With just four days remaining in 2011, it’s time to take a look back at what has happened this year, both personally and professionally (as I did in 2009 and 2010). 2011 will go down as a life-changing year in my book, to be sure.
I’ve never been one to make new year’s resolutions or set huge goals for myself in January, but for some reason, I took a leap at the beginning of 2011 by announcing my plan to blog every day for an entire year. At first, it was easy — I was full of new songs, topic ideas, and enthusiasm. As the months went by, blogging daily became more of a challenge, especially as my private practice and studio continued to grow. But I stuck with it, and now am only a few days away from reaching my goal. It’s a pretty great feeling!
One of my most frequent blog topics has been my career path. 2011 saw a BIG change when I left my first job as a professional music therapist at The Hope Institute for Children & Families after four years. I took my private practice and studio full-time, more than doubling my student load in June. Those summer months were beyond stressful, but they were proof that I could in fact support myself as a fully self-employed music therapist.
Not only did my career undergo an overhaul, but so did my studio. I said goodbye to my original location and watched as the other side of my house was transformed into a dedicated studio space with a separate entrance. Not only am I in love with the new studio, but so are my students, their families, and my husband (because he now has full reign over the rest of the house when he comes home from work).
2011 was also the year I rediscovered my love for performing. I was active in the local music scene for a couple of years, but didn’t have the time for most of 2010 and the first half of this year. I jumped back in over the summer, and have been going strong ever since. In fact, I’ll spend this New Year’s weekend playing out. Performing is the perfect balance to teaching and music therapy.
Other highlights of 2011: launching Music Therapy Pro with my wonderful colleagues and friends, Kimberly & Michelle; strengthening my connections with other music therapists doing extraordinary things both online and off, and attending another spectacular AMTA national conference.
One thing that has remained constant every year is the love and support of my family and friends. I’m so lucky to have been blessed with parents who stand behind every decision I make and are my biggest fans. Well, actually my husband shares that title with them. He has been amazingly supportive of my transition into self-employment and puts up with all my rehearsals, late nights working, and constant computer time. Blessed really doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel!
I’m beyond excited for 2012, especially where Listen & Learn is concerned. Many of you have asked about my plans (will I continue to blog every day? will I be setting a new crazy goal?) and I’ll be filling you in soon. Thank you for continuing to read the blog, becoming members of Listen & Learn Plus, and sharing my songs and resources with your own students and clients.
What were your 2011 highlights? I would love to read your thoughts on the year as it comes to a close, whether in the comments below or in your very own year-end blog post (or both!).
Congrats on another fabulous year under your belt Rachel! I have such respect for you making time to perform. looking forward to watching how 2012 unfolds for you!
Thank you so much, Kat! I am in awe of you and your accomplishments this past year. You’re such a bright light and inspiration in the music therapy world and beyond! 2012 is going to be a fabulous year for both of us :)
My name is Lauren and I’m a music therapy student in california who LOVES your blog. I’m about to finish my undergrad degree in music therapy and start an internship, and your blog is very helpful and inspirational. I wrote in journals alot during my education, and am considering starting my own blog about my internship experiences. But… I feel that I enjoy reading other MT blogs (like yours) more than writing my own! Anyways… I look forward to reading more of your thoughts and wanted to let you know you have a new fan out in Cali!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR11
Hi Lauren! Thanks so much for the comment. I’m really glad you love the blog! And I totally think you should start your own — let me know when you do and I will add it to my resource list. Happy New Year to you, too, and best of luck with finishing up your coursework!
Wow Rachel what an amazing year you’ve had – congratulations!!! And thank you for being an inspiration to so many of us. You asked what our 2011 higlights were and mine was definitely starting my very first website and blog, thanks to your help. This was not only a huge turning point for my business, but also for the connections I have been able to make with other music therapists. What an awesome community this is! I wish you all the best in the coming year!! :)
Thanks so much, Amy! And congrats to YOU for being a blogging rockstar right out of the gate! I am so impressed by what you’ve done with your blog and website in such a short time. All the best to you in 2012 as well! :D