2013: A Year in Review

Hands down, 2013 has been the best year of my life thus far. The first half was spent anticipating the birth of my first child; the second half has centered around watching my baby boy grow and develop right before my eyes.

Needless to say, when it came to my work I was a little…distracted. Don’t get me wrong: I still put 100% into each music therapy session and lesson, but the extras — songwriting, recording, my online biz, THIS BLOG — took a backseat. For the first time in 6 years, my career was no longer my baby. I guess that’s what happens when you have an actual baby.

That being said, I did manage a few professional accomplishments over the past twelve months that I think are worth noting, if only for my own peace of mind. This list will come in handy on days where I feel like my only accomplishments involve diapers, board books, and an assortment of Fisher-Price toys :)

2013 Review

In January, I participated in Social Media Advocacy Month by writing an adapted version of The Lumineers’ song “Ho Hey” for my clients. I also celebrated my 6th year teaching Church Mice, the early childhood music class at my church (a “job” I will probably do until I’m old and gray, I love it so much).

In February, many of my students participated in Junior Festival and ALL of them received superior scores. Several received their first gold cups, and I couldn’t have been any prouder. That month also saw the launch of Listen & Learn for Little Ones, my new class for kiddos ages 0-3.

In March, my CMTE course — The DIY Guide to Writing, Recording, and Sharing Your Music — went live at MusicTherapyEd.com. This was a huge cause for celebration, because I spent countless hours back in the fall writing and recording the course videos (while simultaneously dealing with horrible morning sickness).

In April, I presented a workshop for my local Illinois Federation of Music Clubs titled Music is for Everyone: Teaching Children with Special Needs. I was super nervous about presenting in front of a room full of fellow music teachers, but it went well and I felt like a (very pregnant) rock star afterwards. Later than month I released a new digital songbook, Tapping, Shaking, Music Making!

2013 Review

In May, with only a few weeks to go before my due date, I started winding down professionally and getting ready for the baby. I made it to my last day of the spring session on May 31, and then enjoyed a few days of rest and relaxation before going into labor just a week later.

In June, I gave birth to my son 3 days after turning 30. As you can imagine, I was just a little busy with Parker and didn’t do much in the way of work all month!

In July, I was still on maternity leave but thrilled to feature guest posts from several awesome music therapy bloggers. Michelle, Kimberly and I held our annual Music Therapy Round Table “meeting of the minds” via Google Hangout, since traveling was out of the question this summer.

In August, I made the big decision to work on Sundays in order to have more time in the evenings with my family. And then I got busy planning my fall schedule, since my maternity leave was up at the end of the month.

2013 Review

In September, I returned to work and realized just how hard it is to have two full-time jobs (stay-at-home mom to an infant during the day, music therapist & teacher in the afternoon/evening) with very little sleep. But somehow I survived that first month back, and it only got easier from that point on.

In October, I had the opportunity to use fellow music therapist Lisa Barnett’s My House Interactive Songbook and blog about it here. I also wrapped up the fall session (which is always my favorite because I get to see how much all the kiddos have grown over the summer) of Church Mice.

In November, I started a new series here on the blog called {Mama Moments} where I get to talk about my favorite topic of all time ;) It was also #AMTA13 conference time, so I made the trek to Jacksonville, FL (with my family in tow) to present and network with lots of awesome music therapists.

In December, I wrote a whopping ONE blog post in all that spare time when I wasn’t a) seeing students; b) undergoing a major house renovation; c) taking care of my baby; d) getting ready for Christmas; d) all of the above. This month flew by in a flash, which seems to have been the story of 2013.

And now here we are, days away from 2014. I have no idea what the next 12 months will hold, nor am I announcing any huge goals as I have in years past. (Blogging every day? Nailed it in 2011. New song every week? Got the job done in 2012. Grow a human being? Delivered on that one in 2013.) But I do have some hopes and plans for the new year, starting with a brand new song for 2014 right here later in the week.

Thank you for reading, offering feedback, supporting my work with your purchases, and just generally being wonderful. Now let’s all go enjoy the last days of this year.

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