It is never too early or too late to start learning a new musical instrument. Many beginners start their music education with the piano because unlike other instruments, the piano offers melody and harmony without the need for accompaniment. Here are some answers to questions beginners may have, along with information to help you become a skilled and confident piano player. The following suggestions apply regardless of the genre of music you choose to play, be it classical, jazz or modern pop music.

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Do I need a Piano Teacher?

Working with a skilled music teacher is one of the most effective ways to learn playing the piano correctly. Ghada Burton says a qualified piano professional can help you develop proper playing habits such as body and hand placement on the keyboard. Good finger positioning is important to develop at the early stages of learning because it cements the ability to play more complex and technical pieces later. Starting strong with the fundamentals will help you stay away from bad habits that are hard to break later. …

The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and Festival is one of Texas’ most prominent music competitions which is held every four years in Fort Worth. An epic display of talent, the Festival brings together musicians from across the globe to compete for cash prizes and the chance to play at world-famous international venues. The competition is named after pianist Van Cliburn, the first American to win Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Competition in 1963. Avid piano player Ghada Burton states that today’s music aficionados can listen live to the competitors online throughout the event or watch it on Cliburn.

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In 2015 the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival was launched to recognize pianists ages 13 to 17, (the Junior Competition). It was created to offer a valuable forum for our youthful talents and to recognize them as the great artists of tomorrow. Held in Dallas, the first junior competition included performers from 26 countries and a live webcast with more than 100,000 viewers throughout 170 countries. …

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In general, individuals not subject to withholding tax deriving income from self-employment, dividends, interest, rents, alimony or other similar type income are advised to make estimated tax payments on a quarterly basis. Ghada Burton from San Francisco, California says failure to make such payments could subject you to interest and penalties.

This brief guide is not exhaustive nor intended as a tax advice. Taxpayers are advised to consult with their tax advisors for matters that apply to their individual situation.

Individuals must pay estimated tax for 2019 if both conditions are met:

1- You owe at least $1,000 in tax for 2019 (after withholding and…

The Tax Code has always shown bias in favor of long-term investment. This is evidenced by the traditionally lower tax rates imposed on investment gains also known as capital gains if held for a long term. In general, capital gains are income or profits derived from the sale of investment assets such as stocks, or similar instruments (including real estate, which are subject to special rules and we will not cover in this transmission) held for a certain period. Ghada Burton from San Francisco, California suggests the gain is considered short term if the investment asset is held for a period of one year or less. …

Are you looking to buy a home? Or possibly looking to refinance your existing mortgage? Well, timing couldn’t be better. Ghada Burton from San Francisco, California suggests that lower interest rates can help you improve your cash flow for 2019 and beyond and save substantial sum in interest costs which you would have had to incur over the life of your existing home loan.

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On June 4, the market rallied on the news that the Federal Reserve is considering the possibility of reducing current interest rates in response to potential economic downturn as a result of the recent escalation in trade tension between the U.S. …

In 2018, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was passed in December of 2017, went into effect. There were major implications to personal tax filing from this new law, which were felt in 2018. Confusion about the changes has continued into 2019. San Francisco-based tax professional, Ghada Burton, took the time to clarify to her clients the confusion surrounding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and the tax impact of this new law on their specific tax position, providing some important advice relating to the tax changes for 2018 which will continue to affect the taxpayer’s tax filings and returns in the near future. The following summary should not be considered as legal tax advice on any individual matter or circumstance . The contents of this narrative are intended for general information purposes only. …

With personal tax filing substantially behind us for 2018, it is time to set our sights on tax planning ideas for 2019. Recent changes to U.S. tax laws make it even more important than ever to understand what you can do this year to properly plan your tax position to reduce your overall tax burden. Ghada Burton, tax consultant of San Francisco, California is a tax expert with extensive knowledge in U.S and international taxes as applied to individuals and corporations. …


Ghada Burton

Expert in Corporate Taxation & Restructuring

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