Friday Finds #128

Last week I mentioned that my husband and I were on our way to Kansas City for a short 4-day getaway as an extension to a contracted session I had on Friday morning with the Kansas City MTA. I’ve been slow to get many photos up on social media from this trip, but we had a great time and the Spring weather was incredible!

One of the big sites we visited was the National WWI Museum. This photo is taken from the museum overlooking the city. The building you see front and center in the photo is Union Station which is absolutely beautiful inside. I thought this was a beautiful overview of the city to share with you today.

 

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A fun little finger number activities worksheet from 4D Piano Teaching.

 

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Indiana school district turns unused cafeteria food into take-home meals for kids in need. Why isn’t every school doing this?

 

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The Best Electric Kettles, According to the Best Experts.

We first discovered electric water kettles when we lived in Australia. It was common for every home to have one as many homes drank instant coffee (yuck!). They are an absolute gem to have available and so convenient for boiling water!

We have the Capresso Kettle which is recommended by America’s Test Kitchen (at least it was at the time!)

 

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A few fun finds for piano teachers from Natalie Weber.

 

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I am determined to have green plants in my home even though I do not have a green thumb. Articles like this one on how to stop killing your plants are for people like me!

 

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At the 2019 MTNA Conference a few weeks ago, I attended a fantastic session in Pedagogy Saturday’s Teaching Artistry Track called “Do These Five Things Always and Forever.” The presenter, Veda Suponic, recently gave this session for an MTNA Webinar which can be accessed here.

 

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Jennifer has a great idea for your summer session. Check out how she does practice packets.

 

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Two weeks ago, Evernote launched the Evernote for Gmail add-on. I’m trying it out now and hope to write a review in the near future after using it for awhile.

 

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Wendy’s recital programs are always sooooo beautiful! I use her programs almost every year. Check out her new Spring Recital Program Package.

 

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One of my favorite recipes I’ve been making without a kitchen these past 4 months are these Spicy Chicken Soft Tacos. All you do is toss chicken tenders in a mixture of EVOO and Sriracha and bake them (I’m using a small countertop oven). Pre-shredded cabbage and plain yogurt are all we need to make a decent toping and dinner is done!

 

Friday Finds #127

As this post is going up, I’m talking to a group of teachers in Kansas City on digital management strategies for independent music teachers like yourself.

My hubby came with me and we made a short 4-day weekend out of it. Rest assured we will be eating some BBQ! Follow me on Instagram or Facebook.

As your local group moves into the planning stages for your events next year, you may be interested in some of the sessions I have available. It would be so fun to come and talk to your group!

 

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In February I did a Zoom session with Raleigh MTA. One of the teachers there recently shared a beautiful video of her music with me and I wanted to pass it on to you. Visit www.marlowecarruth.com for more details!

 

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I’ve had Thai twice in the past 3 weeks and it’s been divine. Here’s a simple recipe for the iconic and easy go-to Thai dish, Pad Thai.

 

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How reading old books gives us new perspective. 

 

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I created a playlist for Easter with more than 50 songs and 4 hours of listening. Available on Spotify, all you need is a free account to listen. Spotify has an app as well as a desktop client for easy listening.

 

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Every home should have a hand-held vacuum of some kind. They’re just too convenient! I have a Shark Vac at home and at my studio!

It’s a short week. See you next week!

~Amy

 

Friday Finds #126

This week’s wrap-up post from MTNA 2019 didn’t include this photo, so I had to share it as the featured photo for this week’s Friday Finds. 🙂 I have a good friend who totally rocks high heels, so this photo was for her.

 

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Besides my own wrap-up post, there were a lot of other wonderful wrap-up posts written this week from the national conference in Spokane. Here are the ones I’ve caught thus far:

Christina Whitlock (author of the Varsity Musician’s Playbook on Piano Pantry)

Benjamin Steinhardt (one of the admins of The Art of Piano Pedagogy Facebook group)

Joy Morin (ColorinMyPiano.com)

 

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An Easy Timeline for Creating Your Own Solo Festival. I’ve often thought about doing something like this, but have never taken the initiative to make it happen. I think it’s a great idea though. The fact that you can cater it to your own studio’s progressive plan, and it would be really convenient for students to not have to travel to a festival location and two the biggest reasons I would do it.

 

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Oh my goodness, have you ever seen anything like this vintage typewriter for music notation? How interesting!

 

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The Three Modes of Piano Teaching by Samantha Coates.

 

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It’s the time of year when we need to think about talking to students who need to move to a longer lesson next year. Check out Wendy’s guide for how to move students to longer lessons.

 

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If you’re a sucker for photos of beautiful homes, check out this one.

 

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There are two daily blogs that I read. Seth Godin’s (of course), and Amy Bernadette (which I heard about from Seth Godin).

One of my favorite posts from Amy B. thus far is “What’s on Your ‘Not-to-Do’ List?”

 

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I’ve been experimenting more and being brave with doing some Facebook Live videos on the Piano Pantry Facebook page. I did five short videos on staying organized at conferences and have also recently done a couple of other videos, each one highlighting one item from the previous week’s Friday Finds.

Friday Finds #121 – Some favorite stickers and how I organize them!

Friday Finds #125 – Music Learning Academy Podcast

I’m not making a declaration that I’ll be doing that every week or anything, but thought you might like to know!

 

Friday Finds #125

 

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Yamaha’s NoteStar app is closing down on 3/31/2019. Check out details here.

 

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If you’re’ interested in learning more about Music Learning Theory and how to use Marilyn Lowe’s Music Moves for Piano method book series, then you’re in luck! Check out www.musiclearningacademy.com for new courses and a podcast. I met the creator, Krista Jadro when Joy and I attended the GIML Professional Development Course in Boston a couple of years ago (she had way more experience than us at that point!) I know it will be wonderful!

Pre-Registration for the Keyboard Games A course is only available until the end of March and then the price doubles!

 

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While we’re on the topic of MLT, there is a scholarship available through the Gordon Institute for college/university faculty interested in continuing education in MLT. Application deadline is soon.

 

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I heard about an old piano method in one of the sessions I attended at the MTNA Conference this past week. It was written by the daughter-in-law of John Curwen (creator of the Curwen Tonic Sol-Fa) and was called Mrs. Curwen’s Pianoforte Method. After a little more research, I came across this website: CurwenMusic.com. I’ve enjoyed browsing the site and learning a little more about her pedagogical approach.

 

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I always carry blindfolds and ear-plugs with me when I travel!

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I’ve always wondered this: Are Nutrition Supplements a Waste of Money?

 

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The best place to sit in a concert hall.

 

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New posts on Piano Pantry:

147 Tunes to Harmonize

12 Ways to Turn a Potentially Frustrating Lesson into a Musical Opportunity

 

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Best New Trendy, Healthy Groceries You Should Be Buying in the Frozen Food Section.

 

Friday Finds #124

As this post goes up, I’m headed to Spokane Washington for the MTNA National Conference. It’s one of the highlights of the year. I love conferencing!

If you’ve ever attended a conference (or gone on vacation for that matter), you know how the days leading up to the event are always a little crazy.

Thus, this week’s finds are on the short side, but that’s OK because you can explore ALL the past Friday Finds to your heart’s content here.

March is the birthday month for Piano Pantry as the first post went up on March 20, 2016. Just for fun, here is the very first Friday Finds ever posted on Piano Pantry!

 

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While we’re on the topic of conferences, you  may be interested in these posts here on Piano Pantry:

Conference “Management” 101: Tips for using Evernote plus a free resource

Tips for Presenting: Tools, Resources, and a Pep-Talk

 

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Wood Stoves and Ash Wednesday.

 

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My favorite liquid foundation makeup brush, Kabuki for Face.

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Design Your Rhythm of Work – Theme Days.

I’ve been trying to do this a lot more this past year and it works quite well. Think about the different categories of life/work you have and focus on one area each day. For example, on Mondays, my mornings are dedicated to my current church worship leader work and Monday afternoons are my piano studio. Thursday mornings are Piano Pantry work and afternoons are Church Prep, etc.

 

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The Ghost Moth

 

Friday Finds #123

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner! From what I understand of the holiday, it is not only to commemorate the arrival of the Christian faith in Ireland, but also a celebration of the Irish culture. Since it’s during the Lenten season, the ban on alcohol was lifted for the day, hence the history of it being a “drinking” holiday.

It’s not a holiday I normally remember (or celebrate). Truth be told, the main reason I’m making a point of it here is that I’ve been enjoying customizing my Friday Finds image for each holiday, and it was one more chance to have a little fun.
*(Insert crying, smiley emoji.)

If you like to pull out holiday-themed activities with your students, this coming week is the time for St. Patty’s!

 

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If you order them today (and have Amazon Prime), there’s a good chance you’ll have your St. Patrick’s Day stickers just in time for Monday or Tuesday lessons this week. If you want a closer peek at the St. Patty’s day ones in this pack, check out my Facebook Video I made last week.

 

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Here’s a round-up of lots of St. Patty’s Day activities for your piano students this week!

St. Patrick’s Day Improv from Teach Piano Today
St. Patrick’s Day Game from ColourfulKeys.ie
St. Patrick’s Day Games and Activities from Susan Paradis|
St. Patrick’s Day Rhythm Game from Sara’s Music Studio
St. Patrick’s Day Worksheets from MyFunPianoStudio.com

 

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40 By 40. I really love this idea of having a list of 40 things I would like to do by the time I’m 40. Time is ticking though so I better get started. I have less than two years.

Now you know how old I am.

 

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Staying Organized with Silicone Cupcake Liners. In my studio, we use them during group classes for students to hold their own game markers. I also use them to organize my teaching tools drawer next to the piano. They are especially perfect for housing Japanese erasers sets. My jewelry drawer at home is next!

 

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Another Marie-Kondo style decluttering tips for piano teachers. This one from Teacher Piano Today.

 

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How to Translate Music Scores with Your Phone Camera.

 

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When we lived in Australia (from 2006-2009), one of my favorite shows was McLeod’s Daughters. This week, I came across it on Amazon Prime! Happy girl dance!

 

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What Seth Godin Teaches Us About Piano Studio Marketing.

 

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When I need technology help or tips, one of my first go-to’s is DottoTech. I love his YouTube Videos! I’ve learned a lot about Google Chrome, Gmail, and even Evernote from his videos.

 

Friday Finds #122

 

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If you haven’t checked our Rosemarie Penner’s blog, you should. The Unfinished Lesson has been one of my favorite piano blogs to follow over the past year or two. Rosemarie always seems to have unique blog posts, is tech-savvy, and student-focused.

Her two most recent posts were both worthy of my clipping and saving in Evernote. One tagged under “lesson planning” and the other under “evaluations.” Check them out:

“How do you know my child is progressing?” I’m glad you asked!

Student-Led Conferences

 

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3 Myths (and 1 Truth) About Grain-Fed Beef. | The Nutrition Diva

 

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A fellow teacher recently asked me about a recommendation for a beginner hymn book. Within the same time frame, one of my new adult students and I determined that although she wants to improve at reading hymns, they were a bit too challenging for where she is at the moment. I told her I had the perfect book for her. I’m sure I’ve shared this book in the past but since it’s come up again recently, here it is again.

The Piano Student’s Hymnal published by Alfred

 

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“What shall we do next?” is one phrase that I try to be conscious of using regularly in my teaching.

 

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A new toy in my kitchen.

GIR: Get It Right Premium Silicone Ultimate Spatula, 11 Inches, Lime

 

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Every once in a while my husband will send me something that he thinks I would enjoy sharing in Friday Finds. (Is that cute or what?). This is one of Drew’s finds. 🙂 Watch and be amazed.

 

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Don’t Tell Me How Lucky I Am To Have A Good Husband

 

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If you’re making plans for some fun recital ideas for your Spring Recital this year, check out:

 

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Here are some great suggestions for beautiful modern piano music for teens.

I have a student currently playing the very first song in the list above, The River Flows in You from Yiruma. It felt like she was needing something beautiful and a boost in energy for piano. This piece did the trick. She absolutely loved it so much, she almost mastered it in the first week.

 

Friday Finds #121

Last week, first the first time in awhile, I started a new student. In this photo we were exploring the highs and lows of the piano by placing the animals in order of where he thought their sound matched on the piano.

We then listened to several tracks from Irina Gorin’s Tales of a Musical Journey Book 1 and guessed what animal(s) the song could be about. Tracks included. “Porcupine” by D. Kabalevsky, “The Bear” by V. Rebikov, and “The Sparrow” by A. Rubbakh. Lastly, we choose a couple of animals we wanted to create songs for and improvised for each of those animals.

(If you’re interested in where I found all these stuffed animals, visit this post.)

 

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Playing the Piano Naturally for Children, a video by Vicki King.

 

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The newest sticker addition to my studio.  Creative Teaching Press Emoji Rewards Stickers. These are even better than the first batch of emoji stickers I bought. (That set had too many useless emoji’s for piano student rewards).

 

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Make a Hot Date with Bach: Daily practice for playful renewal.

 

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My Wife Was Dying, and We Didn’t Tell Our Children: The choice was unusual, but loving: We wanted them to live without the shadow of their mother’s mortality hanging over them.” (from The Atlantic)

 

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I remember reading the now famous book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” on my flight to the 2016 MTNA Conference in San Antonio.

I’ve always been a continual tidier, cleaning out areas of our home at least once a year.  The most life-changing tip I gleaned from Marie Kondo though, was the idea of folding clothes in small squares and storing them upright rather than stacking.

Check out what piano teacher and blogger Jennifer Foxx learned not just about her own home, but about tidying her studio:

Tidying Up the the Music Studio: 3 Things I Learned from Marie Kondo

 

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Classical Classroom Podcast Episode 192: The Hilarious History of Classical Music with Igudesman and Joo

 

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One of the most useful pieces of technology I have is a 10-ft. Lightning Cable for charging my iPhone and iPad. I would have never thought it was necessary but now I wonder how I ever got by without one!

 

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13 Kitchen Tools You Should Own By the Time You’re 30. Boom! I hit all but one. I don’t own a wok.

 

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Styling Your Bed Like a Cozy Minimalist.

 

Friday Finds #120

 

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The photo above is a little blurry because it’s a screenshot from a video I came across on the PianoStreet.com. Check it out!

 

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I’ve been enjoying Ina Garten’s Favorite Love Songs playlist on Spotify this past couple of weeks.

 

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Congratulations to my friend, Joy Morin, on the 10-year blogiversary of ColorinMyPiano.com! She’s celebrating with sales through the month of February so keep your eye out.

 

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It was also fun seeing Joy’s meet-up with a teacher and a student in Puerto Rico.

 

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More big news in piano-teacher world… Piano Safari has launched a Spanish Edition

 

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The best way to keep guacamoleNow I just have to remember this tip…

 

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The Best Graphic Design Options for Piano Teachers.

 

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I thought this was a great idea for a blog post from Sara Campbell.  “A Thoughtful Answer to FB’s “Very Responsive” Badge”.

 

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Chili Cheese Fritos made it into my grocery cart for the first time this past week, and I am in love. They don’t taste greasy at all like regular Fritos and were a nice crunchy topping for one of my favorite chili recipes: Tex-Mex Corn Chip Chili.

 

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Randall Faber Receives Lifetime Achievement Award in Education from Roland Corporation.

 

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Joy Morin has posted a couple of videos recently that follow up on her Wednesday Words of Wisdom posts.  Here’s the first one.

Friday Finds #119

It’s Superbowl Sunday weekend!

If you’re looking for last minute ideas for game-day food, check out my favorite appetizer-type recipes in the post “Game Day Round-up for Your Studio and Kitchen“.

 

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Another great piano teacher blog I just came across this week! CreativePianoTeacher.com. One of the writers, Davis Dorrough actually announced my session last year at the MTNA Conference in Orlando. Hi, Davis!

 

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MTNA just announced a new conference for advanced teaching. This is very, very cool!

 

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The MTNA e-Festival has taken a drastic drop in price from $60 to $25 per entry! Another incredible announcement from MTNA!

 

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I’m feeling really tempted to buy this piano bench after reading the review on 4-D Piano Teaching. Does anyone else use this bench and have feedback? If so, please comment below!

 

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GIML (Gordon Institute for Music Learning) has given their website a much-needed update. It is so much more user-friendly and visually appealing!

 

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We hit record low temperatures this week in Indiana with one day at -15 and windchills at -40. Chili was on the menu for dinner that night. Here’s my current favorite chili recipe. 

Other favorites through the years have included Tex-Mex Corn Chip ChiliOne-Pot Chili Mac, and Instant pot White Chicken Black Bean Chili (we prefer the chicken cubed rather than shredded).

 

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Good intentions (how to be on time).

 

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The story that Emily P. Freeman tells in episode 65 of The Next Right Thing podcast had me rolling with laughter. It’s exactly the sort of thing I could see happening to me. I found it so funny, I made my husband listen to it that night.

It’s about having a green thumb…or maybe not having a green thumb… (we’re talking caring for living plants here in case you’re lost).

It’s a 2-minute story and will add a smile to your day. (It starts at 1:30 in case you only want to listen to the story.)