Monthly Archives: March 2015

Do You Believe In Magic?

Someone asked me the other day if my (barely) five-year-old daughter believed in Santa Claus any more. YES! They asked when I thought she would stop believing. HOPEFULLY NEVER. My little one is so full of joy and light and imagination – the happiness and innocence of being a child. She has the mindset that anything can happen. I hope that even when the realities of life set in- even when she is old enough to figure out what is real and what is not- that she continues to believe in things outside of what she can see and touch.

Emers turned five just two weeks ago. She is growing so quickly. She plays hard, works hard and sleeps hard. I can watch her imagination run wild; it is like turning pages in a picture book. With this birthday, Em was old enough to look forward to it, to talk about it and plan for it. Five is a big year. Kindergarten is just around the corner. We had a conference at her preschool this week and got a glowing review; something that you expect in preschool, but it nice to hear, regardless. “Emers is social and curious and likes to explore and experiment. She is kind. She is a leader.” All things a mom could just explode in happiness over. She is becoming the little person we have been raising her to become. All the hard work is paying off.

Emer’s hit another milestone this week. She came home with her first loose tooth; something that to a five year old is about as exciting as Christmas. She wiggled it and wiggled it until that little sucker flicked right out on it’s own at dinner. As I was not with her when it happened, I received pictures and a Facetime call with giddy shrieks and a smile that held the tiniest little gap in the middle of her bottom front teeth. The tooth fairy came, and that spark of light and imagination fired up once again. She believes.

Emers and the missing tooth!

I am watching my child move through these big benchmark moments in life and I take a look at my own. Our family dynamic has changed completely, and I am ok. My studio is started, and it is succeeding. I am rounding the corner on 30 and I feel generally calm about it. I have two degrees, I am doing what I love and I have the best little kiddo I can imagine. I have goals and dreams that I continue to work towards, and I am checking things off my lists regularly. Over all things are good.

I can learn a lot from my daughter. She is smart and concerned but hopeful all at once. When bumps come up she responds quickly, not bothered at all,  with “I don’t matter”. (It’s too cute for me to correct her to say “IT doesn’t matter”.) This short response – It Doesn’t Matter – is one we can all learn a little bit from. It isn’t to say that things in life shouldn’t matter or that something can’t be important to you. It is just to say that when looking at the big picture, all the day-to-day choices don’t really matter so much. Situations will get better, things can be fixed, life will move on. We all make mistakes. We are all growing.

Emerlyn attempts to pour a glass of water from one cup to the next and spills it everywhere… it doesn’t matter. We clean it up and we move on. I lose a student and freak out about finances for a minute… it doesn’t matter. I get a new student and move on. The point is to keep my eye on the bigger picture- the bigger goals- and hit the benchmarks along the way. We never stop growing and we never stop evolving, but some of us lose sight of the magic and we stop believing. Make it a goal today to believe in something- even just for the day. Believe in something outside of yourself. Put yourself out there, make a wish, daydream… and at the end of the day, the outcome doesn’t really matter. What matters is how you get to where you’re going.

Thank you for reading my blog post!

Check out Mockingbird Studio of Voice and Chanson Voice and Music Academy.

Follow @MockingbirdSOV on Twitter.

Please LIKE my Facebook Page.

The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

As my studio is filling and I see the fruits of my labor turning ripe and delicious, I look back at where it all stems from. I remember the moment I decided to start a studio; I answered the question “if you could be doing anything right now, what would it be?” My immediate answer was “ be a famous opera singer.” Well, I am still working towards that… that takes a little more time. That was quickly followed with “Teach. I want to teach.” It was that immediate, non hesitant answer that catapulted me into the creation of Mockingbird Studio of Voice.

It was right around this time when a group of friends and I sat around chatting about life… jobs, school, what to do next. One of them asked me the same question and when I talked about my dream of running a private music school someday she asked why it had to be so far away in my timeline. Why did I have to wait to finishing “growing up” to get started? “Why can’t you do that now?” Ding Ding Ding! Duh, Cass. Good question. Launch the catapult, for real this time. Within weeks I had the plan for Mockingbird Studio of Voice in motion, and I made sure to send my friend a very big “Thank you” note.  Turning your dreams into reality takes time. It takes a determination, focus, energy… and a plan. Often, it also takes some soul searching. Now is the time to get started, no matter what stage of life you’re in. If you are in school and unable to get the ball rolling, at least get those wheels turning… figure out your passions. Pay attention to what makes you tick. What gets you excited? What things do you want to do with your life? What things are important to you? If you are a post-graduate trying to figure out what to do next, or how to get to where you want to be… make a list. Yeah, I said it… make a list. Label it “Dreams” and then start checking them off. Understand that it may not be a quick and easy thing to complete a goal. It may take years to officially check something off your list. Dare I say you may have to make other lists just to get started on one dream? Regardless, get started. You cannot possibly succeed if you don’t try. You really can’t. So change that. Get started.


Don’t be disappointed when the things you want take time. Instant gratification is lovely for a moment, but it doesn’t stand up to long-term happiness. I am still not 100% where I hope to be in my career. Even as my studio is a success on a day-to-day basis, I still have bigger dreams ahead of me. I have goals that stretch beyond my current situation. I have only been able to check a few things off my list of dreams, but every day I am working hard to cross the next thing off.

So, take a moment right now to write down three things that are really important to you. Then write down three things you hope to do in your life. And three things that you have a passion for. Now, take this list and mull it over. What does it mean to you? Is there anything that overlaps in a way to make a couple of things into one bigger idea? What sort of dreams does thinking about these things create? Take a moment to reflect. Then, begin. It is never too early to start thinking about these things, and it is never ever too late to get going.

Now truly is the first day of the rest of your life. Every day. How awesome is that?

 

Thank you for reading my blog post!

Check out Mockingbird Studio of Voice and Chanson Voice and Music Academy.

Follow @MockingbirdSOV on Twitter.

Please LIKE my Facebook Page.

Here’s To Us

It’s been so long since I have written a blog post.

So much has happened… so much has changed in my life.

My last entry, posted on February 2, was about reaching out to people whether or not you think they need it. At that time I was just beginning a very messy family situation; one that will continue to be messy for quite some time. In the last month my mind has been less than focused, my emotions running high, and my productivity level has been far from at peak. However, throughout all of this, my ability to function did not cease, my desire to teach remained in tact, and my focus on the end goal never left my sight. I dove into work as hard as I could manage, granted I felt brain-dead much of the time (totally distracted), and then I made sure to relax when I had the chance to. It has been a month and a half of growth.

Throughout this trying time, my studio has continued to grow! I now have reached 25 students and the expansion will continue. My studio gave a very successful recital a month ago (blog post to come!) and the Lyrebird Youth Choir is really thriving this semester (another post to come!). I have been relishing in the joys of teaching. I have so much to update you all on, so please stay tuned.

As I have been growing in my personal life, I have grown in my professional life as well. My abilities and confidence as a teacher have stretched and I feel really great walking into my lessons and rehearsals. Things are getting easier! I feel prepared to teach without much thought, and I leave almost every lesson feeling exhilarated. I am able to transfer things I work on with one student to the next, regardless of their level, and people are making really great strides! I have had multiple students up their lesson length to get more time to work, which is a huge compliment as a teacher. It is exciting to get to push myself further, too!

I received a text message from a student the other day that said she was mindlessly working on things around the house, listening to music, when a piece from her older repertoire came on. She started singing along, and without much thought she was sailing through sections that used to be difficult, with ease. The technique we have been working on is becoming easier and more natural for her. She thanked me for doing my job. My response to her, and I am saying this now to all of my students, is THANK YOU for doing the work. YOU are the reason the technique we are building is working. The gift and the talents and the passion come from you. I help open the door to what you already hold inside yourself.

It is each and every one of my students that push me to go to work happily every day. It is watching this type of growth, the opening eyes of a singer, which makes me so excited. I have many students preparing for auditions right now- getting so excited to implement with more confidence all the things we have been working on. It is just as exciting for me to watch them go. The burst of energy, the excitement, the desire to learn more as fast as they can, to prepare and conquer the next obstacle is amazing. So, as I go through my own personal struggles, I watch this excitement- I soak up their energy- and I push through. Thank you, students. You have no idea the impact you make on me as well. Here’s to us… helping each other grow.

 

Thank you for reading my blog post!

Check out Mockingbird Studio of Voice and Chanson Voice and Music Academy.

Follow @MockingbirdSOV on Twitter.

Please LIKE my Facebook Page.