Blog Post #1: Continuing Your Education After School
For the last few months, I have been contemplating starting a blog. I hesitated for three reasons.
1. I know that writing a blog requires some commitment from me as the writer.
2. I am a procrastinator when it comes to writing.
3. I do want to be Amy Adams in "Julie & Julia". I actually love Amy Adams and I am not trying to insult Julie Powell ("Julie" was who Amy played. "Julia" was played by Marvellous Meryl). And it could have been the screenwriter's fault too, but Amy as Julie in "Julie & Julia" is her WORST ROLE EVER. She is truly annoying and whiny in that movie. If I ever sound like her while writing this blog, someone needs to message me, email me or call me and tell me!
I liked writing in high school and I loved reading growing up. I was, and still am, a slow reader, but when I had the opportunity to to write an essay or to read a good book (or a good edition of PEOPLE magazine... hehe), it was fun. However, like most university students, after the umpteenth essay in March 2014, just before I completed my degree, I swore off writing.
As some of you may know, I officially finished my undergraduate education back in June. While I did not like writing papers by the end of my university career, I came out of UofT unscathed and happy that I had received my degree. You could say that the past seven months have been an adjustment because I have not been out of school in seventeen years. Trust me, there is a lot of soul-searching after you finish school and I was no exception. Luckily, I currently have a teaching job at a music studio that treats me really well and needless to say, I love it! I love teaching kids where middle C is (no sarcasm there... I promise). I also really enjoy teaching all ages, and as long as a lesson is fulfilling to the student, it is fulfilling for me. However, teaching is only one of the things that I want to do.
A little more on this teaching business. My parents are educators. I was very lucky to grow up in a household where there was such an emphasis on education. On top of that, my parents were very accepting of the mistakes that my brother and I made throughout school because they, of all people, know that childhood/adolescence is about making mistakes and learning from them. They knew that getting a bad mark in school was not the "be-all and end-all" of your school career. However, they did teach us resilience and the question always was, "Aimée, what are you going to do to make this situation better?"
Naturally, being a music teacher in a elementary or a secondary institution has crossed my mind because of the stability that comes with the profession. However, I did not want to ignore the thrill that I currently have when I perform. Unfortunately, as most people know, being a freelance musician is not always stable, and you have to find work, like weekly teaching or performing opportunities that will cover your basic needs like rent, groceries or medical expenses and will allow you to save for future independent projects that you may have in mind. It is not easy. But, as cliché as it sounds, if you love something, you have to take the first step forward to ensure that you are at least trying to make your dreams a reality. My dream is to be a professional musician and that not only entails performing, but also includes teaching. No, being a professional musician is not about being a "weekend warrior" and playing bar gigs. It is about finding ways to creatively expand your thinking and your artistry. It is about performing, teaching, writing, producing and so much more in so many different combinations. You learn by listening, seeing and doing. I know I might not be rich or famous, and for me being a musician is not about that. But I know that I have goals that I want to make happen, and I firmly believe that I can make teaching and playing music happen at once and make a solid living out of it. Why can't you have it all if you want it? As everyone says, you cannot know unless you try.
The learning does not stop, though. There are always things that anyone can do to better their career and that applies to every profession out there. My short-term goals are releasing my album in May and getting my grade eight piano with the Royal Conservatory in June (something which I started a long time ago, so I am finishing what I started). My long term goals... oh boy so many long term goals. Two of them are receiving my A.R.C.T. in Piano and going back to school to get my Masters in Jazz Performance/Pedagogy. My biggest long-term goal I will leave a mystery and I will only announce it when it actually happens. I'm not saying that it will happen but I am going to try really hard to achieve this goal in my lifetime, even if it takes me until I am 70. These goals all involve moulding me to be a better performer and educator. If you love what you do, your career and life should include moments where you are letting others educate you, moments where you are educating others and moments where you are educating yourself. And as my parents taught me, life is about resilience and not giving up. And that’s the gospel truth…
That all being said, I want to channel my experiences and learning opportunities into writing a blog. I know I swore off writing seven months ago, but I believe that this will be an excellent opportunity for me to keep up my writing skills. It was be a positive blog and I will attempt to write bi-weekly, if not, monthly topics and the posts will be up for discussion. I will commit to this, I will not procrastinate and I will not sound like Amy Adams in “Julie & Julia”.