Wednesday, Feb. 1st, 2023

Why You Should Consider Learning How to Play a Musical Instrument

Playing a musical instrument has many benefits beyond the mere pleasure of making music. Even those who never plan on becoming professional musicians can still benefit from learning how to play an instrument. No matter what type of instrument you decide to pick up – whether it's a guitar or a piano – rest assured that it will bring numerous benefits into your life that go beyond just the joys of making music. Notably, with the help of contemporary technologies such as chords finder, learning instruments like the piano and guitar has become much more manageable. The technology helps learners find the chords to any song they wish to learn to play. It helps save time and energy in identifying the right chords to a song. So, what are some of the benefits of learning to play a musical instrument?

Enhanced cognitive abilities

Learning to play an instrument can have a positive impact on your cognitive abilities. Studies have shown that playing music can improve memory, concentration and problem-solving skills. It also helps multitask and increases the ability to focus on complex tasks. Additionally, playing an instrument has been linked to improved language skills, such as reading comprehension and verbal fluency. Playing music also encourages creativity and self-expression, which can help boost confidence levels. Furthermore, it has been found that playing music can reduce stress levels and increase overall happiness. All these benefits make learning to play an instrument a great way to enhance your cognitive abilities while simultaneously having fun.

The social and emotional benefits

Playing an instrument can profoundly affect a person's social and emotional well-being. It can help them develop better communication skills and increase their self-confidence and self-esteem. Playing an instrument also helps people express themselves in ways that words cannot, allowing them to explore different emotions and feelings. Furthermore, playing a musical instrument can be a great way to connect with others, whether it's through joining a band or orchestra or simply jamming with friends. This connection can lead to increased social interaction and improved relationships. Finally, playing music is often seen as a therapy for many people struggling with mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. By engaging in this creative activity, people can focus on something positive while healthily expressing themselves.

Economic/career-related advantages

Learning a musical instrument can provide numerous economic and career-related advantages. For starters, it can help you develop highly sought-after skills in the job market, such as creativity, problem-solving, discipline and teamwork. These skills can be applied to any field of work and make you more attractive to potential employers. Additionally, learning a musical instrument can open up opportunities for freelance work or teaching music lessons. It could be a great way to supplement your income or even become your primary source of revenue if you can build up enough clientele. Furthermore, knowledge of music theory and reading sheet music is an invaluable asset when working in the entertainment industry or with audio engineering software programs like Pro Tools. Finally, playing an instrument can also give you access to networking opportunities that otherwise may not have been available.

In conclusion, learning to play a musical instrument can have numerous physical and mental health benefits, as well as providing an enjoyable hobby and a potential career.

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Landowners have until March 15 to apply for FWP public access to public lands programs 

HELENA – Landowners have until March 15 to submit applications to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks for enrollment in the Unlocking Public Lands (UPL) Program or the Public Access Land Agreement (PALA) Program.  

These programs are designed to provide recreational public access to state (Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation) or federal (Bureau of Land Management or United States Forest Service) land where no or limited legal public access currently exists.  

For enrollment in UPL, landowners will receive a tax credit in the amount of $750 per agreement and up to a maximum of $3,000 in tax credits in exchange for allowing access across the private lands, roads or trails to reach inaccessible public land. Landowners must hold the public land lease and decide how the public may cross their private property for all recreations.  

For enrollment in PALA, landowners will receive monetary compensation, including possible infrastructure reimbursements (e.g., gravel, culverts, cattle guards, etc.) to facilitate public access to inaccessible public lands. Landowners must hold the public land lease. Compensation amounts vary based on a variety of factors, with one landowner possibly holding multiple agreements. The governor-appointed Private Land/Public Wildlife (PL/PW) Advisory Committee will review complete applications and make a recommendation to the FWP director on whether to extend an agreement. 

“Offering a tax credit or payment in exchange for public access to inaccessible public land is a unique and innovative way to respect private property rights and increase public access,” said Jason Kool, FWP hunting access program manager. “We hope these opportunities and incentives appeal to many landowners throughout the state.”  

While Montana contains millions of acres of public land, much of this land is inaccessible to the public and requires landowner permission for access. 

More information about these two programs, including enrollment criteria, application forms, and fact sheets describing these FWP public access programs, can be found at:

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Monday, Jan. 30th, 2023

Section of Yellowstone River near Livingston reopens 

Damaged railway bridge removed

LIVINGSTON – A closure on an 8-mile section of the upper Yellowstone River has been lifted now that a damaged railway bridge near U.S. Highway 89 has been removed. The Highway 89 Bridge Fishing Access Site, which was part of the closure, has also reopened to public access.  The river closure extended from Mayor’s Landing Fishing Access Site to Sheep Mountain Fishing Access Site. It was in place since July after significant flooding damaged the railway bridge, causing a safety hazard.  

For a current list of waterbody restrictions and closures, visit  

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An Artistic Mindset Is Fundamental for Business Leaders

At first glance, it is difficult to say what can be similar between an artist and a businessman. Well, it is worth starting with the fact that both are creators. This is quite a similarity. Indeed, the type of project management now can be compared to the art of classicism, where the artist depicted in the picture what he saw.

In the same way, business leaders take as a basis already known schemes and follow a well-trodden path. The artists decided not to stop there and keep up with the times. Despite even the fact that the imperialists succumbed to public condemnation at the presentation in the previously calm Salon, offering fleeting moments of light, color, and shadow, this did not stop them.

Modernism is a philosophical and artistic movement that, along with cultural currents and changes, arose due to large-scale and far-reaching transformations in Western society in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

It was a completely new trend with creative ideas, a non-standard performance technique that went beyond the existing framework. Business leaders have a lot to learn from such artists. This will allow the transformation of the business and the fortunes of the founder into something truly unique and successful.

Let's consider several options for where to start.

Look at the world

You never know what exactly can inspire you and lead to the emergence of a brilliant idea. A practical example is the artist Marcel Duchamp, known to us as a Dadaist. After four years in New York, he returned to Paris and strolled through the city. And suddenly, he comes across an ordinary postcard with a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci's “Mona Lisa.”

Later, over a cup of coffee, he took a postcard out of his pocket and painted Gioconda's mustache and goatee. Then he set the date and wrote a small abbreviation, the meaning of which can be reduced to the fact that the author tells us to treat everything more simply and not glorify artists. This seemingly absurd work was sold at auction for more than 600,000 euros.

As a business leader, you should also spend more time not only on mechanical work. Delegation is the basis of success. For the operational part, you can use business analysis services. Walking, watching people and everything that is done around, visiting exhibitions and reading books about art, and more.

Thus, in the most unexpected places, you can find extraordinary solutions to business problems and add curiosities to the existing model.

Look at things from a different angle

Try to distance yourself from a flat vision and look at a business like the artists of modernism. Almost all artists of this movement had a professional education, where, of course, they were taught the basics of composition, the correct distribution of light, and much more. And only this enabled them to experiment with specific knowledge.

As Jacques Fresco said: "Creativity means taking already known elements and uniquely combining them." There is no need to forget everything you know about business management; just use this knowledge in a new way.

A good idea will involve creative people whose task will be to develop ideas. You and the team can organize brainstorming sessions, as a result of which you will get unexpected ideas through diligent efforts and discussion.


Developing artistic thinking for business leaders is not only necessary but extremely important. If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, the usual schemes of doing business will not be able to give you that. Don't be afraid to start something new and maybe even crazy. Not all artists become recognized immediately, but there comes a time when their works become priceless.


Author’s bio: Anastasiia Lastovetska is a technology writer at MLSDev, a software development company that builds web & mobile app solutions from scratch. She researches the area of technology to create great content about app development, UX/UI design, tech & business consulting.


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Public Hearing and County Commission Vote Set for Gallatin County Urban Transportation District Proposal

Public transit and HRDC Streamline advocates are set to testify in support of a proposed Urban Transportation District and the Jan. 31 meeting of the Gallatin County Commission.

Commissioners will listen to the public comments on the UTD proposal before voting to place it on the May 3 special election ballot.

The hearing is required by Montana law. The commissioners must vote to place the measure on the ballot, but hearing public comment is a required part of the process.

Those set to testify in support of the UTD include:

  • Ellie Staley, executive director, Downtown Bozeman

  • Scott Birkenbuel, CEO, Ability Montana

  • Jason Karp, planning director, City of Belgrade

  • Darren Brugmann, Big Sky Transportation District

  • Mitch Bradley, retired Bozeman businessman

    HRDC Streamline and public transportation advocates collected more than 28,000 voter signatures, more than twice the number needed, in support of creating the UTD. The Gallatin County Elections Office has confirmed that more than enough qualified voter signatures were gathered in order to place the UTD on the May 2 election ballot.

    Forming a UTD will enable Streamline to continue receiving federal transportation funding now that our community has transitioned from being designated “rural” by the U.S. Federal Transportation Administration and is now categorized as a “small, urbanized area.”

    The UTD will enable Streamline to maintain its current level of service and position it for the future as our valley’s public transportation needs grow. The proposed UTD will include all of Bozeman and Belgrade and areas between.

    The County Commission meets at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31, at the Gallatin County Courthouse, 311 W. Main St., in Bozeman.

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Sunday, Jan. 29th, 2023

West Enterance YNP Injured Snowmobiler


On Saturday, January 28, 2023, Yellowstone National Park requested assistance for a snowmobile crash 1 mile west of West Yellowstone on the West Entrance Road. The snowmobiler was reported to have fractured their femur in the accident.

Volunteers from Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone, Custer Gallatin National Forest Service and Hebgen Basin Rural Fire District responded to assist with the rescue.

Volunteers quickly made contact with the patient, then packaged and transported them to the West Entrance where medical care was turned over to the waiting Hebgen Basin Ambulance for further evaluation.

Sheriff Dan Springer would like to remind snowmobilers to ride within their abilities and be aware of changing trail conditions.

Photos courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

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Saturday, Jan. 28th, 2023

Code Blue Protocol to Be Implemented at Local Emergency Shelter for the Second Time this Winter

Despite Ongoing Funding Challenges, HRDC’s Bozeman Warming Center Will Extend Services to Ensure the Safety of All Community Members

Hours will be extended at HRDC’s Bozeman Warming Center to ensure everyone has a warm, safe space to stay as temperatures drop below zero in the coming days. While subject to change depending on weather conditions, HRDC is planning to deploy the Code Blue status on Sunday and Monday, Jan. 29 and 30. In addition to round-the-clock shelter, any previous guests with a suspension status will be provided access to the shelter during the Code Blue designation.

“HRDC’s priority during cold snaps is to make sure that vulnerable members of our community can come inside and safely shelter from the frigid temperatures,” stated Brian Guyer, HRDC’s Housing Director.

Community members who are unhoused are at high risk for exposure-related injury given the frigid temperatures that are expected to plague the Bozeman area for a second time this winter. The extreme weather conditions currently in the forecast include projected overnight lows nearing minus 20 degrees with heavy amounts of snow preceding the icy-cold temperatures.

“Keeping our shelter open during daytime hours is a very necessary, but costly action to take. While our emergency shelter is currently not funded to provide services during the day, we are extremely concerned about our guests’ safety and HRDC can use all the support the community can provide to help us keep our doors open,” said Guyer. He continued, “It is not well understood that our Warming Centers do not have funding for year-round, 24/7 operation. To be clear, the level of response we can provide to our community members needing shelter is directly tied to the level of support provided by donors, and currently, round-the-clock services are not supported.”

“We are challenged on a daily basis to serve community members who are struggling to find housing and who have nowhere else to turn,” added Jenna Huey, HRDC’s Emergency Shelter Services Manager. “Our ongoing outreach efforts to connect with community members who are living in vehicles and other non-traditional forms of shelter will be increased in the coming days to help ensure everyone is aware of our shelter services and that they are welcome to come in out of the cold.”

HRDC’s Livingston Warming Center will maintain its regular schedule from 7 pm – 7 am each day. Any guests with suspended service will be permitted to stay at the facility, and if demand exceeds capacity at the Bozeman location, HRDC may choose to use the Livingston location as a contingency shelter.

Cash donations to the Bozeman and Livingston Warming Centers can be made online by visiting or can be submitted by mail to HRDC, c/o The Warming Center, 32 S. Tracy Avenue, Bozeman, MT 59715. In addition to cash donations, hats, gloves, socks, hand warmers, and cleaning supplies are also welcomed at this time.

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Friday, Jan. 27th, 2023

Head of Montana State University Alumni Foundation to retire

BOZEMAN – Chris Murray, president and CEO of the Montana State University Alumni Foundation, will retire on Feb. 28.   

Since Murray’s arrival in August 2014, the Alumni Foundation has raised over $630 million to fuel MSU’s people, places and programs. He was responsible for cultivating relationships with alumni and donors and securing private support to advance MSU. 

“Though retiring is bittersweet, the best time to leave is on a high note,” said Murray. “I’d say a $208 million record-breaking year is just that.” 

During fiscal year 2022, MSU announced a philanthropic gift of $101 million, the largest donation to any college of nursing in the U.S. at the time. Six months later, in February 2022, a $50 million gift from the Gianforte Family Foundation was announced that would support a building for MSU’s Gianforte School of Computing. 

Murray was also at the helm of the Alumni Foundation when it launched the public phase of its first comprehensive capital campaign in 2015, seeking to raise $300 million in private support. That campaign, “What It Takes,” ultimately raised $413 million from 41,000 donors, the largest fundraising effort in the state of Montana at the time. 

“Under Chris Murray’s leadership, the MSU Alumni Foundation team helped provide significant opportunities for our students, faculty, staff, as well as academic and research programs through philanthropy,” said MSU President Waded Cruzado. “We’re grateful for his dedication to the university's mission of serving our students and the people of Montana." 

Murray came to Montana State after stints at the University of Idaho and the University of Oregon, where he built fundraising programs and led two significant fundraising campaigns. During Murray’s tenure at the Alumni Foundation, annual fundraising totals have grown from $27.6 million to more than $75 million, and gifts to the endowment increased by $92 million, which nearly doubled endowed gifts, from $98 million to $191 million.  

“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the incredible team at the Alumni Foundation and to have worked with some truly wonderful administrators, staff and faculty at MSU,” Murray said. “The Alumni Foundation team and the Board of Governors are unparalleled and will assure that the tremendous success we have achieved will continue long into the future.” 

“Chris has done an extraordinary job building an organization that is the envy of our peers,” said Greg Collins, chair of the Board of Governors. “His expertise, tenacity and tireless energy have been instrumental in our success and the very real impact on the university, the students, faculty and communities we support.”  

The Board of Governors will work with MSU to conduct a national search for Murray’s replacement. 

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Gallatin County Attorney Withdraws Notice of Intent to Seek Death Penalty in West Yellowstone Homicide Case

Patricia Batts appears in Gallatin County District Court on March 24. Courtesy ABC FOX Montana

Audrey Cromwell, Gallatin County Attorney, filed a Withdrawal of Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty today in the Patricia Batts case. See the full filing here.

Batts is charged with deliberate homicide, aggravated kidnapping, criminal child endangerment and strangulation of partner or family member, all felonies, related to the death of her 12-year-old grandson, James Alex Hurley, in West Yellowstone in 2020.

“After consultation with law enforcement, with the victim’s mother, and with the Attorney General Prosecution Services Bureau, we have decided the best way to proceed in this case is to withdraw the death penalty designation. The victim’s mother is in agreement with this decision,” Cromwell said.

“My heart goes out to Alex’s mom and brother. As a parent, I cannot think of anything worse in life than losing your child in the manner inflicted on Alex. There’s nothing worse that could have happened to him. It is critical that we move this case forward to seek justice for Alex in a way that will put an end to this years-long litigation and will provide closure to the family and law enforcement,” Cromwell said.

Montana is one of 24 states that allows capital punishment — 23 states have abolished the death penalty and three others have a governor-imposed moratorium on death as punishment, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. The last execution in Montana happened in 2006 and two people are now on death row in the state, according to DPIC.  However, a 2015 injunction by District Court Judge Jeffrey Sherlock has put a moratorium on executions in Montana indefinitely.

The average death penalty case takes 12 years, including appeals for post-conviction relief. The costs of these highly litigious cases – including the time of judges, prosecutors, public defenders, and court reporters, and the high costs of briefs – are mostly borne by the taxpayer. Death penalty cases in Montana cost taxpayers approximately $2.2 million per case.

“Death penalty factors increase the time and cost of administering justice. We can secure justice for Alex through a sentence that includes life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. And the millions in taxpayer dollars that would have been used on the death penalty case can be redirected toward crime prevention and response so that what happened to Alex never happens to another child in our county,” Cromwell said.

Two other people were charged and pled guilty in connection with Alex’s death. James Sasser Jr., 49, pled guilty to felony deliberate homicide, felony child endangerment and felony tampering with a witness in August 2021. Judge John Brown sentenced him to serve 100 years for the homicide charge and 10 years each for the child endangerment and tampering charges.  James Sasser III pled guilty to felony deliberate homicide and, in October 2020, was sentenced to the Montana Department of Corrections until he is 18 years old.

Batts’ jury trial is currently scheduled for July 10 through Aug. 4, 2023.

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Museum of the Rockies to open two new exhibits Jan. 28

BOZEMAN—The Museum of the Rockies will celebrate the opening of two new exhibitions, “Under the Arctic: Digging into Permafrost” and “Marvelocity: The Art of Alex Ross,” with an event Saturday, Jan. 28. 

The celebration runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Attendees are invited to wear their favorite Marvel superhero costume, sketch their own superhero at a comic book drop-in drawing program, and shop for classic comic books. The events are free with museum admission. 

Opening this Saturday, “Marvelocity: The Art of Alex Ross” showcases the original multimedia art from Ross’s most recent book. Considered one of the greatest artists in the field of comic books, Ross has revitalized classic superheroes into works of fine art. Attendees will learn about how he developed into an illustrator through his childhood drawings, preliminary sketches, paintings, video and 3-D busts of Marvel Comics characters. The exhibit was developed by the Bess Bower Dunn Museum of Lake County. 

The other new exhibit, “Under the Arctic: Digging into Permafrost,” examines climate change through the lens of a thawing Arctic. Visitors are transported to the Arctic through the sights and smells of the nation’s only permafrost research tunnel and experience engineering challenges posed by thawing permafrost. The exhibit also includes Ice Age fossils, ancient ice cores and interactive games. Produced by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, this immersive exhibit was developed in collaboration with the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska - Fairbanks and made possible by a National Science Foundation grant. 

The exhibitions will be at the Museum of the Rockies from Jan. 28 through May 7. Museum members can access the exhibitions early at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27. Admission is free for members and children under age 5. Ticket prices range from $12 to $18 for youth, adults and seniors. 

To learn about each exhibition and its specialty programming, visit

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News Comments

The Gallatin History Museum found two Bridger Bowl brochures in their collection - one from 1983-84 and the other undated, although it looks to be 1960s. In any case, neither has a little girl on the ...

Bridger Bowl hires new General Manager

Friday, Jan. 27, 2023

I am interested in finding an old brochure from Bridget Bowl. It is in the mid ‘70’s. The front cover has a little girl on it. I know it’s a long shot , but would love to have one.

Bridger Bowl hires new General Manager

Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023