I have several snapshots of my childhood that are in full color, clear as a high-def TV. One includes looking up onto a stage of performers, enraptured with a live concert performance. Time slows down as a brown-haired young 20-something girl heads to the piano to sweetly sing "I Surrender All." Although I was under the age of 5 (I know this because we still lived in Iowa at the time), that moment is forever clearly etched in my mind. I remember whispering to myself, "I want to do that someday." Today, when I play piano and sing, I feel fully alive. I know this is what I am created to do.
There are "clues" in your life that will be illuminated, to help cue you into what you are wired to do. Here are a few ways to decode the clues so you know which instrument is right for you!
1. Watch and listen to as much music as possible
In order to achieve the "Ah-ha!" moment of "I want to do THAT," students should attend concerts, watch YouTube videos, and see live music in action as much as possible. Exposing ourselves to possibilities allows us to recognize what we are drawn to! Keep in mind, when we just LISTEN to music, it is very difficult for the average ear to pull apart the individual sounds. We may LOVE a song, but can't define why. That's why watching music being played is so important! Seeing a guitar player in action, or a drummer on stage allows us to visualize ourselves doing the same thing. Watching well-done videos (like The Piano Guys) is a fun way to get really inspired!
2. Consider your physical size
Different instruments actually require different physical anatomy. To play the trombone, you need long arms! At first, it may be difficult for a young child (under age nine) to press down the strings of a guitar (but a ukulele may be exactly the right fit!). Most kids will love starting with piano to learn the basics of music, rhythm, and reading music in a fast, rewarding way. But never force a child to play piano--that's no fun for teacher or student! The violin is considered a difficult instrument to play (because it takes time to achieve beautiful tone), but determined students should not be deterred from this gorgeous instrument. If you're still not sure which instrument "fits" you, having a consultation lesson with a teacher is a great place to begin. You can feel the instrument in your hands, ask questions, and get the teacher's opinion!
3. Consider personalities and learning styles
I am a very visual learner, which means I have to see things written down for me to remember them. Pictures and graphs really help me understand concepts. I think this is why piano is such a good fit for me. The keys are laid out in order and the music is like a giant graph that is easy to read (for me).
My husband and brother are very mathematical and strategic. This strong thinking brain easily grasps the guitar, whose strings are laid out in a very different pattern from piano (E, A, D, G, B, E) and has different tuning possibilities. It makes MY head spin when they explain how chords are created on the guitar, but they love it!
My (dyslexic) son has an extremely creative mind and learns things by just hearing them, so he has a natural affinity for playing by ear and improvising. He can hear something only a few times and BAM, he can play it. Allowing him to grow his strengths (rather than just focusing on improving his weaknesses) gives him confidence and keeps that love of music growing.
My daughter has tried playing the piano, and so far she just isn't in love with it. Singing, however, makes her truly come alive. She loves performing and voice lessons are exactly the right thing for her!
Many students love music and love playing different instruments, but they will never be a "professional" musician. That's okay! Playing music is a wonderful hobby and should be an activity that brings fun and enjoyment, no matter what the student's level.
I do believe that programmed into our DNA before we were born is the plan of what we are to become. We may have brief moments when we glimpse "clues" of what we are meant to do. This is why we should take notice of those moments! When you put the clues together, you see more clearly the things you are meant to run after! Don't worry--if things are still foggy, but you know you love music, just start somewhere. Anywhere. You can always change your mind later, but getting started is the most important decision you'll ever make!
Every parent wants to be sure that their child is actually ready for private lessons, before embarking on the commitment of lessons. There are a few factors you should consider when determining if your student is ready for lessons:
1. Interest Level
While age guidelines are helpful, what is really important is if your child is the one asking for lessons. I started 3 of my kids in piano quite young. One was not ready at age 6, so we waited another year. My middle two kids started at age 5 and loved it. With my last child, I was determined for her to wait until age 7 or so, but she BEGGED me to start lessons at age 6. She loves it and practices every day without being asked! So you just never quite know what the "right" age, but if they are asking (or BEGGING), then it is time!
Teens who have tried many activities and have discovered that music is their passion will often throw themselves into lessons, taking a 45 or 60 minute lesson per week. They will thrive on performance opportunities and will enjoy joining a performing group, such as Rock Band, or our Homeschool Band or Orchestra. It is not unusual for passionate middle schoolers or high schoolers to devote many hours to music because they really want to.
If your student is constantly playing music, making up songs, and looking up "how to play" on YouTube, they are definitely ready for lessons! Kids who have a natural affinity for music are drawn to it and that's how you know you have a musician on your hands!
2. Attention Span
Another guideline that I give to parents is asking about the student's attention span. Are they able to sit through a 30 minute lesson with a teacher? The lesson will vary in activities, from playing to talking to writing, but if the child is too bouncy to pay attention for that long, it is best to wait one more year!
Don't be discouraged if you have to "quit" lessons for a year or so. We see kids come back to lessons after a few months or even a few years off and then THRIVE because the extra time allowed them to grow and develop. Oftentimes the student comes back more motivated than ever and finds himself having a very successful experience!
Older students may take a break from lessons and decide they want to come back and try a different instrument. Let them! If you ask a musician, it is very common that they tried several instruments before they found their perfect match! I honestly believe every person is wired for a specific instrument. Learning styles and personality styles play into the attraction of a specific instrument. Only by trying will you discover the best fit for you! At Rogers School of Music, you can switch instruments at any time. As students peek in the windows of the other studios, they are often inspired by what they see and hear other students playing!
3. Other activities
A very important factor to consider is how many other activities your child is involved in. If your student is at karate or dance 4 nights a week, plus daycare, plus chess club, plus theatre, it will probably be too much to add music lessons, too! As parents, we want to give our child a taste of everything, but just like over-stuffing ourselves at a buffet, having tried too many things makes everyone want to push away from the table. Students who thrive in music lessons are involved in other activities, but they also have time for playing their instrument at home, discovering new songs, practicing, and enjoying playing (or singing). Most students practice around 30 minutes a day. Students who start school a little later in the morning may practice before school. Those with early school start times will practice after school or before bed. It's important to build in space for practice time, because that's the secret to successful music lessons!
In conclusion, if your student is asking (or begging) for lessons, has the attention to give to the teacher, and has space in their schedule, it's time to jump in! We do not have long-term contracts, you can change teachers or instruments if you are not happy, and with a 30 day notice, you can withdraw. Fall is the perfect time to try music lessons. Give us a call to choose a day and time that works for you, or Request Info for more information on choosing a music lessons provider. We'll see you at the Studio!
Next time we'll tackle: Which Instrument Do I Choose?
We have had a wonderful summer. Baseball and camps and boating and swimming. Late nights and s'mores and biking and cool morning breezes.
But when August hits, I'm about at my limit. We're waking up later and later in the morning and lunch happens after 1pm, if at all. Flip flops are breaking and swimsuits are tight. I'm done being the taxi driver and creative director. Honestly, I just want my schedule back. (Summer lovers, don't hate me.)
The chaos and lack of order is making me twitch. Just a little bit.
I deeply respect those of you that are gifted with the “go with the flow” nature and those that wish summer would never end. You can have my kids for the week. (Just kidding.)
As the chaos, I mean FUN, goes on for another month before fall hits, I find myself grasping at measures in which I feel an sense of orderliness and control. Frazzled moms, I thought I'd give you some tips:
#1: Label cups for each child. Every day the countertop seems to be filled with dirty glasses that were probably used only once for a quick drink of water. This drives me crazy. So, I purchased matching cups for my kids, labeled them (with my handy-dandy-trusty label maker) with my kids’ names, and they sit near the fridge where our water dispenser is located. Yes, I wash them thoroughly occasionally. Yes, I realize the fact that I love (and even own) a label maker means I am a nerd.
#2: Use Whiteboards. I found small, cheap whiteboards online for a dollar apiece, but I have also seen them in the Target dollar section and at the Dollar Store. These things are amazing. I use them a million different ways, but primarily, when we are packing for a trip or just a day at the beach, I will write down all the items that my kids need to remember to bring. The kids place a check-mark under their “number” when it’s found and placed in the suitcase or car. (Yes, we number our children. We speak in code in public using these numbers, as well. “I have 1 and 3! Do you have 2 and 4?” Yes, I realize your nerd alert is ringing loudly in your ears about now.)
#3: Purchase a guitar bag for your guitar! If your kids are like mine, their guitar(s) are all over the house and their music is flying like fall leaves. I invested in a cheap guitar case (really, a glorified backpack for guitar and music) to protect the instrument and my sanity.
#4: Use a cheap canvas bag for music. Bags in my house multiply like little rabbits. We have bags from the State Fair and from fundraisers. Garage sales GIVE them to us. Even Goodwill is now packaging purchases in canvas bags! I use this abundance for various activities. Piano music is in one. Theatre book in another. Awana materials have a separate bag. We have a swim bag and I have a "Mom bag" for sports events. This way, when I'm yelling: “We have to leave NOW for your piano/guitar/voice lesson or baseball/soccer/theatre!!” my kids grab the appropriate bag from the entryway closet and RUN out the door. This isn't a perfect system, but I will put up with a messy entryway (whose isn't?) filled with our various bags because it helps transition from one fun activity to the next.
#5: Books on CD. About this time of the summer, even the kids are tired of the endless fun of summer. I love to read (I have even been accused of being a bookaholic) but getting my kids to read in the summer is not easy. Okay, it’s a little like giving a cat a bath.
One thing that helps is our book basket. It’s in the middle of the family room, where everyone gathers to watch TV (cough— I mean lounge together and laugh and play games.) I throw in books of all reading levels, the new Lego magazine that came in the mail (FREE, by the way at www.club.lego.com), and books I want to read out loud to my kids. When my kids say they are bored, I point at the basket.
But the biggest sanity saver of all? Books on CD. Stop by your library and stock up. Books on CD are a lifesaver while you are driving to and fro activities and your kids need a little creative brain stimulus. (And, BONUS, it produces car quiet that will rival the iPad coma!)
Most of all, moms, let go of the mom guilt. You are giving your kids a great summer, no matter what you've been up to. You love your kids and THAT is what matters most of all! Ignore the messes and let go of expectations--enjoy the last of summer. Even if your summer list isn't all checked off, remember the fun you DID have, for that's what matters most of all!
Whenever you endeavor on a long journey, it’s important that you time to look backwards on how far you've come! This spring, our family drove to Chicago and then took a train to Washington D.C. We didn't rent a car—we used the subway system for all our transportation. It was a lot of walking and transfers, but looking back on our pictures makes me smile. We did it! We made wonderful memories and had a ton of fun!
This summer, we have many improvements and upgrades and activities happening at the Studio! This has caused us to stop and pause and look backwards on how far we've come in the last 16 years. I birthed this company from the living room of my parents’ house, offering lessons to the families in the neighborhood and surrounding areas. The teachers I hired drove from house to house, even in the freezing cold weather. In 2008, we offered lessons at InFit in Albertville, when they were renting the old city hall building. We moved to North Ballet Academy in 2009 and rented rooms in the back of their building. In the fall of 2011, we moved into our current location, with only about 70 private students taking lessons. We've now grown to 300 students taking weekly lessons in Rogers!
This month, we purchased a new piano, added a TV to the waiting room for announcements, and hung up more framed student pictures in our hallways and waiting room! In August, we have an exciting expansion occurring! We are doing construction during the last week of the month to add 2 more rooms to our studio! Beginning in September, we will have 9 teaching rooms, so we can make MORE ROOM for more students!
As previously announced, we are in the process of changing our name from “Signature School of Music” to “Rogers School of Music.” We want to be FOR our community and more visible IN our community! So far this summer, we have sponsored a community baseball team, sponsored Rockin’ Rogers Days, and sponsored Elk River’s ArtSoup Festival. THANK YOU to our students and teachers who performed. It was a FUN day for all!
As we grow and move forward with new studio rooms, new teachers, and new students, it’s important we look back and see how far we've come! As we strive for excellence in everything we do, we strive to make every student feel valued and important. We aim to connect with every parent, because the teacher-student-parent triangle is the strongest bond that we can nourish and grow. Without it, our school would fizzle away. We've been doing this for 16 years and it’s HARD WORK. But my husband and I are committed to excellence, professionalism, quality education, and strong relationships within our school.
We’re so glad that you have chosen to educate your children at Rogers School of Music. This is quite an exciting journey and we’re glad that YOU are along for the ride!
With the seasons shifting and the smells of summer in the air, it’s a great time for reflecting on the past school year and planning how we will spend our summer days. Here are a few thoughts on getting the most from your music lessons.
Lessons with a music teacher is participating in the art of mentoring. When you or your child have a weekly lesson, that time is spent transferring skills and the love of learning from the mentor to the student. Outside lessons, the most effective way of spurring on learning is not nagging to practice. Instead, it is deliberately planning ways to inspire the student. In the car, discuss different musical styles. (Listen to all different kinds!) This summer, plan on attending the outdoor concerts in Maple Grove, on the Town Green or hear the Minnesota Orchestra perform free on Lake Harriet. Try a music festival like the Joyful Noise Family Fest, sponsored by KTIS Radio.
This Spring, I decided to do an experiment with my own kids. Instead of even mentioning, “You should practice,” I began playing piano more often myself. Immediately, the younger kids were drawn to the piano. They watched and listened, and then they wanted to play after me. The older ones started asking questions. We discussed the basics of songwriting, and my 11 year old started jotting down chord progressions and composing music. I said “yes” to accompanying a choir and played for a wedding last weekend. Modeling my love of music has spurred on my kids to play and sing more themselves and ask more questions at their lessons.
What if you aren't musical or don’t play an instrument? How about taking lessons yourself? Have you always wanted to play or sing? There is nothing greater that you can do for your own child’s music education than modeling it yourself. My husband Chris started guitar lessons this year. Seeing him struggle to learn simple songs and switch between chords has inspired my son with his guitar more than any nagging! He loves practicing with his Dad, and figuring out new things together. Education expert Oliver DeMille says “Youth very naturally long for the passion of being inspired, although many would probably not say so or even admit it explicitly.”
3. Make space for learning
Too much clutter in any student’s life, in their room or in their schedule, can derail the love of learning. As you change over the winter clothing into the summer apparel, consider boxing up most of the toys, books, Legos, and “stuff” cluttering your child’s space. Take out those items again when the snow flies—your kids will love the clean space to think and dream (and the toys will feel new again in a few months!) Or, just donate it!
With school out, you may naturally find your kids (or yourself!) wandering over to their instrument or to sing more often. Let practice happen organically—it doesn't have to be a set time and place. You may find yourself playing for hours one day, and then have a stretch when you are traveling and it’s hard to get any practice in. Just remember to create space in your schedule where lazy summer days can turn into strumming the guitar or playing a new piece on the piano.
Let this be an encouragement to you: Learning music starts with loving music. If you turn your head and heart in the direction that you want your arrow to fly, you will hit your mark.
Don’t underestimate the power of deliberately exposing your children to the things you want them to pursue. If you guide them in the right direction, you won’t have to “force” them to do anything at all. Their own inspiration will guide them into depths of learning that you didn't even know were possible!
I have 4 kids in my house: ages 6, 9, 11, and 13. With a new teenager in the house, I’ve been reading a lot of “parenting teens” books. Currently, I’m reading “Have a New Teenager by Friday” by Dr. Kevin Leman. What’s fascinating is Dr. Leman’s take on sullen, crabby, shut-down teens. He points out that because of fluctuating hormones, their opinions and tastes can change day by day, or moment to moment. He says that when we respond with interest in their opinions, instead of exasperation, teens open up and are more apt to share their thoughts with us. Why? This is what Dr. Leman says: “Because your teenager needs to know that somebody in the house cares enough to listen to what he says, even if what he says can sometimes be stupid and can change rapidly from week to week or hour to hour.”
Several of my friends are bemoaning that suddenly their teens want to sleep all the time, don’t want to do their schoolwork, and are forgetting simple tasks that seemed to be habits just a year ago, such as brushing their teeth or making their bed. This “slacking” can be very frustrating to parents! One friend of mine said that music lessons may be a cure: that the arts can help pull teens out of their “funk.” I completely agree!
Music can speak to kids in a way that words cannot. Music connects teens to their feelings—even if they can’t express it to you in words. Music can make them feel successful when the rest of the world seems to be caving in on them. Having a music teacher who works with them one-on-one and who is not their parent, and who values their input and opinions, and is not shocked by their opinions or moods can be therapeutic for the whole family! Many teens express to us that their lessons are the highlight of their entire week!
These teens years are hard-- let’s not slam our kids into the mold of what we think they “should” look like. We need to allow them grow and flourish at their own pace. Allow music to be their therapy—it may be the best thing to help them through these tumultuous years. Let them progress at their own pace and in their own way. Maybe practicing isn’t happening as often as you like. But if they come out of their lesson smiling, you know you have a good thing going!
It’s been a LONG winter! While in the grocery store yesterday, I saw potting soil for sale and I longed to dig my hands into that black dirt and plant some beautiful flowers for my deck and front porch.
It’s funny. I haven’t always liked to get my hands dirty. The thought of dirt under my nails from planting annuals was not my idea of a fun afternoon. However, through the years, I have slowly found joy in helping nature urge Spring along. I have delighted in fully bloomed flowers in June and July—and trying not to kill them in the heat of August!
In college, when my mom would animatedly share about her beautiful perennial flower beds, I wasn’t really listening. I didn’t learn about flowers until I wanted to. Now, I collect books on gardening and flowers. Yesterday, I was Googling the difference between “top soil” and “potting soil.” It got me thinking: Don’t we all learn best when we are genuinely interested in the subject?
I believe that’s true! That’s why music lessons are so fun at our school of music. We take kids who WANT to learn and teach them the music they WANT to learn! If the method of how we are teaching isn’t working, we try something else! Some kids learn best by hearing instructions or playing music by ear. Some kids need written instruction, pictures, worksheets, and diagrams. Others need to just jump in and try it for themselves first. Not one method is “correct”—we just all have different learning styles!
We are excited to announce our new “Ladder System” at the studio! Students, with the guidance of their teacher, will be able to earn awards and trophies. Teachers will quiz students on the skills that they have been working on. All quizzing will be individualized for the specific needs and goals of the student! Ask your teacher about the Ladder System. We’re excited about celebrating the unique abilities and accomplishments of our unique students, as they learn at their own pace!
I get told this a lot: “You’re so lucky.” Lucky that your business has grown. Lucky that you live in the country on 3 acres of land. Lucky that you get to travel so much. People, luck has NOTHING to do it. The fact is, I’ve worked really stinking hard to get where I am today.
When I was in elementary school, I would enter singing contests. I won a lot of medals, mostly because my mom was a music teacher and she strategically picked out songs that fit my voice and range. She set me up for success—it was no accident.
In high school, as I shifted my focus to playing piano, I never won a “Superior” ranking in the high school contests. I always came up short, taking home an “Excellent” ranking. I was studying with a phenomenal piano teacher who was more concerned with my proper technique than showy pieces that would win me medals. That hard work paid off when I got to college. My piano teacher was pleasantly surprised at my level of proficiency with classical music and with my sight-reading abilities. Neither were accidents—I had teachers pouring into me, teaching me those skills.
All through college, as I worked toward my major in music, I didn’t really stand out in the crowd. There were always pianists better than me. Vocalists that got chosen first. I kept my focus on my practicing and studying, not really worrying about comparison. I left nothing to “luck” or “chance.” I just worked really stinking hard.
In May of my senior year of college, when the college professors announced the end-of-year awards, I was distracted, looking down at a paper in my lap. I wasn’t even looking up when they called my name for Music Graduate of the Year. My friend sitting next to me elbowed me and hissed, “That’s you!” I was completely taken by surprise. I had never ever expected to win an award. But my music professors all saw the same thing in me: Determination and hard work.
When it comes to building my business, I’ve done much of the same thing: I’ve focused on working really, really hard, not worrying about others around me, and with determination, I’ve built Signature School of Music one level at a time. Imagine my surprise when I won “National Studio of the Year” in 2012! And then, in 2013, the city of Rogers awarded me with the “Small to Medium Business Excellence Award!” I was stunned. In fact, I cried. I have never wanted the spotlight—I’ve just wanted to work hard and push myself for results. Sometimes, though, you have to glance up and accept your award. That’s what I did in college, as I walked down the aisle to accept the “Graduate of the Year” award and that’s what I did the last two years for my business awards.
What’s next? Lots of hard work, diligence, sweat and tears. I’ll keep working hard, and I guarantee, whatever success lies in the future is NOT pure luck. It’s the result of diligence, research, prayer, and tears.
Whatever YOU are working for, be encouraged! Your efforts WILL pay off! Stay the course. Keep your eyes focused straight ahead, work hard, and enjoy the ride!
Music lessons are generally private, one-on-one lessons between a teacher and student. Most students take lessons for 30 minutes, once a week. The price of music lessons can vary in price from $20 per lesson to $35 per lesson. Why such a difference in price?
Private music lessons are comparable to other activities such as karate or dance, but are generally more per hour because the student gets one-on-one attention from the teacher, versus being in a longer class with many classmates who are generally all moving at the same pace.
When researching how much you should pay for your music lessons, it is helpful to consider the factors that play into the differences in pricing around your city and around the country.
Teachers who have experience teaching for many years and with hundreds of teachers will (and should) charge more than a high school student wanting to teach a few neighbors to gain teaching experience. Teachers who have taught for many years will understand the needs of their students, their goals, their learning styles, and their learning needs.
Teachers who have studied with professors in college with advanced degrees and who have acquired advanced degrees themselves, will, understandably, charge more for lessons than those who have never studied music past high school. Remember that while it is tempting to pay less for lessons for your beginner student, in the long run, it will cost more time and money to fix bad habits than to learn the correct skills from the beginning. Beware of any teacher who says "I only teach beginners." Anyone who cannot take you past the basics probably does not have the advantage understanding the long-term journey of music and poor habits will not be corrected early on and may result in frustration and even injury.
Incomes and cost of living vary greatly from Minnesota to California to Iowa. When setting their rates, teachers will take into account the average income in their area and price lessons accordingly.
Expect to pay more for lessons in a music school versus a Community Education program. The reason is most likely due to the things listed above: Community Ed programs want to offer a broad selection of various learning opportunities for their community, including art, gymnastics, karate, pet care, and music. Therefore, Community Ed programs will often let anyone teach--regardless of their experience or education. While Community Ed might be an affordable option to begin with, it is never as serious or professional as a music school that is run by professional musicians who hand-select their music teachers based on their teaching philosophy, techniques, education, and personality.
If you are looking for a quality experience with music lessons, you want the experience to be a good one. You can find music lessons in the basement of a neighbor's home, in the sanctuary of a nearby church, in the back of a dance studio, and even in the music room of your school. There are also teachers who will offer to come to your home. These lessons are often distracting--with mom making dinner, siblings playing nearby, and homework looming. Lessons in a music school, however, will elevate your student's experience to the next level. Parents will have access to professional desk staff that will handle the scheduling and financial questions (without taking away valuable lesson time), and your student will be able to peak in the windows of fellow students taking lessons on a variety of instruments, to be inspired to reach for the next level in their musical journey.
If you opt for lessons with a neighbor or at your church, your options of lesson days and times will most likely be limited to a specific day per week. At a school of music, with dozens of teachers and a wide variety of open hours, you are more likely to find a lesson time to fit your family's busy schedule and that works around your other activities. Another huge advantage is that siblings can take lessons at the same time, on different instruments. This cuts down on driving and waiting time for the parents!
7. You get what you pay for!
I personally hate spending money on a haircut. I often wander into the local chains, hoping to pay only $12 for a quick haircut. I always regret it. The cute, young hairstylists are straight out of beauty school and have no idea how to manage my natural curls. They often just try to "follow" the previous cut without looking at the whole picture. After weeks of frustration, I always end up going back to my expensive, professional hair stylist. The funny thing? That expensive haircut lasts longer and is more satisfying than the cheap one. Music lessons are often the same way! You want lessons by someone with experience and knowledge and skills and who will look at your as an individual with specific learning needs. In addition, when I eat at a fast food chain, I may roll my eyes at the service (or lack thereof), but I realize that it is cheap, fast food. When I go to eat at a white linen restaurant, the staff is amazing and the food is to die for! Remember, you always get what you pay for!
As you research music lessons, remember these different factors as you make your choice! Don't just ask about the price-- ask your music lesson provider lots of questions, so you can make an informed decision!
I kind of get tired of everyone talking about “New Year’s Resolutions.” Dieting. Lifestyle changes. Goals. Vision.
January seems full of hype and then a quick letdown. The cold weather and sickness can be downright depressing at times.
I encourage you to do something different this year. Instead of pushing yourself to accomplish a new goal, how about you look backwards? Grab your calendar and look at all the things you DID this year! Check your Facebook page and celebrate all the awesome moments you experienced.
We all need encouragement and a pat on the back! “Slow and steady wins the race” but it doesn’t feel too exciting at times. If you picture yourself as a snail, take the time to look backwards at the trail you’ve been traveling and see what the last year (or last 5 years) has held for you.
Celebrate the milestones you’ve experienced! If you only ever reach, reach, reach forward, you will risk discouragement at how far you have to go. Instead, celebrate how far you’ve come!
Have you formed new friendships? Traveled to new places? Moved? Tried something new? Gotten healthy? Made it through a really difficult season?
I love to journal. Flipping back to see my frustrations and joys from the last year is encouraging to me. I made it! We’re here—the year 2014. Our studio and our family has experienced some pretty huge moments this year and I think it’s appropriate that we take a deep breath and just enjoy all that we’ve accomplished.
No matter what you’re going through or facing, this note is to encourage YOU. Look how far you’ve come! Look at what you’ve pushed through! That’s something worth celebrating!
Jen Hickle, Author
Since I was a little girl playing "school" in the garage with the neighbors, all I've ever wanted to do is teach. I'm passionate about passing on knowledge to other people!