Good morning! I’m back from my trip to San Diego, which was amazing in every way. The weather was perfect – sunny and in the 70s every day – and the city definitely lived up to its reputation. We had a great time hitting up all of the tourist destinations, but I think my favorite aspect of the trip was just enjoying the resort, where we hung out at the beautiful beach and spent more time by the pool than I care to admit :) I have to say, it was really difficult to leave such a wonderful place and come back to Illinois, where it was cold and pouring down rain when we arrived, but it’s home. I’m glad to be back and blogging again!

And that brings me to today’s subject: my new office and studio, from which I write most of my songs and do my blogging. Beginning in June, I will be teaching all lessons and providing music therapy here, which will be a nice change after going to my students’ homes for the past two years. As my practice has grown, it’s been hard to keep up with all that driving; I’m sure many of you know that feeling! Now on with the tour.

My office/studio is located right off of the front hall, which is convenient in that my students don’t have to go traipsing through the house to find it. The nearby living room will serve as a waiting area for families.

Here is the bookcase that houses the many music books and binders I’ve accumulated over the years, as well as books and other resources I use on a regular basis. My guitar hangs out there when it’s not in the trunk of my car, along with a small keyboard for the little ones and a MIDI keyboard I use for recording.

This keyboard is mainly for my own use, though I may move it into the hallway and allow students to practice on it before their lessons. Above the keyboard, I plan to create a bulletin board featuring my students’ pictures and studio news.

My desk, where I spend a ridiculous amount of time when I’m not at school or with students. Normally you’d find a cup of coffee or a Diet Mountain Dew next to my computer, but I tidied up for the purposes of this photo tour ;)

The top frame contains an awesome picture my parents gave me as a gift – a little girl version of Dorothy and Toto, looking out the window at the characters from The Wizard of Oz. It’s one of my favorite movies of all time. Below is a framed copy of my undergraduate senior recital program, and a picture of my mom and I taken right after the recital. Yes, I am a giant compared to her.

My undergraduate diploma from Rollins College is on the left, though it’s hard to tell considering the entire thing is in Latin. Good thing I studied the language for four years in high school so I can read it! At the top right is my master’s degree diploma from Illinois State University, and underneath it is my Certification Board of Music Therapy certificate.

My childhood piano, which you can read all about here. I love the picture above it – I can pretend I am looking out the window, admiring my oceanfront view. Ha!

I wasn’t so crazy about the idea of storing all my musical instruments and music therapy supplies in plain view, so I bought this chest of drawers, which matches my bookcase and desk. For now, it stores almost everything, though I’m sure it won’t take long to run out of room.

The framed picture above the chest is actually a puzzle I put together a couple years ago and has been hanging out in storage. I love Mary Engelbreit, and I find this quote really inspiring. I hope my students do, too!

Thank goodness for these beautiful windows, looking out onto my front yard. They fill the room with light and give me a good view when I need to divert my eyes after hours of staring at the computer screen.

Here is a more comprehensive view of the room, taken from the doorway. It’s a fairly big room for an office, which is lucky for me since I have a couple good-sized groups I need to accomodate.

Another view from the back wall. I wish the day had been sunnier so that there was more light in the room.

A close-up of the awesome rug I found at Target. After weeks of searching online, I stumbled upon exactly what I’d been looking for: something cheerful and kid-friendly, tying all of the colors in the room together.

I still have some orgaizing to do in these drawers, but have a look. Lollipop drums, maracas, visual aides, picture cards…

…tambourines, bells, shakers, rhythm sticks…

…harmonicas, kazoos, a bag of stuffed animals, star tambourine…

…animal clackers, ipod/speaker bag, boom box. Everything else is in the trunk of my car, so I’ll have to find homes for it once I cease my tour as traveling music therapist.

So there you have it – a sneak peek at my second most frequented place in the world (the first being my tiny closet..er, office…at school). For those of you who work or teach from home, any other suggestions to make the room complete? I am always searching for new ideas, so yours are welcome!

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