at the National Greek Conservatory in Athens, Greece. He constantly practiced and also played in various organizations along with playing classical recordings on our stereo system. When we were first married (56 years ago) he had a string program and orchestra where even music professors from Ohio University and Toledo would come and work with the students. Then the High School consolidated and started football, and the administration informed my husband he had to have a marching band, which led to the downfall of the established orchestra program.

He has several students that are band directors, got music degrees and have continued with their music in various groups, and after 27 years of retirement, many students continue to keep in touch with our family.

Be aggressive and encourage your children to get involved and take part in some extra activities.

Till next month!

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BACON-WRAPPED BREADSTICKS

3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 16-ounce package thinly sliced bacon

1 3-ounce package thin breadsticks

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 16x10x1-inch jellyroll pan with foil; set aside. In a pie plate, combine brown sugar and chili powder; set aside. Cut bacon in half lengthwise. Wrap 1 piece of bacon around each breadstick. Roll each breadstick in brown sugar mixture. Place breadsticks in a single layer on a cooling rack. Place rack on prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Serve at room temperature.

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CHOCOLATE COBBLER

1 1/4 cups sugar, divided

1 cup all-purpose flour

7 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder, divided

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 cups hot water

garnish: vanilla ice cream or whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar, four, 3 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add milk, butter and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Pour batter into an ungreased, 8-inch square glass baking dish. Combine remaining 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar and remaining 4 tablespoons cocoa. Sprinkle cocoa mixture evenly over batter. Pour hot water over top — do not stir! Bake until center of cobbler is almost set, 35-40 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes. Spoon into individual dessert dishes. (The cobbler makes its own chocolate sauce in the bottom of the pan.) Spoon sauce over each serving. Garnish with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

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Kiki Angelos is a food columnist for The Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

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