Almost 6 months old!

We’re creeping up on our 6th month anniversary!  As director of Velocity, I can tell you that the last 6 months have been the most difficult 6 months of my life.  There have been many nights at 2:00 a.m., when I am still at my computer answering e-mails, filling out invoices, planning lessons, figuring out taxes, ordering music, and calculating teacher pay.  There are many mornings when I wake up at 6 am to take my children to school, drive 45 minutes to my second job (gotta pay the bills!), and wonder just how I’m going to make it until 8:00 p.m. that night, the time of my last private lesson.  It is often at those times that I second guess what I have done, wishing longingly for a life that I had last year when I was “just” a piano teacher.

Indeed, the decision to open Velocity was a difficult decision for me to make.  I knew that I would have to sacrifice personal time, sacrifice my pay, and sacrifice precious time with my young children.  I knew that there would be growing pains, unexpected expenses, and fluctuations in enrollment.  I can honestly say though, even knowing and anticipating all of that, I really had no idea how difficult this would be.  Absolutely no idea!  Now as I look back at the past 6 months, I am also looking forward to the next 6 months, and hope that it will continue to be a joyful growing period.  (I won’t lie though, I am counting down the days to Spring Break!)

When I spend an afternoon seeing all of the music making that is going on at Velocity, that gives me joy.  I hear strains of Bach from the grand piano teaching room; I hear giggles from two little 7 year old girls taking a pairs lesson at the same time; I see little violin students, carefully taking their instruments out of their case; I see the smile of a young guitar student as he greets his teacher with a loud “halloooo Jason!”  In the mornings, I hear excited little 2 and 3 year olds run to the Music Together room, kick off their shoes, and hover around Shara and her guitar and drums.  On Saturdays I see our Suzuki string students standing together, proud as can be, as they demonstrate their proper bow holds.  One Wednesday afternoons, I see a stream of little 5 and 6 year olds coming from our First Steps Class, singing the songs that they covered that lesson.  Yes, there’s a lot of music making, a lot of joy going on in this little space.  Sometimes I have to stop, breathe, and notice all of the music making around me–music making and joy that wasn’t a part of my life 6 months ago.

So, if you are a visitor, stop in sometime!  Hear the laughter, hear the notes creeping out under the doors.  I’ve been trying this week to collect pictures of it all.  I’ll post some private and pairs lesson pictures in this post, and I have some Music Together and Suzuki strings pictures for a post later in the week.

A lesson on our grand piano:

A peek into a pairs lesson:  Here Shane (one of our wonderful piano teachers) has divided the lesson into written activities and playing activities for the girls.

So what are our goals for the next 6 months?  Here are some things that are in the works!

  • Currently planning our April group class week, dividing the students up into sections based on their ages and levels.  Theory, music history, and performing skills, oh my!
  • There’s a new blackboard being painted on the wall of our big room for our April group classes.
  • We are all hard at work planning our summer camps–we have everything from piano camps, to musical theater camps, to suzuki strings camps.
  • Speaking of strings–we now have 8 children in our group suzuki classes on Saturdays!  We hope to expand the program to 25 children in our suzuki string lessons by this Fall.
  • Our First Steps in Piano classes (for ages 4-6) will be expanding over two days.
  • In the fall, we will be adding a monthly group component to all of our private lessons.  I’m so excited about that, because that’s where friendships are formed, where community music learning takes place, and where children learn from each other.

Here’s to the next 6 months!