I HAVE A DREAM

No one ever taught me about the importance/influence/power of thoughts. No one ever instructed me on how to use it, but I’ve been doing it since I was little to create for myself a world where everything I want is possible and it’s brought to life…in my dreams.

It took a lot of “coincidences” for me to realise that they were more than coincidences, they were actually my dreams coming true.

It has nothing to do with weird beliefs, it’s just something I noticed. I am actually very spiritual and I will credit all of this to God and the way He created us. We are the only creatures on Earth to use words as a speech. Just like He does. And just like He created everything. He said it and it came to life. And we have the same gift. So powerful! If we could just manage our speech and our thoughts…

So last week one of my students tries to explain to me all the reasons why she didn’t exercise for her piano class. Same reasons as all my students have, same reasons every week…I gotta say, they always blame it on their parents and their schedule.🙂

So anyway, she says: “But I did think about the song a lot before I went to bed and I played it in my head, and now it seems as if I exercised it…it feels so easy to play it.” I know for a fact she’s telling the truth, that happens to me a lot, I was just so excited that she got there on her own.

There’s got to be some type of mechanism behind this. Somewhere in your thoughts God gets the opportunity to plant a seed of your future and you get to water it until it bears fruits. Just like everything else.

They should teach this in school. Or in piano classes.

Encouragement

I am uplifted.

This year was the year of challenges, the year of changes, the year of boldness and the year of returning to myself…if that makes any sense.

I felt challenged to make the difficult decision to quit my job. Felt even more challenged when I realised things didn’t go as expected and had to rethink my future and I took on the most challenging decision yet. To dream bigger than ever before.

The mind is a wonderful thing. Either that or God just wants to fulfil my every wish as quick as possible.

As soon as I decided to follow my dream, everything fell into place. And things are turning out even better than I had planned on paper. I wish I could explain the physics of this process better.

So to all of you out there, who are still waiting for a nudge to make the jump, to take the step and give up on the fear of the unknown, who constantly imagine life differently than it is, who wait passively to be thrown into their dreams: just do it already!338db52e0e66a2b8dc95238797ad5669

You will most definitely traverse the entire process:

  • the blank page: NOW WHAT?
  • the enjoy the present moment
  • the I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner. This is where I’m supposed to be.
  • the plot twist: “That’s not how I imagined things would go“. It’s fine. You’ll still make it, but on a different road.
  • the fear – bits and pieces of the fear you let go when you jump are going to hunt you. Resist. It’s just a human emotion, not a reflection of what’s to come.
  • the confirmation – once in a while, even if you can’t see your destination yet, you’ll look back and think exactly what Joyce says: I’m not where I should be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be.
  • the plan – at this point you’ll get inspired, you’ve imagined all the possible and impossible scenarios. And the best scenarios, even if they seem impossible, they are so attractive and your heart is so drawn to them, you can’t live without trying them out.
  • the happening – sweet honey for your soul, you will see it all come into place.

Be encouraged, my friends!

My Best Memories

When Christmas. My mom would cook so much, our small apartment was filled with yummy smells of my favourite meals. I’d sit at the open window between the steaming kitchen and the frozen wind looking at the dark pink sky. It was pink. It was snowing and it was pink. I had my little phone toy and I’d talk to Santa on it. So today anything from coffee to mulled wine to garlic to cold air takes me to Christmas.

We used to live across the street from the busiest hill in wintertime. I miss that view. As we were approaching the big snow covered hill, we would DIE in anticipation that we were gonna slide and scream like all the other 50 kids on it. It was soooo good. I miss sleighs. Do you remember the sound it makes when it slides on the snow? We would stay on the hill even after it got dark and we were so hooked that we would eat snow when we were thirsty just so we didn’t have to leave all the fun for a sip of water. I would get home all sweaty from running up and down, but also frozen, couldn’t feel my toes. I’d hop my butt on the radiator and stick my feet in cold water and I just melted. THE BEST!

Later on we discovered carolling. Put together 2 to 10 kids from the music school and send them carolling and you’ve got yourself a party. Musicians are just the best crowd to be around.

If there are any other Christmas freaks out there, I’d love to hear your memories.

P.S. I am humming 12 Days of Christmas as I’m writing this…

Me & My Dreams

Music Teacher Lifestyle

I was inspired to reminisce on my autumns by Niki’s article. It all came back to me as I was reading it.

Autumns feel different as you grow up.

I have such fond memories about autumn. Autumn meant going to school and I loved school. In fact, I loved school so much I would often find myself dreaming of how it would be to remain a student my whole life. I’m there, alright…living the dream.

We couldn’t afford buying stuff, most of my clothes were from charities, but buying school supplies was a must, so I was so excited to make a list, to go shopping and to label all my notebooks.

School was a safe place for me. I couldn’t do much about my situation at home, but school was my territory. I could be anything I wanted to be.

I had to walk to school, about 30 minutes, the sound of the fallen leaves is so vivid in my mind and the smell of the rain…just me and my dreams walking to school.

When I went to college I was faced with having to cook. I am such a good cook. I didn’t know that then, I was just experimenting, but when I started to cook I would put on jazz and it all felt so glamorous, even though I was just as poor. The food was good, the company was great…happy days.

Autumns are different though when you’re the teacher. Now I have to make the autumns memorable for my students.

So my autumn means new resources and new projects to get the kids excited, planning the Christmas Recital, crafting all sorts of presents, apple pie, mulled wine and quattro formaggi based meals and, I’m afraid, even more jazz.

 

Ode to a Music Teacher

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Music teachers are very important in our school. The music department has to be the glue that holds everything together, the soul of our community and the heart of every event. You are very important and we’ll make sure that you feel appreciated every step of the way.

Of course, we don’t have a music room “per say”, we don’t really have a piano or any instruments for that matter.

The manuals are pretty far from the culture we want to impart in this school, so you’ll probably have to improvise a lot, find a new repertoire, make your own work sheets, find innovative ways to make it work and if it could be all spectacular…that would be just great!

Also we’d love it if you could cover the national curriculum as professional as you can, we want to pride ourselves with how serious music and arts are in this school, but if you could also insert international elements and concepts, devote all your free time to find new and fun ways to teach it…again…so great!

But still, keep in mind that this is not a specialised school, we can’t expect kids to be fully committed to the music classes, so if you could just BE COOL and give them all the highest grade regardless…you know…in the end how much does music really matter?

Yes, you’ll have to work a lot more than any other teacher, who can actually use their manual and more than half of the work is already done, and of course, you won’t be as important as the math teacher…well, for obvious reasons. You might even have to have a surgery on your vocal chords soon…you know…with all the singing. 

We have a tight budget for the music department, we can’t really make it worth your while, but other than that, this is such a great environment to work in and to grow as a teacher. We can’t wait!

IOANA BOANCĂ

COMPOSER – PIANO TEACHER – JAZZ ENTHUSIAST

I greet every day with joy, gratitude and enthusiasm, and I believe my purpose as a teacher is to inspire, to stir up and encourage this sort of attitudes and behaviours. Ioana Boanca

I graduated Bachelor and Master studies in Musical Composition at Gheorghe Dima Music Academy in Cluj-Napoca, where I also studied two teaching modules: 1st Level and 2nd Level – Thoroughgoing Study, which qualifies me to teach children, teenagers and adults. I had the amazing opportunity to learn from some of Romania’s greatest contemporary composers, and to observe closely and assume their passion for music and for teaching.

In all my 7 years of experience I taught music, piano and choir in schools and high-schools, as well as in kindergartens, managing to adapt, to rethink and redefine my teaching style in order to create effective and interactive lessons for all ages.

Right now I am working on my own piano method for preschool children and I am personalizing a brand new student notebook.

APPROACH

There are so many approaches to studying a musical instrument, depending on the teacher, on his education and his experience.
The most well-known approach is the classical one: laying down a foundation of theoretical and practical knowledge, on which we build a large and diverse repertoire, covering all the stylistic periods suiting all ages (Baroque, Classicism, Romanticism, Modernism) through engaging the student and the parents in a laborious journey.
I constantly have to change and adapt my methods to suit my students’ practical needs and their parents’ requests, but there is one thing that never changes, in order to preserve the integrity of the educational process, and that is THE FOUNDATION. The initial intention will always be to establish the music sheet-eyes-finger-piano key connection.
For most of my students, studying piano is just one of their after school activities, next to swimming, tennis, ballet, dancing, etc. This is why I’ve always been and always will be receptive to the idea of maintaining a balance between the students’ play time and their individual study time.
Parents want their child to be challenged to access certain thinking processes that only music can access, but we also want to implement a sense of responsibility.
To this end, the student will always have practical and/or written homework from one week to another with specific indications and suggestions. Aside from unpredicted events, we are encouraging creating the study habit.
As for me, I always try to find new ways to connect with my students and keep the piano lessons interesting and fun, with the profound conviction that my work will most definitely transform and mould their personality and their character.
If we agree on these concepts and no other problems occur, you can be sure to find a long-term professional commitment once you’ve joined the inner circle.
To receive a full presentation of the piano lessons package with all the details included, contact me here: musicteacherlifestyle@yahoo.com .

[Bucharest, Romania]

 

What happens in my piano class – THE UPGRADED VERSION

My piano class has remarkably evolved. I am now entering the fourth year of study with some of my students here in Bucharest. Things are getting serious and I’m doing my best to keep up with their needs and their wants. So I have designed a new format for my piano class starting this year that might inspire other teachers.

The foundation of this new format is my new student manual/agenda, called My MUSIC Journal. I created this manual/agenda as a clever way of keeping all the important lessons in one place, in a specific order and, next to these lessons, I created weekly agenda pages on which kids can mark their study days and their evolution. The agenda pages have a space for teacher observations, a stave for melodic exercise, wether it’s solfegge or intervals, and a line for rhythmic exercise. The lessons include the 4 qualities of sound and everything that I want to cover this school year, from durations to instruments in the orchestra.

My Music Journal

SCALES – of course.

The COMEBACK PIECE. The very first piece of the school year will be slightly easier than the last piece we studied, to start off building their confidence and use this opportunity to revise all the elements.

PERSONALISED REPERTOIRE – I always have at least 3 options for them to choose from. This way I can learn what they like and I’ll get better at finding new material for them and they don’t get to complain about it, because they picked it.🙂

LISTENING – An extra 5 to 10 minutes will be devoted to listening to a musical piece. I already have the list for an entire year. But we will do different sort of listening on the same piece on each piano class. Free listening, listening while following the musical score and listening while watching the performers. In one month, they get to listen a piece at least 3 times and their monthly project will be to paint, draw or colour an image inspired by that piece. I can’t wait to see their works!

All things new!

back

Hello, everyone! My WordPress break is over, I am back and I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone’s been up to, I didn’t get a chance to visit my blogging friends, I was kinda hoping everyone was in holiday…

Anyways, we’re back to school, back to work and back to reflection.

I have to be completely honest. I have a brand new blank school year ahead of me. Even though I’ve been working all summer on new and exciting projects for this year for my students, there’s a little anxiety thinking of it, because when I used to work in an institution, everything was there, already planned out, you could visualise it, all you had to do is show up and do your job and get your paycheck. Now that I’m working on my own, all I can do is show up and pray to God that as I’m stepping forward, things will fall into place.

There is one side of me who is excited about it. It’s that side of me that is speaking from the future, saying: there’s nothing to worry about, things will turn better than you expect! in a cheerful, high-pitched voice.

This particular side comes with a sprinkle of guilt. Because I look around and I see so many people struggling. Not everyone gets to fulfil their dreams, not everyone gets to wake up with a bright and exciting purpose. Makes you wonder…

Then, there another side of me. The one that says: what if one day all my students decide to drop the piano classes…what do I do then? I feel my hair is turning grey just thinking about it. This is the one scenario I feel I should be prepared for and the one scenario that I don’t even want to consider. It’s out of the question!

So here’s to a beautiful autumn, to stepping in faith, to new hope, to new revelations …all things new!

Hope you’re having a nice, chilly Tuesday, as I’m enjoying here in Bucharest and have a refreshing week!

The Happiness Tag

Such an awesome opportunity to reflect on happiness!!!

Thank you so much, Angie, from LivingOutsideTheBox for nominating me for the happiness tag.

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5 Things That Make Me Happy – 

  • Cooking – I always think of the people I cook for and how much they’ll enjoy it. That makes me happy.
  • Teaching – it feels like I can literally reach, touch and change someone’s mind and life. Both scary and exciting. In the long run…worth it!
  • Dreaming – if this counts as an activity, I get happier just thinking of what my dreams are and what I hope will come.
  • Friends – My friends are the best! I rarely get to spend time with all of them, but those moments are memorable.
  • Bananas. Enough said.

5 Songs That Make Me Happy

  • Magnificent, as performed by Darlene Zschech…the harp simply transports me to heaven.
  • Cheek to Cheek – Ella Fitzgerald…of course.
  • It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – yes, I am THAT girl😀.
  • Baby’s in Love – Jamie Foxx
  • Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – WHAM! …it’s not my go to song, but it can’t not make you happy…come on!🙂

5 Nominations: 

Until next time!