I’d been thinking about writing some sort of back-to-school blog post, but I guess it’s already almost November. Boy am I behind! And not just in blogging. It always feels like I’m treading water furiously and barely keeping my head up (which is a pretty accurate description of how bad I actually am at treading water). When I feel stressed in this way, I often get an old song stuck in my head. It’s from a church musical I was in as a child with Psalty, the singing Songbook (or Psalm book). The musical was about a camping trip, and we sang, “One step at a time, one step at a time with Jesus by my side. I’m climbing this mountaintop one step at a time!” (Incidentally, this is the same song I sing to myself while I’m hiking.)
To really give you the full experience, I’ve included a short video from the musical – my first solo (at 5 years of age!). The words to this song are also a good reminder. In fact, it’s a song I can never actually forget, partially because my housemates think this video is hilarious and sing it to me often. Their favorite part is my dad’s bizarre Psalty voice followed by his rich tenor tone when he starts singing – yes, he’s the dude in the blue cardboard box. Other things to notice: 1) my mom playing keyboard, 2) my breath support has always been bad, 3) my 3-yr-old best friend must have seriously thought I was lost because she hugs me bigtime once I’ve been found!, and 4) my dad saying Ahh–ayyymen! Enjoy:
In all seriousness though, I have been taking this semester one step at a time. Both figuratively, and literally! Not only have I tried to limit my stress to whatever a particular day deserves (rather than freaking out about the entire year), I also have been running one mile each day. This has been a roommate bonding experience. Anna and I decided that for the month of October, we’d each run at least one mile a day, allowing ourselves one day off a week. It has been totally doable (just 10 minutes of each day required), and I’m feeling great!
In other news, school is wonderful. This semester, in addition to singing in a million choirs, I’m taking voice lessons, violin lessons, and saxophone lessons, am a teaching assistant for my favorite teacher (Ms. Panetti and “Hearing” class), and I’m taking a class called “Intro to Analysis of NonTonal Music” (which I would like to rename “Music and Math”). The semester is not easy by any means, but I feel much more grounded than last year. Instead of putting my energy into figuring out what I’m supposed to be doing in this program and worrying about what people think of me, I’m actually putting it into music. Ahhh, so refreshing! Two years here is not long enough.
Other exciting topics that I dream about blogging include my current project on prison choirs (I’ll be teaching in a prison this coming Tuesday!), and all that I’m learning in researching my recital music. Which, by the way, I should invite you to! If you’d like to make a trip to New Haven, consider coming on February 10 for my 7pm recital. There’s a lot to be done between now and then, but I’m just gonna keep on taking it one step at a time. Thanks, Psalty. I never imagined that your Camping Adventure would teach me life lessons.