Guitar Lessons

Say the words “video game” to parents, and most are likely to shudder: You mean that thing that sucks my kids' time and interferes with their ability to acknowledge visitors?

But what if these games could inspire these same kids to pick up and learn a real musical instrument? A British study suggests just that. In 2008, Youth Music, one of Britain's largest music charities, released a report that found video games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band encouraged up to 2.5 million children to learn the guitar and drums.

A Boy and His Tablet Device

In an age where a parent's first reaction to digital media is fear for the cyber-safety of their children, Common Sense Media is raising another point to consider: how to make kids act responsibly for how they use it.

Since children don't always relate the cause and effect of their actions – and parents are usually behind the curve on technological matters – CSM has developed a digital curriculum for schools. The overarching tenant of its “rules of the road” is simple: “If you wouldn't say it offline, don't say it online.”

Race to Nowhere.jpg

The suicide death of Devon Marvin in 2008 sent shock waves through the Danville community. Why did she do it? Could it be because the 13-year-old honor-roll student had just received her first bad grade in math?

Every parent's worst nightmare gave Lafayette filmmaker Vicki Abeles pause, especially when she considered her own three children. And then she took it a step further, creating the documentary Race to Nowhere to explore her questions.


When Tina Case's daughter inched ever closer to graduating from high school last year, the Saratoga mom was worried. Was the 17-year-old girl even ready to handle college?

Concerned, Case sought the advice of some of her daughter's cousins. Both said they wished they had taken time to travel and explore before taking on the heavy commitment of college.


©2020 by Millicent Skiles. Proudly created with