Sayonara, Studio!

Last Lesson in the Old Studio

On Friday afternoon, the spring session ended and I taught my LAST LESSON EVER in the original Music Therapy Connections studio.  My lovely student Grace was happy to pose in a few pictures commemorating the occasion and showing off the extremely empty digs.

The very next day, my helpful (and strong) brothers-in-law came over to help my husband move the last remaining item — the piano — into the new studio.  It was sort of sad to close the doors of the room that has served me so well over the past two years; it’s the end of an era.

Empty Studio

It won’t stay empty for long: the room will be a temporary home to a few miscellaneous furniture items in the coming weeks.  Zach and I had plans to make that happen this weekend, but after all the painting, organizing, picture hanging, and arranging I did over the last three days, my energy is drained.

Speaking of all that, I have lots of pictures to share in my next studio renovation progress update!  A lot has happened since my last pathetic update…and you’ll get to see it all later this week.

Memorial Day is For…

Memorial Day

…honoring those who have served our country.


Family Time

…spending time with the ones we love.


Grilling Out

…yummy food on the grill.


Summer Sun

…kicking off the summer!


I hope you’re lucky enough to have as beautiful weather as I do on this Memorial Day.  I’m getting ready to take my dog for a walk, and then it’s off to my parents’ pool (my summer hangout) for some swimming and a cookout.  Talk about the perfect day.  Enjoy the holiday, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow!

Friday Fave: Best Going-Away Gifts Ever

Best Going-Away Gifts Ever

Never in my professional life have I felt more loved and appreciated than this week.  I knew going into my last week of music therapy sessions with my students (most of whom I’ve had for the past 4 years) that it would be tough, but they’ve made it even tougher by showering me with well wishes and beautiful going-away gifts.

Yesterday at our spring singalong, students presented me with flowers, cards, and a beautiful picture made by our art specialist at The Hope Institute.  It is now hanging in my new studio waiting room, and will serve as a reminder of my time at Hope every single day.

This morning, I was feeling pretty proud of myself for getting through the last music therapy session with one of my favorite classes (though of course I love them all) without crying, and then gave me the wind chime they made for me, pictured above.  It says “Jeni’s Class, May 2011” and “Hope” at the bottom.

And how coincidental is this? Right near where I’ve hung my new picture in my waiting room, there is a hook in the ceiling left by the previous owner.  I was planning to hang a plant there, but now I have a beautiful wind chime instead — which color coordinates perfectly with the picture!

This afternoon is graduation, which is pretty fitting for my last day of classes considering singing at the 2007 graduation ceremony was the first thing I ever did at Hope.  I’m looking forward to doing so one last time…hopefully without tears (but I make no promises).

My Final Hurrah

This morning, one of my co-workers asked me if I was ready for my “final hurrah” at The Hope Institute, and I thought that made a great title for this post.

Four years ago, I started a new tradition at Hope: an all-school spring singalong.  I rounded up some of my musician co-workers and started a band, complete with drums, bass, rhythm guitar, and vocals.  Every year since, I’ve looked forward to this event all spring long.

Today is that day.  The picture above is from last year’s singalong, and I realized that I’m wearing those same shoes again this year :)  I’ve chosen a dozen of my students’ favorites tunes, made up packets of lyrics for everyone, and set up the instruments and sound equipment.  Now all that’s left is to rock out!

How I Would Summarize My Life in 6 Songs

Summarize Your Life in 6 Songs

This post is inspired by JoAnn Jordan, music therapist and author of the blog Musical Gems.  She’s reading the book The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature by Daniel J. Levitin, which prompted her to ponder this question: If I had to summarize my life in six songs, what would those songs be?

You can read JoAnn’s answer here, and my six songs are below.

  1. The Rainbow Connection: I wrote about this song recently, and the importance of it during my childhood. Every time I hear or sing it, I’m flooded with happy memories of being a little girl.
  2. Don’t Rain on My Parade: This was my go-to audition song during my high school musical theater days, and I felt so empowered every time I sang it.  I still do, in fact.  I LOVED that it was Rachel’s theme song on Glee last season! 
  3. The Remedy: I listened to Jason Mraz nonstop during my last semester of college, and it was his music that inspired me to learn the guitar.  “I won’t worry my life away” is a good lyric to have stuck in your head, especially for a worrywart like me.
  4. You Make Me Feel So Young: I have my dad to thank for my love of Frank Sinatra, and this is the song we danced to at my wedding (here’s a pic).  Frank Sinatra will forever be the happy voice of my adolescent and high school years, even though he came way before my time.
  5. Blessed: Martina McBride is someone I look up to as a singer, and I like her even more because of this song.  I certainly feel blessed with all the wonderful people and experiences in my life, and this could be my theme song (minus the part about having kids, for now at least).
  6. Ready: Kelly Clarkson’s CD “All I Ever Wanted” has been in my car’s player for a few months now.  This is my favorite track off the album — it’s an affirmation to myself that I’m ready for everything the future holds, plus it’s really fun to sing along to :)

So there you have it.  Now that I’ve summarized my life in 6 songs, it’s YOUR turn.  Please share your list in the comments below or post it to your own blog!

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