Lysette Offley's Sound Choices
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Celebrations all round?

Dear <<First Name>>,

Many congratulations to the 352,590 students who discovered this week that they've got the 'A' Level exam grades they need to go to their first choice universities.

"Alex got into his first choice university today - so thank you."

There have been several proud parents who've thanked me for helping their child learn to revise efficiently and it's very rewarding, especially knowing that they've got those skills for life. After all, not everyone needs to or wants to pass exams, but simply having the necessary skills to learn and retain information gives them the option.

But what if your child didn't get the grades they needed, and you're afraid they've already ruined their chances of a happy and successful life? 

I appreciate you're probably disappointed and upset. You might even believe that your child didn't try hard enough, so you might be frustrated and even a little angry... but let's get it into perspective.

No one died! And there are many ways to skin a cat (horrible expression - I must stop using it!)

In this day and age, there are a multitude of routes forward. So get creative and listen to your child. What do they really want to do with their future? Do they know? Or are they reflecting your values?

We all have our own model of the world: how it works, who we are and how we fit into it. It's only natural that we advise our children from our own impressions of what's important and what's possible.

But the world has changed since we were kids!

A lot!

So maybe what we thought we knew isn't the only way after all.

p.s. If they're facing resits, do remember that they'll need to do something different if they're to get a different result the second time around. Maybe developing some robust and effective revision skills is the thing. In which case, give me a shout, and let's get on top of it quickly so that your child begins to feel optimistic and positive about it as soon as possible.


Reported by the Telegraph this week:

"The proportion of students passing their A-levels has dropped for the first time in three decades following a clampdown on exam re-sits and a shift towards tougher subjects."

Three decades? Actually, more precisely, 32 years - the year that Nige and I took our 'A' Levels. And each year, until this, as grades have increased, so have the criticisms that standards are dropping.

But that's not our kids' fault. All they can do is their best - under whatever circumstances are thrown at them. I expect they're sick and tired of being told by us wrinklies that, "We had it tough in our day!"
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More Celebrations

Having just hosted the Festival and then the Fringe Festival, here in Henley, we're now enjoying the Rewind Festival, and more bopping to the music of our youth. It's fab that our favourite pop stars are doing the rounds, entertaining us old codgers all over again!

Holly Johnson, Mike & The Mechanics, Level 42, Sister Sledge, Rick Astley, Marc Almond, Jason Donovan, Nick Heyward, one of the Thompson Twins(!), The Boomtown Rats, UB40, Jimmy Somerville, Tony Hadley, Bonnie Tyler,  Howard Jones and Hazel O'Connor...

Ah, I remember them well. 

Hart to Heart

I'm delighted to report that some of my readers found out about this brilliant opportunity through my newsletter. Lynn's doing a great job and her parties are going from strength to strength.

Following the success of the first party, when 72 lovely single people came to the Hotel du Vin in Henley,  Hart to Heart has announced its next party for single, sophisticated and sociable people.

Monday, 29th September at Danesfield House, midway between Henley and Marlow. 

Founder Lynn Hart said “I was delighted when 6 couples found one other at my first party and I’m looking forward to introducing more at the second party in September. 

I’m keen to use different venues each time and introduce lots of fresh faces." 

Invitation is by email only

Or go to for more information. 

Creativity is a muscle

If you were wondering…(and I know some of you worry about this sort of thing!) ... how great musicians improvise –you know,  make it up as they go along – new research has shed some light on where in the brain, the processing happens.

It’s probably not where you think, because it’s not some magical, spontaneous gift from above after all.


It turns out that it happens in the same part of the brain, the cerebellum, where much of our other, ordinary, conscious processing happens – such as engaging in a conversation.

How mundane!

However, cramming a bunch of talented, improvising musicians, one at a time, in an fRMI machine, revealed that a part of the brain that allows us to plan and (some of us – ha ha!!) to self-regulate and censor ourselves, becomes less active. Meanwhile, as expected, parts connected to the senses – seeing, hearing, feeling, become more animated.

Perhaps, most interesting of all, there’s increased activity in the medial prefrontal cortex, associated with autobiographical story-telling. (Ooh, don’t we just love talking about ourselves!!)

So what you get is, a decrease in inhibition, but a heightening of senses and self-expression.

No surprise there then!
And perhaps there’s no surprise that 6 year olds who’d had musical improvisation classes at school demonstrated a significant increase in creativity and originality in their musical activities, while pupils who attended conventional, teacher-led classes didn’t.

Meanwhile, improvisation exercises in the workplace, designed to break down inhibition, but heighten attention and self-expression, help employees develop creative, constructive business thinking.

So if you’ve ever got out of something a little uncomfortable by declaring that you’re not creative, think again!
Read Later
Lysette Offley is known as the “Head Fixer” as she helps people with anything that involves using their brain!
For example: 
  • Emotional & behavioural challenges, such as anxiety, phobias, stress, addictions
  • Difficult medical conditions e.g. M.E., Anorexia, Focal Dystonia, Tourette’s
  • Discovering your learning preferences so you’re guaranteed to pass exams easily.
There’s a common process to all:
  • Filter out the noise (The conflicting, confusing & debilitating misinformation & poor advice.)
  • Make sense of your emotions (Understand what they’re for & how they help you make the right decisions, leaving you free to achieve your ambitions.)
  • Tune into your brain power  (Discover how to use your brain for better results – automatically.)
Sounds Positive - Stop Struggling, Start Living

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