Week 24

Week 24

Check out that bump! Even I can’t believe it when I look at this photo, and I see it in the mirror every day. I’m getting LOTS of comments now, especially from my students…they love asking about the baby (and giving me name suggestions, which are genuinely amusing).

Week 24 started with GREAT news at our doctor’s visit. We had to get another ultrasound, because at the last one they discovered that my placenta was positioned a little lower than it should be. It needed to move about half a centimeter to be considered “normal” — and luckily it had moved more than enough over the last four weeks.

So everything baby-related is going great. I’m feeling tons and tons of big kicks now, and even saw my stomach moving a little yesterday. That was too weird! But I guess I’d better get used to it :)

On Saturday, Zach and I ventured to Babies ‘R Us to start our registry. We ended up leaving less than 10 minutes after we got there, and opted to do the whole thing online. I also created an Amazon registry, since the prices are so much better there. And it took a couple weeks of researching, but I finally chose a stroller, which my grandma generously offered to buy for us. It’s so exciting to think that we will soon own (and eventually be using) all of these baby things!

Music, Movement, Fun!

Every so often, I invite my favorite amateur photographer (aka my husband Zach) to join one of my early childhood music classes, where he captures some great action shots for the families to have as keepsakes from the class.

The kiddos were as animated as usual last Sunday when Zach visited, and the photos turned out so well that I put together this little video slideshow.

That was the final class of my winter session, and I’m already bummed that it’s over…but thrilled that I only have to wait a couple more weeks for the next one to begin! My new class, Listen & Learn for Little Ones, is open for registration now and will start on March 5 & 6 (two concurrent sessions).

If you live in the Springfield area and are looking for a fun, enriching activity for your child (ages 0-3), I hope you’ll consider joining me. Check it out and register here!

Week 23

Week 23 is just about over, and here I am finally getting around to writing about it. I was pretty occupied over the weekend; I spent all day on Saturday working at Festival, and after 7 hours on my feet, it was all I could do to collapse into bed when I got home. Sunday was just as busy, between church, a rehearsal, and Church Mice.

Zach and I finally got to spend some time together on Sunday night, so we went to dinner and continued our baby boy name discussion. We may or may not have decided on one :)

Tuesday night, Matt and I (better known as Rachel & Matt) performed our concert for the Prairie Grapevine Folklore Society. It went really well! Hard to believe that we only have one performance left before we take a break for the baby.

I’ve spent the last couple of days busy with work, and now we’re approaching week 24 — 6 months! We have another doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning, where we’ll  get to see our baby during the ultrasound. Time is moving much faster lately, which is juuuust fine with me. Come on, spring!

Snowflakes, Snowflakes

As I type this blog post, there are snowflakes flying outside my office window. It’s no secret that I am not a fan of winter, and luckily the Midwest hasn’t been hit too hard with the white stuff so far this year.

I shouldn’t speak too soon, though, because we are expecting almost two inches on Thursday; good thing I’m prepared with plenty of snow-themed songs! The newest addition to the collection is Snowflakes, Snowflakes.

One of my favorite types of songs to use in music therapy sessions and classes is that with varying dynamics or tempos, and this falls into the latter category (going from slow to fast). My kiddos are always up to the challenge of playing their instruments along “even faster” — sometimes it’s hard to keep up with them!

Snowflakes, snowflakes
Falling to the ground
Down they come without a sound
Little ones, big ones
Swirling from the sky
Faster, faster
Down they fly

(Repeat, getting faster each time)

Friday Fave: Festival Time!

NFMC Piano Festival

Every February, many of my students participate in the Illinois Federation of Music Clubs’ Junior Festival. This will be my fourth year as a member of the federation, and it’s no less nerve-racking than it was when I first started!

At the end of October, I help my students choose their two pieces (one required, one choice) that they will learn, memorize and then perform at Festival. It’s a long few months, and by the end of January, we’re all ready for the big day so that we can move on to some new repertoire.

But all their hard work pays off in the end: last year, two of my students received their first gold cups, meaning they received a “superior” score three years in a row. This year, I have 5 students hoping to receive their first gold cups.

I like participating in Festival for many reasons, both for my benefit and the benefit of my students. Here are just a few of them:

  • It makes me a better teacher. My job is to help those kiddos get ready to perform not only for an audience, but for judges who will score their playing. No room for slacking!
  • My students are held accountable for their practicing. If they don’t do the work, they don’t get that superior score. It’s funny how motivation levels skyrocket between October and February :)
  • It’s an opportunity to learn from other teachers and students. I really enjoy being amongst a group of teachers, all of whom have different teaching styles, and my students can learn from the other participants.
  • Performing in Festival builds self-confidence. There’s nothing better than the smile on a student’s face after he or she has played well and received a great score.

It’s going to be a busy weekend for all of us, as they perform both on Saturday and Sunday while I’m busy serving as a room chairman (of two rooms, this year!). I have a feeling we’ll all be much more relaxed come Monday…but until then, wish us all luck!

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