Professional Accomplishment!

Yesterday I had my first professional accomplishment in a long time.  And it felt great!

Before I became a mom, yes, I had a life.  I was a middle school chorus teacher, before that a K-8 music teacher and simultaneously taught private voice lessons at a music school.  I love to sing, and really discovered that I love teaching other's to sing too!

When I was in the K-8 school, I realized something very important... I don't like kids.  Let me correct myself, I like MY kids, but I don't like OTHER people's kids.  Actually, I do like other people's kids... but not in groups.  I learned that teaching K-3 was NOT for me.  Too many "I miss my mommy", "I hurt my finger", "I'm sleepy"... I couldn't deal.  Things started getting better with 4th graders, but my heart belonged to my middle schoolers.

The next year I went to work in a public middle school teaching only Chorus.  It was wonderful.  The music was great, the kids were inspiring, the work I was doing was valuable.  What I didn't love was the disciplining.  There were always those few that ruined it for everyone.  I was also at a very low income school, and the lack of funds were disappointing and depressing.  I stayed there for 3 years, for the kids, until I moved to Greenville to become a full time Mom.

I have been teaching private voice lessons since I was a Senior in college.  I have always worked at after school music facilities that take care of everything for you.  They have their rates set, they set your appointments and deal with your cancellations.  They also set up recitals and allow you to participate with your students.

Since I had taught in a public school, a private school and in an individual setting, I was able to realize that my favorite form of teaching was one-on-one, individual private voice lessons.  You get the best of everything here... a dedicated student with a real desire to learn and an appreciation for music.  Because there are no grades involved, there is no pressure and no discipline issues.  It really is all the fun of teaching with none of the annoying paperwork, politics or disciplining involved in a school setting.

So when I moved to Greenville, I decided to go solo... I had worked at 2 different music schools and saw the way they operated... I could do this.  I put a small blurb out on and before long I had my very first student.  At this time, we were living in a 2 bedroom apartment and Marco was just 2 months old.  I would put him in my carrier and he would sleep or watch as I taught my one lesson per week.  Pretty soon, one student became 2 and then 3 and so on!  We had to make arrangements to get into a bigger apartment and have Mauricio come home from work to take care of Marco so I could teach a few back to back.

As I got my space, and things became more consistant, I began feeling a lot more legit.  These students were sticking around because they were learning and having fun while doing so.  At the turn of the year, I had 10 solid and consistant students.  I decided my next major step was to have a recital to show off all the incredible work we'd been doing.  So we set the date, and got to work.

Yesterday was that date.  June 4, 2011 was the first time I put on my OWN studio voice recital.  I had 10 students performing 19 songs.  The recital was held in the theatre at Coffee Underground, and we had a small reception afterward.  My students ranged in age from 6-20, and we had a variety of songs... some Broadway, some pop, some country, some worship.  It was wonderful!

I felt so encouraged by our success yesterday and know that this is what I'm supposed to be doing.  Although I only work 3 hours every evening, I know that I'm making a big impact on the lives of these students and enriching their love for music.  God has done an amazing work in our lives by giving me the opportunity to do this... He has provided the students.  Currently I have 13 students, and He continues to open more doors for me all the time!

Here is a picture of the group of performers from the Spring 2011 Recital:

You can check out my website here.  It's a little bare right now, but we'll be working on sprucing it up, adding pictures and videos from the recital.
We'll be planning our next recital for December!


Unpolished Parenting said...

That's really awesome! I'm so happy for you and it sounds like it was a very successful event!