A big low and some great highs

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The past four weeks have hit me hard. There have been some major highs and some big low points. Just before the Carnival break started I got the flu. It completely wiped me out for an entire week and if it wasn’t for the strength of my husband and the kindness of my in-laws, I can only imagine how worse it could have been. I will never go another year without the flu shot. I hate that helpless feeling and I just felt sorry for myself the whole week. It was my winter break. A time to relax, recharge, have a little Carnival fun, and do fun things with my family. None of that happened. The only thing I got to do was sleep through the night for 10+ hours a night and watch a lot of Netflix. So in retrospect, perhaps it wasn’t a total loss.

And then it was right back into work. In one week I had two performances with the community drummers and singers. It was a week full of female empowerment and great music. I feel so privileged to be working with these women. The singing group performed at a theatrical performance all about feminism. It was beautiful and we all felt grateful to be a part of it.

My friends and I dragged our kids out marching through Maastricht to have our voices heard as part of the Youth Climate March. Three moms, six cranky kids, lots of rain, complaining, and tears, but a lot of fun too. We did it for ourselves mostly, but deep down we want our kids to know we stand for something. It felt good to be a part of it.

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On Sunday my friends and I went to TEFAF to be a part of what puts Maastricht on the map. It’s always an enriching and beautiful experience. I’m really missing my friend Antoinette. I’ve had so many artful experiences with her over the years and there’s a whole in my heart now that she is living in Italy. I miss her artistic perspective.

And finally— a beautiful performance with my students on Tuesday after a very difficult Monday. Monday was such a low point for me. I had a schedule change and ended up teaching for 5 hours straight without as much as a coffee break. Then to pick up Flora, the exhausting swim lesson, and in the middle of all of that an uncomfortable phone conversation with a good friend of min. I came home and started crying because after dinner because of the stress of everything put together.

It felt so good to make a 180 the next day! I was so proud of my students. It was such a great process for me preparing them for this short 45 minute assembly. And the icing on the cake was a bouquet of lovely flowers and homemade card. “Thank you for making music class fun.” Amen. I feel so grateful to have a job that challenges and enriches my life. I live for performances like these. It is so fulfilling.

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Music for the Mind & Soul

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Morning view of the Oude Gracht in Delft

A few weeks ago I was in Den Haag for a master class weekend with the course I’m taking at the Conservatorium. Talk about stimulating. I haven’t been pushed that hard (in a musical way) since undergrad at Ithaca. It was such a stimulating and challenging weekend. I felt so invigorated, humbled, and inspired. The course had two visiting professors from the Kodaly Institute in Hungary presenting musicianship, rehearsal techniques, and choral workshop classes over the two days. It was eye opening.

Their level of musicianship blew my mind and what they expected from us as music teacher also blew me away. Ha! Sometimes we were all just laughing because it was extremely challenging. But, it felt great! I loved it. One of the afternoon workshops was entirely about creative choral rehearsal techniques. I had never seen anything like it before.

I feel so fortunate to be on this journey. Jaap holding down the fort while I’m away singing all day with other nerds. It’s just fantastic. Thanks babe!

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My Little Jazz Man

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Jeker Jazz was back again this weekend in Maastricht. It’s a tradition that Jaap and I have maintained over the years, dating back before kids! Exposing our kids to music is important. Will they be musicians? Who knows? But, it’s important for us to be exposed to good quality music. The good thing is— they enjoy it. This time there was an added bonus. Some fun swing dancers added to the mood at Tapijn Kazerne yesterday. Flora loved the dancing, Thibault actually sat still for 5 minutes to hear a tune, and Jaap and I enjoyed some good music. Sunday fun day!

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