This year was a time of great change for my husband and me. In May, I graduated with my Master of Music degree. We also moved to a new state. It has been an adjustment to be out-of-school. I still keep myself just as busy as I was during grad school, but it’s a different kind of busy. Instead of having a schedule where nearly every half-hour of my day was portioned out to a class, rehearsal, or other appointment, my schedule is suddently much more flexible. Now I have the flexibility to choose when I complete the items on my “to-do” list. And I have to time to work on various projects that I never would have had time to do during grad school.
Do I miss being in school? Yes and no. I have always loved school. And I haven’t had a break from school since Kindergarten. That’s 19 years of formal schooling! But, of course, education and learning does not have to end when school ends. I am continuing to develop myself as a professional through reading books/magazines, attending conferences, attending local association meetings, staying in touch with my colleagues, and blogging/reading blogs. I’m so thankful for all of these resources — especially for this wonderful community online! (What would we do without the internet?! My network would be so much smaller without it!) Deciding to stop after my Master’s degree was a tough choice for me. While a small part of me would love to be working on a DMA or PhD right now, I am thrilled to be finally “living the dream” and doing what has been my goal throughout those six years of college: running my own teaching studio. I learned SO much during the coursework for my degrees, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to be putting it all to good use now. All that time, money, and effort for college was so worth it.
Most years, I don’t bother to make a New Year’s resolution, but this year I do have one. My goal over the next year is for my husband and I to learn how to budget effectively and in general to be more aware of our finances at any given time. When we were both full-time students, our finances were pretty straight-forward. As things become more complex, we’d like to have a good system established for tracking our income and spending. This, of course, includes keeping good records for my business as a piano teacher. I asked for a budgeting software this year for Christmas that I hope will help with this goal.
Another goal, of course, is to continue growing my studio. I am proud to be teaching 11 students, which is not bad considering we’ve moved here just six months ago. We are still getting familiar with our new surroundings, but we consider ourselves very blessed to have found a good church home, to be living in a lovely old house that is perfect for piano teaching, and to be making new friends. (And guess what — there’s even a group of us local teachers who are working on starting a new music teachers association affiliated with MTNA!)
Best wishes to you all as the 2011 comes to a close and the New Year approaches! And, Merry Christmas too, of course. I’ll be taking a break from blogging for the next week or two as we spend time visiting family. See you in January!