Tuesday, November 1, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving - Day 1

I'm new(er) to the blogging world. It seems like the big thing to do is a "series" of some sort. For example, last month tons of people did a 31-day blogging challenge...they chose a theme and wrote a post each day of the month of October. I saw it advertised on different blogs beginning in September, and thought, "wow! I should do that!" Then, I forgot about it. Once I remembered, October was starting and I hadn't thought of anything to write about. Today (very last minute, I know), I got the idea to write a little something each day in the month of November about what I am thankful for. I'm sure this is done all over the blogging community and isn't a new, revolutionary concept at all. But, I'm in a season of life where I just feel behind all the time. I feel like all I do is work to get caught up. I rarely take the time to stop, reflect, and be thankful for the blessings in my life. This is my effort to do that. Somedays I may write paragraph after paragraph. Other days it may be a sentence or two. Thank you, in advance, for reading, and I want to encourage you to join me. Take a few minutes out of your busy, hectic life to stop and write down something you are thankful for....in a blog, in a journal, on a sticky note, in a comment after reading these posts...whatever works for you! 

Today I am thankful for my occupation. For those of you who don't know me or what I do, I teach piano lessons through my own studio. While I may not follow all the business rules and do everything the official/correct way, I own and operate my own fairly successful business. I'm thankful that I have the opportunity to do that. I get to set my schedule, choose my work hours, and run things the way I want to. Plus, I get the blessing of teaching some incredible students who have a passion for learning about music. I love getting to see how music and playing the piano influences individuals differently (and how those students impact me!). I can see that just in a single day of teaching. 

Just thinking of my students today...

My one adult student, a woman in her mid 30s - She has always wanted to play the piano. She grew up in the Philippines, and her family was not able to afford lessons. I hope when I'm in my 30s in several short years that I will have the continued desire to pursue my passions and maybe even to learn something new!

3rd grade boy - Today, he recorded himself playing a short, 3-line piece on the Clavinova. After listening to his performance, he quickly assessed what he needed to improve (something he probably would not have done a year ago), and we figured out how to fix the problem. After a couple minutes of practice, he recorded himself again. When he listened back, he beamed with pride at his perfected performance, and said, "man, I did really good on that!" I beamed with pride as well and thought, "he just realized the sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with achieving something you have worked hard on!" 

High school freshman girl - She's only played for about a year but has such a passion and drive for music. I see each week in her lesson how much attention she pays to every single detail. Sometimes she has a question about something in each measure! She is always striving to improve and wants to know what she can do each week to make her pieces better and to become a better musician. 

3rd grade girl - She's been taking from me since I started teaching in Amarillo. She's always played well, but this year, she has just improved by leaps and bounds. She wants to be challenged more and more each week. Over the summer, she wrote a piece. I helped her get it onto paper (although she did most of that herself), and then put it into Finale for her and printed it. We decided last week that it would be one of her fall recital pieces. In her lesson today, she edited the piece a bit and chose, on her own, where to add a couple of repeats. She also played for me another original composition she was working on. Composing scares me to death. I am grateful for the challenge she provides me to be creative and go outside the box! 

4th grade boy - He's one of those who just talks and talks and doesn't like to sit still. He jokes with me and gives me a hard time by sort of acting defiant (even though he's the sweetest thing...) and asking "why?" when I have him do something. I joke back, and we have a good time. His family belongs to our church. He was baptized a few weeks ago. He wants to learn as much about music as he can to develop his talents to he can be a Christian musician when he grows up. He said (and I'm "borrowing" this from his mom's facebook wall) "I want to be in a Christian band when I grow up. The two things I love most - God and music. How can you go wrong!" Wow...what more can I say! 

7th grade girl - She's amazingly talented, both vocally and pianistically. She's a great musician. She pushes herself so hard. Today, I had to tell her that she might need to relax and not be so hard on herself. I'm thankful for my life experiences (and having a similar personality...I know exactly how she thinks and feels!) to be able to relate to her and help her through a stressful couple of weeks. What a blessing to get to encourage young students! 

High school senior girl - She loves music. This is her 3rd year of piano. I think she seems to find refuge in music. She can express herself. It's a personal thing for her. She doesn't like performing for people. While I don't necessarily "perform" for others always, sometimes I forget to play music for myself. She causes me to remember the fun in just playing things for fun! 

(If you made it this far, thanks for bearing with me. This became one of those paragraph after paragraph posts although I really had no intention of it being so!) 

So, in summary, today I'm thankful that God has allowed me to share my love and passion for music with others and to be able to teach them to enjoy it too. And, I'm thankful for having such a fabulous group of students who inspire me and teach me as well! 

What about you? 

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