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Flecktones' Howard Levy to Launch Online Harmonica School

Grammy® Award winner Howard Levy is thrilled to announce he has partnered with online video exchange pioneers, ArtistWorks, Inc. The team will be launching The Howard Levy Harmonica School (HLHS) later this month– the first ever online portal that will teach harmonica to students around the world. Levy is widely known as a founding member of the Flecktones. He has also performed and recorded with Kenny Loggins, Dolly Parton, Bobby McFerrin, Paul Simon, John Prine, and many others.  Through his partnership with ArtistWorks, Inc., Levy integrates years of experience as a player and educator with their innovative video teaching technology.

Howard Levy is the world’s most advanced diatonic harmonica player.  He developed a fully chromatic style on the standard 10-hole diatonic and revolutionized harmonica playing, taking the instrument into uncharted territory. As a music educator, he has taught countless students and has been a guest lecturer on his craft at colleges and universities around the world including Harvard, Berklee College of Music, Dartmouth College and Northwestern University.  Howard Levy plays Hohner harmonicas.

The HLHS is a self-paced program for any skill level or style preference and provides personal video exchange lessons online. Levy’s comprehensive video curriculum is categorized from beginner to advanced lessons in a variety of styles including jazz, blues, folk, rock and more. Using a webcam, students record themselves practicing and submit the video for Levy’s personalized critique. Either through video or written response, students get direct feedback from Levy and these one-on-one Master Classes are then posted to the HLHS Exchange Center for all students in the community to learn from.  The Howard Levy Harmonica School is launching late November 2009.

ArtistWorks, Inc. is a Napa, California company is the leader in creating video-based instructional subscription websites. This groundbreaking technology has been implemented at Qbert Skratch University, Andreas Oberg Guitar Universe, the Jimmy Bruno Guitar Institute, Peery Piano Online and the Tony Trischka school of banjo.

Governors Ritter & Schwarzenegger Launch EcoDriving Campaign

- for the Grateful Web

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today joined the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers to kick off a new EcoDriving campaign to save consumers money at the pump, reduce fuel use and cut carbon emissions.

"The EcoDriving campaign offers easy actions that all of us can take – starting today, right now – to save money, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and benefit the environment," Gov. Ritter said. "By adopting EcoDriving tips, we can lower our fuel costs by 15 percent or more. And these are easy, common-sense driving and maintenance tips, like avoiding rapid starts and stops, using cruise control, reducing idling, and knowing when it's best to use your air conditioner."

Colorado and California are the first two states to support the consumer awareness campaign, details of which are available at the interactive website www.EcoDrivingUSA.com. Gov. Schwarzenegger appeared at today's news conference at the Colorado Convention Center via a live satellite feed from California.

"You can save money and save the environment by driving green," said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. "Through EcoDriving, 10 top automakers and the states of California and Colorado have found we share an important commitment, and we commend Gov. Schwarzenegger and Gov. Ritter for their leadership in engaging consumers in green driving."

"Today's automobiles are really computers on wheels, with more than 3,000 interactive parts operating as a complex system," McCurdy added. "The more you know about your machine, the better you can reduce fuel use and CO2 emissions."

With 240 million vehicles on the road in the United States, the benefits of EcoDriving could be significant:

·       - If just half of all drivers nationwide practiced moderate levels of EcoDriving, annual CO2 emissions could be reduced by about 100 million tons, or the equivalent of heating and powering 8.5 million households.

·       -  If all Americans practiced EcoDriving, it would be equal to 450 billion miles traveled on our roadways without generating any CO2 emissions.  That's 1,500 CO2-free miles for every man, woman, and child in the United States each year.

Sample EcoDriving practices include: 

·       - Not tailgating, knowing the proper way to accelerate and brake, and using synchronized traffic lights to a driver's advantage, driving at the optimum highway speed, understanding when to use air conditioning and much more.

Sample maintenance practices include:

·       - Knowing which motor oil to use, understanding the importance of proper tire pressure and what affects tire pressure, understanding aerodynamics and much more.

In conjunction with the unveiling of EcoDriving, the National Automobile Dealers Association announced that September will be free "Green Check-up Month" nationwide.

The EcoDriving interactive website, www.EcoDrivingUSA.com, will help drivers learn practical tips to improve their mileage and reduce their carbon footprint. The site includes a video guide to EcoDriving, an "EcoCalculator" to determine benefits for individuals or states, a Virtual Road Test and a variety of educational tools.

Alliance members hope to engage all 50 states and major consumer organizations in EcoDriving.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is a trade association of 10 car and light truck manufacturers including BMW Group, Chrysler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen.