Updated: Nov 22
Thanksgiving is a season of gratitude; and I want to take some time to reflect on and express the things that I am grateful for as a musician, and as a teacher.
I am grateful that I have been fortunate enough to have the skills and ability to build a career that is centered around something I am so passionate about. Making a living in a creative field is no simple endeavor, and I am grateful every day that I get to spend my days making and sharing music, and put food on the table while doing it.
I am grateful for the people who have helped make this possible for me. ~ My parents for supporting and encouraging me through 11 years of piano lessons as a kid. Without their investment and commitment to not only providing me with lessons, but seeing to it that I practiced and applied myself, I would not be doing this. ~ The teachers and mentors that have invested, and continue to invest countless hours and resources into my musical, professional, and moral development. I have been provided with a staggering amount of instruction, guidance, and opportunity that extends far beyond what I could have ever expected. ~ The colleagues and friends who have taken chances on me, and who have trusted me to work alongside them as a musical collaborator. ~ My husband for encouraging me to follow my dreams, finding me the best gear, insisting it was time I get a grand piano, constantly being my roadie, and providing health insurance.
I am grateful for the privilege of working with each student that sits at my piano. It is not lost on me the amount of trust it requires to allow someone to take part in molding your child, or to open yourself up to instruction. I am profoundly humbled by the weight of being a part of the musical journey of so many different people, and I learn as much from them as they do from me.
I am grateful for a thriving local music scene. Fort Wayne is a small city with a large and diverse music scene. The musicians here are generous, kind, supportive, and collaborative; and I am grateful to now call many of them my friends. I look forward to seeing how it continues to grow and develop in the coming years, and I am fortunate to be a part of it!
I am grateful for a world full of sources of inspiration. Art does not exist in a vacuum. We draw from nature, relationships, emotions, experiences, and the vast ocean of expressions that have come before our own. We build our own body of work on top of a world so interconnected, so old, and so teeming with the work of those who have come before us that it is difficult to comprehend.
I am grateful for the people who have taken the time to listen to, engage with, support, and provide feedback on my music. I am grateful for the people who come out to my gigs, interact with my social media, and watch my videos and listen to my recordings. In an ideal world we would create for the sake of creation, but in reality attention is the currency of the day, and the time others give to my work allows me to continue to create it in a sustainable way. If you are reading this blog post, you are one of those people, so thank you!
I am grateful for music itself. As long as humanity has had language, we have had music. Our propensity to organize sounds in order to express ourselves and communicate is a fundamental part of who we are, and music is no less of an expression or act of communication than the languages that we speak. Music connects and binds us, and it represents our cultures and tastes. It is a drive that is seared deep into the most ancient and fundamental part of what makes us human, and it is one of the most pure and honest things that we do. I am grateful to spend my life in pursuit of whatever fractional bit of mastery and understanding of it I can obtain, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to share it so frequently.