Rock Your English! newsletter

Hello dearest, thank you so much for letting me slip into your inbox today! Have I told you how lovely you look today? Did you get your eyebrows waxed? Botox? Liposuction? Oh, I know your secret – you must have been Prancercizing!

I SURVIVED THE BATTLE OF THE NORTH

I spent most of last week in the lovely city of Groningen, in the north of the Netherlands, for the incredible Eurosonic/Noorderslag music festival. It’s such a special place to be – not only because there’s nearly 100 panels, seminars, and workshops during the day, but hundreds of established and emerging bands from all over the world play all through the night. It’s one of the few places where my worlds come together. I went to several panels during the day which focused on innovation in music education, which inspired me to think even more outside the box to get my students (I call them my Hungry Heroes) even more charged up to share their gift with the world. I work hard to be a good teacher and meeting other dedicated teachers and forward- thinkers means so much to me. I spent evenings, nights, and mornings going to see my fabulous clients (like Krystl, Sandra van Nieuwland, and Mister and Mississippi) blow their packed audiences away, and alternated this with showcases from my talented students (A Name for the Moon, Amenti, and the Doots) who left new audiences hungry for more. To me, I don’t care if you’re a famous rock star with a few sold-out tours under your belt, like Sharon from Within Temptation, or someone like Jasper Buiter, a gifted songwriter and my college music student learning the ropes and dazzling us along the way. When I see you on stage, covered in sweat,playing and singing your heart out, mine bursts with pride. Somehow, no matter where I’m standing, no matter how dark it is or how blinded you are by the spotlights, our eyes find each other and lock. We share a secret smile, and in an instant the long and beautiful road we’ve travelled together plays back in my mind. Whether your song started in the classroom, at mykitchen table, or during a Skype session, I was and will be with you every step of the way.

When I left my safe, well-paid job 13 years ago to become Holland’s First Personal English Coach to Fabulous People, everyone laughed at me. I know in my heart of hearts that I made thebest professional decision of my life. I’m thrilled to share moments like this with my students, my clients, and readers like you. Thank you for indulging my overwhelming feeling of pride, joy, and deep gratitude.

Now back to business.

EVEN THOUGH I WENT TO BED AT 5 AM I STILL MADE YOU THIS VIDEO

I slept 16 hours in 4 days. Of this I am not ashamed. I am slightly ashamed of how my hair looks in this video, but hey, it’s one of the small sacrifices I make to Save Your Ass in a Minute and a Half.Here it is!

YOUR QUESTIONS – ANSWERED!

“Hey, B! What’s up with song titles in English? Do you need to capitalize every word, or just thefirst wordYou crazy people!” – from someone who will remain anonymous, because he was asking me in a dark smoky bar at 4 am (that’s when some of the best conversations take place).

Actually, neither. For titles of songs, movies, books, etc. the first word and last word is always capitalized. So is every word except articles (a, an, the) and some prepositions (in, on, at). However, prepositions used in phrasal verbs are usually capitalized – like “Hold On” or “Take Off” or “Look Away”. Longer prepositions are also capitalized, like ‘before’ and ‘after’. Confusing, right? (Most things are confusing at 4 am, anyway.) I really hope this helps you a little bit.

ALL GOOD THINGS COME TO AN END

Like epic festivals. And perfect cocktails. And songs. And…this newsletter. Know in your bones that I’ll be back next week with golden nuggets of tips, tricks, maybe a lame joke or two, and ahuge slice of the Buffilove pie just for you!

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