Thursday, December 30, 2010

How less Zen and more Busy is my secret to a happy life!

One of the blogs a I sometimes visit is Zen Habits.  I just went there today and came away thinking...I really am NOT looking for that type of Zen-ness!  (So minimalist that you have to be careful what you eat and you no longer have a car...)  I love my work and the busy-ness of my studio life working with busy, energized children.


It is not simple work that I do.  It is complex emotionally, spiritually, creatively and professionally.  I stay focussed simply because of the complexity of it all.  It is physical work so I eat well and do not worry about my weight.   I have a million things to do and I like doing them all.  I often wish I had more time in the day and more days in the week.  Sometimes I run from thing to thing.  I have energy and I feel good.  I sleep like a rock.  I feel I am doing something meaningful for families.


Having a car (not so green, I know!), running around planning, creating and collecting for my classes is a TOTAL THRILL for me.  It energizes me and I realize that after 18 years of building this business (busy-ness), I have built a life that completely reflects what I really LOVE about being on this planet...the JOY OF MAKING MUSIC!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Parties at Musicalia!

Last week was party week at Musicalia!
We celebrated the coming holidays with potluck feasts, instrument play, paperplate skating and dancing with the Northpole.

Some days we played with our favorite gingerbread boy puppets.


Some days the children and their families were greeted with the Orff Orchestra already set up as they entered the room.   Each child and parent would choose an instrument to play and then the storytelling would begin.  We'd get to the end of our story and then we'd all move around the room to find something new to play.  
We'd tell the story again...and again...until it was time to clean up!



Here I am...building excitement for something...

Musicalia classes are complete until January!

Now is the time to relax and enjoy the holidays...like Moka...except he is relaxed ALL the time. 
Everyone's favorite little puppy.

Now if only the rains would stop so our basement at home would stop flooding!
Yikes.
Christmas in Victoria.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Zen Habits Christmas ideas

I love giving and receiving gifts.  When I read this I wanted to share it.  It's a blog entry from Zen Habits but it is support for enjoying less gift buying.




I was reminded of a family that participated in Musicalia classes many years ago.  They decided in their extended and immediate family NOT to give gifts.  They would gather together as a family and they would sing and prepare a meal.  


The mom told me it took about 2-3 years for everyone to feel comfortable with this new tradition but they all became comfortable and their Christmas was transformed to something she felt was more human and more meaningful for them.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

North Point's iBand

I just found this posted on one of my favorite blogs and thought I would share it here as well!  It's so inspiring and catchy!


Merry Christmas!



Sunday, December 5, 2010

Symphony for children

My aunt plays violin with the Victoria Symphony and it's always such a treat to see and hear the symphony now.  

The Victoria Symphony, 2009 picture linked from their website

Not that it wasn't great before but when you know someone performing while you are in the audience, the experience somehow becomes filled with even more anticipation and positive expectation, not to mention all the opportunities to go backstage and take a peek as the performers pack up after the show.

Today the Victoria Symphony is performing a special Christmas show for children .  These performance take place throughout the year and last for 1 hour.  Just perfect for kids.

The event today is The Bear and The Snowman, both stories by Raymond Briggs.  
I have been excited for all the children at my studio who have parents who are taking them to see this show.  I've been hearing about it for weeks!  I think I might have been wishing I was a child and could go to the show too.

This morning at my weekly breakfast with my grandmother, my aunt and uncle show up with a ticket for me to the children's show!  They just tossed it onto the table...wahoo!

So...off I go to hear the magic of the symphony bring the magic of Raymond Briggs to life!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas is coming!

We're getting ready for Christmas parties and performances at Musicalia!  The welcome room and entrance are festive with tree and lights and Christmas and Hannukah books for children.



The music room is garlanded and the tree is on top of the piano!  The children LOVE it and stand gazing at the little birds and the big owl sitting in its branches. 

The anticipation and excitement are building!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving

It's American Thanksgiving this weekend and I'm going to use that as an excuse to list some things I am grateful for in my life.

During last month's Canadian Thanksgiving we were in the midst of mourning the loss of my husband's best friend and preparing for his memorial service.  I was definitely not in the mindset to write anything on a blog!

Right now I have more emotional space and motivation to feel gratitude.

I am so very grateful to my husband for his attention, sense of humour and willingness to be an active, helpful, supportive, loving being in my life.  He'll cook for me, shovel snow and sprinkle roadsalt for me at work to keep my students and families safe as they come and go.  He makes my feel my life is complete even when something might be missing! 

I feel gratitude each time I walk in my music studio for the opportunity to sing and dance and play music with so many loving families. 

I am grateful to have our little dog, Moka, here too.  He makes us all smile and cuddles up every chance he gets!

I am grateful to have my work and the ability to make music everyday. 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Science of Babies

My husband and I watched a National Geographic show on TV a few weeks ago.
It was about the first year of a baby's life.  


Everything was fascinating but the one thing that keeps sticking in my mind is the face of the orphan from Romania.  That little boy spent the first year of life looking up at a plain, white ceiling for most hours of his day.  He received little to no human interaction and it has permanently affected the way he behaves with other people.  He can not "read" faces and he has trouble understanding the needs of others (let alone himself).


Babies learn to read faces in the first year of life.  The seeds are sown at this time for how to connect emotionally to other people, how to feel compassion...extremely important abilities in everyday life.


When I hear or read about "the future" of technology and how people don't need people the way they used to because of technology I think about these kinds of children.


There will never be a time that children don't need parents and community - loving ones - and I think the real value in technology/facebook/and other social media is that they add another "tool" in our communication toolboxes...not that they replace face-to-face, shoulder-to-shoulder interactions.





Saturday, November 20, 2010

Music as a second language.

You've heard of ESL? English as a second language?

More and more I meet parents who want their children to learn to speak music.  They don't want a classical education per say...but they want an ability to speak musical language...to have an ear for music...to be able to communicate in Music with others.

When you think about music and children from the developmental perspective of learning a language I think the performance expectations change from "get it right" to "way to go...nice try".

Different attitude entirely!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sir Ken Robinson entertains us again!

 

Sir Ken Robinson - an 11 minute animated talk...interesting and fun to watch!


Such great thoughts on education and how we can begin to improve our education systems by incorporating aesthetic education (education through the arts!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Moms have better imaginations than you think

I played piano for years beginning at about 3 years of age and as a teenager was still not a fluent player.  

Somehow between the ages of 12 and 18 my skill level and performance ability just blossomed.  My mother was incredibly insistent that I would learn and play music so I could have that as a life skill.  She just did not give up...and believe me...I fought her about this.  

She even had our piano teacher move into our house!  So I lived with my piano teacher for many years.  While this might seem remarkable to some of you...I am amazed we all lived with my mother!

I had many musical friends and I seemed to be less able than all of them at that time.  Most of those friends didn't play piano though.


They played easier instruments (well...to me they seem easier) like violin or viola or a wind instrument or a brass instrument.

With those instruments you read one melodic line of music and that's it. That's it!


With piano, you read two different clefs simultaneously.  So your brain has to remember two systems of dots and then each hand plays a different system (different notes) at once.  It's a harmonic and contrapuntal instrument.   So much more going on with piano.


More dots on the page to decipher and translate into something musical.   Not as challenging as the organ though!  Look at all the keyboards the organist has to play and think about...the organist even plays tunes with foot pedals.


In the end, my continued efforts took me far beyond what my friends might have imagined!

My mom had a better imagination than all of us in our short-sighted teenager years!  

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sing for bliss!

I sing with a choir called CapriCCio Vocal Ensemble.  It's a choir you need to audition for or know someone within the choir who can vouch for your skill and musicality.  

It's not one of those fun community choirs where anyone can join and no one needs to know how to read the music.  Having said that,CapriCCio  is challenging and blissful for me.  I experience little joy singing with the non-auditioned type of choir.  (I don't seem to have this issue with instrumental groups, however...I'm okay playing with mixed levels on instruments for some reason.)

 
We were sight-singing (that means we were singing from music we had never seen before) our new Christmas concert repertoire the night before last and I can tell you we all sounded stilted and uncoordinated, hitting wrong notes and mispronouncing the French or Latin text.

The director was patient and frustrated at the same time.  He let us know we were not okay!  As choir members we were looking sideways at one another.  Yet, we will figure it all out as we always do and be ready in about a 5 or 6 rehearsals for our public performance just a few days before Christmas.

None of us developed our skill overnight.  We've all been playing music and singing since our younger days.  Some of the members have perfect pitch and are comfortable singing solos.  Some of us do not have perfect pitch and are not all that comfortable singing solos.  We all love to sing in ensemble though.

We all sing for bliss!






 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

When is it worth the investment to nurture your child's musicality?

Is it worth it?

I think that is the thought that is underneath a parent's questions about a child's ability or seeming non-ability.  How do you know if it's worth it to pay for lessons and give these opportunities when you can't see the result right away?  How do you know if it's worth it if the child is not always performing for you?  What if they are not even particularly joyous about it? Hmmm....

I'm not talking about child prodigies here...children who play at an almost unnaturally high level at a very young age. 
 Mozart playing piano at an adult level and he is only a child.

There definitely are children who seem to have obvious natural talent.  The child is more coordinated with an instrument somehow or the playing seems to "flow"...the playing is not stilted.  It appears that they are "natural".  

In my experience, this just does not predict outcomes years down the road.  Sometimes the child who seems to be working away with less result will one day be the shining star!  And that child grows up to be someone who enjoys playing music beyond childhood.

It's my belief that exposure to music and learning through music are never wasted opportunities.  Children carry in their hearts the joy of making music as children and teenagers.

It's always worth it!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How fun can change people's decisions - The Piano Stairway



Such a great example of how having fun affects behaviour.


This is why I focus on having fun when introducing children (and grown-ups) to the world of making music!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Becoming a Performer

My thinking about performance with respect to young children is this...

Encourage, encourage and encourage! 
Be positive!  Be happy!
Be respectful too.

Praise is different than encouragement.
Praise can lead to giving up while encouragement can lead to increased effort.

Praise can be given without even paying attention.  Encouragement requires us to pay attention to details...to the child and what they are performing.  Encouragement implies we are expecting a positive outcome and looking for the good in the performance.

Before children become self-conscious (and there is no set age for this) everything they do seems to be a performance.  Life is a performance!

We enjoy watching babies learning to walk, fall down, walk...we encourage them.  We certainly don't criticize them while they are developing.   We don't point out what's wrong with their gait (because their legs are short and they are wearing diapers)...we express joy at their efforts or we just allow them to "be" without comment.

We enjoy the process.  We let that process happen.

Once children are older there are diffferent approaches to their efforts.  In music learning and performance there is sometimes an over-focus on "getting it right" because...well...getting it wrong just sounds bad.  Getting the notes wrong in music is kind of like the falling down part of learning to walk.  Eventually the notes will be right.  It just takes as long as it takes.

Just ask Grizelda the witch (aka Wanda) about getting those notes right.  It's a process!

Stage performance is another thing entirely...and I'll talk about that another time.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Music I'm thinking of using for a puppet presentation this year


According to Wikipedia...


Zbigniew Preisner studied history and philosophy in Krakow


He never received formal music lessons and he taught himself about music by listening and transcribing parts from records.   He acknowledges Paganini and Jean Sibelius as his influences.  He has composed a long list of music for films.


That's remarkable!


Somehow, in my mind's eye his music evokes English subtitles.
I also see a dramatic play of marionettes dancing through the room.


I wonder what the children will see when they hear this?





Thursday, November 4, 2010

I wish I'd recorded it!

Last week was Halloween Week at Musicalia.
All the "big" kid classes had halloween theme songs, games and dances and plays to perform.
It was exciting, fast-paced and fun.
We ended each class with apple-bobbing.


One of the Maestros classes is in their 1st year of guitar & harmonica, 2nd year of violin and 3rd year of recorder!

Being new...and being a guitar...the guitar seems to be the favorite instrument right now!

The kids have learned the E minor chord.  This is an exciting chord because we and can strum all the strings (instead of just 3 or 4) and sing that spooky song...


"There was an old woman all skins and bones.  Oooooooo
She lived down by the old graveyard. Oooooooo
One night she thought she'd take a walk. Oooooooo
She walked down by the old graveyard. Ooooooo
She saw some bones a layin' around. Ooooooo
She went to the closet to get a broom. Ooooooo
She opened the door and  BOO! (we all turn our guitars over and drum the back of it on the word "BOO")


It was a feel-good class that day because they kept asking to sing and play it over and over and over and over.  It became meditative and calming and the children felt confident and competent.  


I asked one of the dads (who happened to join us that day) to pluck low E and B alternatively on the cello.  What a great bass line!  
There was a 3 year old there with his mom and we gave him an E note tone bar to play.  He had a solo "boo" after each time we sang the song.  


It was a magical, musical ensemble experience.


I wish it for all 7 and 8 year olds!  I wish I'd recorded it!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Inner speech...what is it? how do I nurture it?

Inner speech is the process through which we hear ourselves think and listen internally. 
Inner-speech should be in place by the age of 8. 


How can you tell if inner speech is not in place?
Children without inner voice need to hear something to understand it.  Without a developed ability to process internally and think internally children may have difficulty thinking through their problems.  Sometimes you see impulse control problems because a child needs to move to think.  Sometimes the child will act before thinking it all the way through...sometimes we all regret that!


I like to begin singing songs that practise inner speech when children are almost 3 years old.
To enhance inner speech try:
1.  singing in rounds (singing in rounds may be more successful with ages 6 and up though)
2.  singing songs like “B I N G O” (where you think the words-using inner speech...clap the inner speech part in order to "feel" it)


Sing songs with actions so the actions help to keep everyone focussed on where we're at once the inner speech parts begin part way through a song.  Some examples:
3.  Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes, knees and toes.  
     Head and shoulders, knees and toes, eyes, ears, mouth and nose.


4.  Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill.  
One named Jack and one named Jill.  
Fly away, Jack! Fly away, Jill!  
Come back, Jack.  Come back, Jill.


5.  Birds have a beak.  
Cats have sharp claws.  
The elephant's trunk is very smart but fingers do it all!


6.  Any of the songs in Jos Wuytack's little yellow book, "55X Funtastic - 55 songs with Movement".


7.  Using any poem the children know and leaving out key words so the children have to fill them in.



Monday, November 1, 2010

Use a kazoo to develop self-esteem?! hmmm...

A wonderful music tool for young children is the kazoo. 


Kazoos activate bone structure because of the vibrations. 
This activates the vestibular system. 


Playing kazoo can positively impact language development! 


As a child plays kazoo, he or she is developing self-esteem (anything this much fun...or tricky to figure out....has got to develop self-esteem!), internalizing rhythms, having fun and establishing the beginning of inner voice, a skill necessary for higher-level thinking. 





Saturday, October 30, 2010

Using your whole brain instead of just half a brain.

Did you know that printing (as a non-musical example) primarily uses function from one side of the brain, while cursive writing requires function from BOTH sides of the brain?
I only just learned that.   


I like the idea of using a whole brain.  


You've heard of "use it, or lose it"...well...
I like the idea of supporting our children to live life in such a way that they use whole brains too!  


Music activities prepare the brain for more difficult tasks needed later by preparing the brain to work from both hemispheres. 


For some reason, musical activity requires function from both sides of the brain.  Not all non-musical activities do.   


In fact, studies that look at what parts of the brain are working during different kinds of activity show that playing a musical instrument uses more areas of the brain than almost any other activity. 


Wow...


Because of this, participation in musical activity helps to train the brain to focus in certain ways.  Music helps the brain to process higher-level thinking.


That means that musically trained bodies and brains result in increased emotional maturity, intellectual capacity, ability to plan and execute a plan.  All great life skills.


Music is a tool to help wire the brain to reach this higher level of thinking. 


When we put instruments in a child’s hands in the early years, we are teaching them an activity that is positive and will last them a lifetime. 


What a wonderful gift to give our children!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Music and movement education enhances memory skills & retention and language development.

With the help of cat scans, we have been able to see what happens to the brain when listening to music. 


Each component of music affects a different part of the brain, 
e.g. a familiar song activates the left frontal lobe, timbre the right frontal lobe, and pitch the left posterior. 


One side of the brain processes the word while the other processes the music – activating the whole brain ensures higher retention in learning. 


Short-term memory has the ability to hold only seven bits of information. 
If bits of information are bonded together, as in a song, it can be processed as one piece. 


By condensing the information, the brain is able to receive and process more.


Wow...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Become involved in a children's music & movement program if you want to...

...nurture your child's language development.
...increase your child's ability to retain knowledge and information.
...nurture your child's inner confidence.
...nurture your child's physical coordination.
...nurture your child's social skills.
...nurture your child's ability to sing.
...nurture your child's ability to play an instrument.


If you want to nurture your child's ability to play three or four instruments then come to Musicalia!


That's what we do at Musicalia...we are multi-instrumentalists in the making.


We play instruments from baby shakers and giant drums and Orff instruments to violins, cellos, pianos, guitars and ukuleles beginning at 18 months of age!  


By age 10 we are able to play many tunes on the violin, guitar, recorder, harmonica.  
We play in ensemble.  We have fun!  


And parents do not have to know how to play any instruments to support their child in this process.

Truly.


It's always exciting...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Decide what you believe...

Do you really believe that musical movement activities benefit children's physical, musical, creative, spiritual, intellectual, emotional or social development?

The research is overwhelming and supports the belief that 
children benefit from
active,
hands-on and feet-on
engagement 
in music and movement.

Active music-making develops 
the personality,
physical coordination,
academic intelligence,
cooperative behaviour,
creativity,
self-esteem,
self-confidence,
and
joyful expression of the spirit of the child.


Your strongest beliefs will determine the choices you make for your child.


It's worth believing in the benefits musical learning has for all children.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Plans for Musical Living

Plan on getting really good at forgiving people for just being people.

Plan to show kindness everyday.

Plan to keep going when you mess up.

If you think you don't know how or the plans are not working...improvise.

Refuse to compare your progress to the progress of others.

Plan to say yes everyday.

Plan to say thank you
everyday
everyday
everyday.

Monday, June 28, 2010

"Almost everything you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." (Mahatma Gandhi)

Today that reminds of the value of kindness.   Kindness is something I treasure.  

I married my husband because of the kindness that emanated from his being. 

I wanted to be friends with a girl when I was in school because I thought she was kind.  Eventually she became a close friend and more than 30 years later we are still friends.

Children notice kindess.  Most of the kids I know (and I know thousands...) value kindness above wit, money, fashion, nice cars, a big house, the latest sneakers, fancy food or even fun when they see it modelled by the grown-ups in their life.  Grown-ups have a huge influence in this area.  

Be kind to others in front of your children and they will be kind to others when you're not around. 

Kindness was one of the positive attributes modelled to me in my childhood by my mother.   She also modelled things that were much less positive.   Fortunately, what I really remember and feel in my bones is the importance of being kind.  I know that comes from watching her care for my younger, handicapped sister.   This sister was brain damaged from birth and also had cerebral palsy.  She didn't live with us.  She lived in a group home away from our home for most of her life.

The look in my mother's eyes was full of love and kindness when my sister was present.  It didn't matter that her hair wasn't combed, or her clothes weren't matching or tidy, or that she yelled in a really big "outdoor voice" when we were inside a restaurant.  It didn't matter that she couldn't speak and would hit to get attention.  Nothing seemed to matter except responding in kindness.  What an important role model my mother was for me in those years.


Kindness is looked on as insignificant by many.  It doesn't necessarily save a life, make you money or make you smarter or more capable.  It just makes being on the planet with everyone a kinder place to be.


That is valuable to me.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Daddy says...."I don't get it!"

Confessions from the dad...
"I can honestly say that I didn't get it,"  the father says to the mother, "I didn't understand why you kept taking our son to those music classes with Susan.  I didn't say anything and I went along with it but I was wondering what on earth a child that small can really be learning?"  

(This child started with me when he was 6 months old.  I finally pushed them out of the musicalia-nest last year...after 12 years.)

The father continues...

"Now I see that it was building a foundation.  
He has such a well-trained ear for music and rhythm.  He loves listening to music and he has confidence.  I can see now that it was all those classes when he was so small that built that foundation."


So, 13 years later, the son is playing in a rock band.  He listens to music and learns it quickly.  He has confidence to try out his ideas.  He loves music and is a capable, engaging and entertaining musician even at his young age. 

After this most recent recital the father came over and gave me a hug, thanking me for instilling a love of music in their son.  

It was one of those rare "dad" moments when the dad looks at you so sincerely, eyeball-to-eyeball and just says "thank you" in such a way that a teacher can really feel it.

I loved that moment.  

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Warning: Music-making may enhance human attachment capabilities!

Beware!
Music making creates stronger bonds between people.
Stronger non-verbal bonds!  These are bonds with heartstrings.  Attachment that lasts.


Cutting the strings is routine at this time of year for any teacher and I am no exception.
Students grow up and move one. (teachers grow up and move on!)

Yesterday was the last party of the year.  (a bit of a relief because now I am having a bit of a holiday)

This last party was also the last Musicalia party for a creative, talented, fun-living, popcorn-eating bunch of kids, some who've been with me for 10 years. (more than a bit of sad...)

I know we'll keep in touch and I'll hear about their milestones for many years to come (for instance, I'm off to a gr.12 graduation ceremony tonight for a young woman who studied/played with me for 8 years (ages 3-11).

Knowing we'll keep in touch is reassuring but I still feel attached (and sad!)
with a song in my heart - artwork from lorettaalvarado.com...so beautiful!

Beware!  Music making creates stronger bonds between people.
I think it may also create stronger people!

What do you think?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Love at First Song

You've heard of love at first sight...well...how about love at first song?

I've had so many children come by lately to meet me and see the studio.
The parents are for the most part, looking for a playful, child-oriented program (thankfully! because that's my "forte") and not for a didactic type of lesson (something more traditional and teacher-oriented).

I don't think there is anything wrong with the teacher-oriented type of lesson.  I have just seen so many children leave with excitement bubbling up and music pulsing through their bodies once they've had a chance to make up their own songs (and not mine) on some beautiful instruments.

So, the child walks in for the first time and is instantly drawn to the  Orff Orchestra set up in the room....mallets at the ready...songs pour forth!

These children are already musical.  They respond to opportunities for creating beautiful melodies.

It's as though they fall in love with music as soon as they play their songs on the beautiful rosewood bars of the xylophone.

As we touch the beautiful wooden bars we are improvising in C pentatonic...mommy on the metallophone, Susan on the contrabass bar and the child on the glock or the bass xylophone.  It sounds so lovely they just keep playing and playing.

What's next?! they say and then they try the piano, the guitar, the harp.  It's all so magical.
Then the bad news...classes have filled in the last day...and my private lesson times are fully booked as well...now what???


Maybe one day there will be another teacher to work at Musicalia.  I can dream!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Music Makes Us Healthy!

Love this quote...

 "We are approaching the point where a doctor would legitimately be negligent not to actually recommend music as a therapeutic intervention."(Cynthia Wunsch)

taken from:
Check it out.  Cynthia teaches classical music and has some interesting things to say about music and its benefits beyond the obvious musical ones.

Imagine a what life is like for children who are regularly participating in a creative musical education program with a broad variety of listening experiences, movement, puppetry, multi-instrumental learning and hands-on theoretical learning designed especially for children under age 12.

That's what I call "enhanced education".
Check out my website...that's what we do here!

Musicalia 
Music and Movement Education for Babies and Children

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How music transforms a child's life...completely inspiring!

I love watching this man!

You can feel his passion for music and people and just being involved.

Gustavo Dudamel, originally from Venezuela, is a product of music approached as a passionate discipline from a young age.  Wow!!!  

click on this...
Gustavo Dudamel on 60 minutes

Just watch this piece from 60 minutes.  It's so inspiring.  (and only 12 mins long)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Victory...depression...they're all just feelings...so it must be a job for Super-God

So...just a few weeks ago someone suggested to me that I should seriously consider working at McDonald's because I'd actually make more money per hour if I did.  I thought after all these years I would have a thicker skin about the money comment but I found myself looking at my life and wondering what I'd done with it.

I began to feel quite depressed.  My thoughts were draining my energy.  I had to shift my focus.

Shortly after that I remembered that wonderful TEDtalks video by Taylor Mali and watched it  (three times quickly in a row!)


This video is guaranteed to give a teacher that elusive !VICTORY! feeling.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Starting a blog

I'm excited to be writing again.  I've been so busy the last few years moving my music studio (twice!) and getting married (once!) and moving house (twice!) that my regular routines of researching and creating kind of fell by the wayside.

All those life changes and upheavals have meant 7-day music teaching work weeks at 12-15 hours per day minimum...this working with young children really is front-end loaded!

I've been feeling a little tired lately and realized I needed to re-charge my creative teaching self.  So...I'm taking some time away from teaching this summer...off I go to yoga, the gym, the beach, spend time with my husband, take some naps and the start of a blog.  

I have never blogged before...but it seems like something my personality might like (a brain that won't let go of an idea, a mind that thinks constantly of what's next, a love of people and writing, not caring about the money...I recently read that you shouldn't blog to make money because you won't make any!)  Check out  Penelope Trunk's Guide to Blogging.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Welcome to Make Me Musical !

I just called my husband to ask him what he thought of my various blog names  ('Make Me Musical !' was my first and favorite choice).

Luckily, when I read them out (all 2 of them) he liked the one I liked. (Phew..)

He said, "Perfect!" (I love that word)

And then he said, "Of course, it's erroneous...but it's perfect!" (I'm not as fond of erroneous...I liked perfect better)

Of course, I agreed with him on the erroneous thing...

"Yes," I said, "I know that no one can really 'make' anyone musical but so many people DO think I can make someone musical."

"Yes," he said, "it's the perfect (I love that word) title for your blog."

:)




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