It was 11:30pm, and a light bulb went off in my head. A great big, bright, shiny light bulb. It said to stop stressing about things, and start finding solutions. So, I’m sitting in my bead googling the teaching ideas I have running through my head. Did I mention it was 11:30? Thank goodness the next morning had a strength workout instead of a run!

Since I’ve been working through the Soul Detox study with the ladies over at She Reads Truth I have thought a lot about what I say, how I react to things, and the relationships I have with different people. It’s also caused me to take a good look at my violin teaching. Am I being the best violin teacher I can? Or do I get to wrapped up in reacting emotionally to things? I’ve been frustrated with my teaching lately. I’m stressed that several students have left, and my studio is the smallest it’s ever been. But why? While some of the reasons people have left have been “interesting” I still feel that I need to examine myself. I don’t have the luxury of having a professor observe me teaching anymore to guide me when I may fall. I’m an adult. I have to figure out what works and what doesn’t on my own, which is why I was on my computer at 11:30pm googling things.

I have always loved learning. I am a big fat nerd in that sense. When I run I try to push myself to become better. When I practice my violin I am working out technique, and pushing myself to become better. And then it occurred to me that I’ve stopped doing that when it came to my teaching techniques. I’m not saying that what I was doing was bad or wrong. But instead of pushing myself to come up with new, and fun ways to keep kids engaged I would back off and hide when the going got tough. I need to be more proactive because let’s face it. These days if a kid isn’t having fun, learning, and getting better they aren’t going to hang around for a long time. We live in a society that expects instant gratification even if what’s being presented isn’t 100% at it’s best. So if you mention that the stars for a good job go away if you can’t make it through something there’s a good chance you may be less one student the next week. In some ways I feel more like an entertainer than a teacher sometimes.

I use to do teacher training all of the time. When the economy started going down hill I stopped going to training camps, and cancel subscriptions. I forgot how much I enjoyed getting back into the little details of how to teach music, what skills to work on, and how to engage kids. I got so bogged down in the things going on in my life that I forgot about recharging my teaching skills. I miss that! Thanks goodness for google! So now I’m sitting with flash cards around me creating me games, and trying to come up with creative ways to solve student’s issues with the piece they’re working on. I feel refocused, and re-energized.

Braves Father’s Day 4 miler

I’ve been posting so much about violin stuff you’ve probably wondered if I still run anymore. Oh yes! When I get stressed I run. 🙂

One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about my Atlanta Track Club membership this year is the free races for members. You can race pretty much every month, which is what I’ve been doing. The plan that Jeff and I came up with back in January is to do a bunch of shorter races the first 1/2 of the year, and then go into marathon training for the fall. Well this past weekend I did the Braves Country Father’s Day 4 miler, and had a really strong race despite the hills! The super fun part was finishing the race on the field where the Braves play. Oh, and seeing lots of friends!

The course took us around Grant Park, which was a nice change from where I usually run. I really liked it! Still a bit hilly, and we got to run past the zoo, which was naturally on a hill (and a bit smelly). I came out of it feeling really strong. Strong enough to tell my coach that I think I can do 2 more miles at that speed. It’s a really nice feeling to have going into your next 10k!

So, now all I have coming up is the Peachtree Road Race July 4th. Well, that is until marathon training begins because I’ve signed up for marathon #9 last month. I’m actually glad that Rocket City has some small rolling hills on the course. I’m not a big fan of all flat courses. I like the change in elevation, and taking advantage of downhills. 🙂

What summer

I have been dragged back into the world of audition prep. Okay, not dragged. I choose to do the audition prep because I signed up for the audition, but boy did I forget how consuming this whole process is! I’m doing the majority of the work on my own. I just can’t afford the lessons after insuring the new violin didn’t quite go the way we had hoped, and well, instrument insurance isn’t cheap kids. Plus, something my teacher said kind of bothered me. He mentioned that he couldn’t get me ready for an audition 3 months away. Say what?! I feel like I have something to prove! To help I made a little reminder for myself:

With 12 excerpt to learn to play perfectly I have my work cut out for me. Admittedly I have been emotionally all over the map this week, which isn’t helping. Audition prep is technical. You have to be so completely honest about your playing down to the finest of details. There is no room emotional messes from other parts of my life. They don’t help with things like this:

I am trying to aside the fact that I’m tired, stressed, and frustrated by other things. They are out of my control. I can control bow strokes, tempos, rhythms, and intonation. I want this, and I’m willing to put the work in to get it!