Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Great testimony

John Henry Newman: “He has not created me for nothing. I shall do good, I shall do his work, I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of the truth in my own place– if I do but keep his commandments and serve him in my calling. Therefore, I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness will serve him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what he is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me- still He knows what he is about- and I trust Him.”

Thank you, Mr. Newman. Good reminder of who God is...and who I am.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Teaching at home

It's time I told you about my First Steps in Music classes, eh?

So these classes are going really well, in my opinion. They started a few weeks ago and this is the 3rd of 12 weeks for the winter session. I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from people, and have felt fairly successful in getting my name out there in advertisement, at least for this maiden voyage of classes.

I have 11 students total, spread out over 4 classes. My Friday classes are definitely the biggest and busiest - I have 4 signed up in the 2 year old class, and 3 (technically 4 because one registration is twins) in the 1 year old class. It is such a joy to watch the kids' faces as their parents do bounces, wiggles, tickles, songs, and beat games with them. It's also fun to feel so supported by friends, acquaintances, and even people I never knew before this as I attempt this new business!

I hope to get some pictures soon...not sure how since I will be teaching the whole time I would be taking pictures....and I need to get permission from those in class. The kids are really super cute.

A couple interesting things I didn't expect/think about regarding this venture:

- I assumed that Isaac would love doing these classes with me since he truly loves to sing and do anything like this at any point.  I forgot that he can be quite shy and stubborn when I want him to do things with me in front of other people.  He doesn't like to participate when I'm not the one teaching, and then have me be the one that everyone is following and he is supposed to stay in my lap and cooperate willingly?  Yeah, that's not really happening.  It's a little disappointing, and I'm fighting the feeling that it reflects badly on me as a teacher of this age that my own two year old won't participate.

- Since these classes are in my house, the children sometimes want to play throughout the house instead of stay and do music class.  I have solved that, at least temporarily, with a gate that I put up to block off the class area from the rest of the house.  It seemed to work this past week, we'll see how it works as weeks go on.

- After class, parents want to stay and chat!  This is a GREAT thing...but not one that I planned on, unfortunately.  The only day that it is a little hard is Friday, because I have two classes back to back, with a half hour in-between.  Maybe the next session in spring, I will try to have more time in-between classes so we start on time and people can get in and out without feeling rushed?  Or maybe I need to set firmer boundaries...still feeling that one out.  Most of the people here on Fridays are good friends, so they feel comfortable in my house, and I feel comfortable letting them hang out as they wish, so it's not nearly as weird as it would be if I didn't know most of them well.  :)  I think if I keep doing these classes in the future, and I (hopefully) have more sign ups, I will have to find a bigger space which will take care of this problem innately, as it won't be a cozy house anymore.

- my cord for my electric keyboard is gone.  Jon took it to church this past summer and returned without the cord, and now we don't know where it is.  Very sad, especially since I REALLY want to use it with these classes.  Now I'm brushing up on guitar skills instead (which, really is not a bad thing).

So far, things are working out.  I am so thankful for the positive feedback and support from everyone, and really hope this continues to work out. Next, I'm hoping to hear from our local library to see if we can do some classes there, and maybe even have some at the Jon's seminary.  Things are moving ahead!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


So, I told you all that I am going to be Despina come spring.

But, I did not tell you the crazy way it happened.

I got a role for an opera and I didn't even audition?!

I mean, I sort of did, but it was the easiest audition I've ever done.

I got an email from a good acquaintance (who also happens to be the audition coordinator) asking if I was thinking about auditioning for their staged concert version of Mozart's opera Cosi Fan Tutte.  I had been thinking about it, pretty much wanting to, but dragging my feet about contacting them because I live in a world where I am often not certain what day of the week it is because I am no longer on a work schedule and then 2 weeks go by, and I'm all like, shoot I haven't done X, Y and Z yet and then I still don't do them.  It's a non-productive atmosphere around here.

Anyway...I said I wanted to audition, but needed to update my resume so I could email it to them.  She said, don't worry about it, just bring it with you and gave me a slot.

Audition day arrives, and my ear is swollen to about 3 times its normal size and HURTS.  Not really sure what's going on, but I am worried it's an ear infection, which adults don't tend to get, and it's weirdly affecting my singing.  I decide to take this as divine intervention and email my friend that it's not going to work and I can't come and I'm sorry.

She replies that they're sorry too and hopes I feel better soon.

Later that night, I have an email asking if I could send a video clip of me singing for a video audition.  Great idea! I think.  However, I do not have a current video of me singing, and although this company does, I am not about to make my good acquaintance do the leg work of my audition for me by telling her to go find my video among their archives and show it to the panel of directors. I tell her I can try to get a video to them by the end of that week, if that was acceptable (and if my ear situation settled down).

Next morning, I have an email asking me if I would be interested in either Despina or Dorabella, just as a preliminary question - or in covering either role (:cover" means "understudy" in opera speak).  I said, yes, either one!

Later that evening, she then informed me that I video auditioned with my Una Voce from the Gala last night and would I like to accept the role of Despina?  And I just laughed and shot back a reply, YES of course!  Thank you!

It is really neat to have this company of singers to work with, who know me and know my voice, and want me in their productions!  I am very excited about this role, and am happy to still have somewhere to preform that works with my current crazy mommy schedule.  God is blessing this dream, in ways I couldn't imagine there for a long time.  :)  SO happy to still be singing.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

dreams and purpose

Well this looks interesting:

“We are called to dream but we’re afraid to. But because we are called, when we don’t act on it we become restless—restless to find purpose, to make a difference in the world, to matter.”

(from this book...might be worth picking up?)
I've been reading more and more about human beings striving to find purpose, and all in seemingly unrelated books, magazines, blogs, songs.  This quote struck a chord though.  I definitely get restless when I take "breaks" from music in my life.