Epiphanies and Insights for 2019

I am sorry that I haven't written in a while. The reason for my absence was that I overcommitted myself with an extra job which I took steps in mid-November to extricate myself from. After a grueling September, October and November where I was managing with only a few hours sleep each night, I was able to have a much better December. I have been catching up on my rest these past few weeks and have had time to reflect and can see much more clearly how I want my life to look like in the new year.

First I realized that although I only work half time at a Molecular Diagnostics Lab that I really have a full plate already with my music studies - piano and voice and with leading the learning music support group. I won't be seeking an extra paid position again as I acknowledge that to move forward with my music, I have to devote a lot of time to practice and to a clear goal driven path.

And I have also come to realize that I need to really spend quality time on the mandates of this non-profit learning group so it can flourish and grow. A lot of these goals and mandates were discussed at the first Operations meeting in mid-September with Edel and Elena. I would like to take time here to really thank both Edel and Elena for attending the meeting and helping me get a clearer picture of what we need to do to make sure our group is a success. First, I would like to let you all know that Edel has agreed to accept the role of Vice-President of this group which I am very thankful for. One of the things that I am very concerned about is succession planning because if something happens to me, I would like to have a plan in place so that this learning support group can continue. Now if even something minor comes up like a vacation or a personal commitment, Edel will be there to chair the meetings and lead the group in my absence. This puts my mind at ease.

Here are the following mandates and goals that we discussed at that Operations Meeting:

1. Growing our membership - We discussed a number of different ways that we can do this and in 2019, Edel and I will do a lot of PR work so that we can continue to expand. If you are interested in this, please let us know so we can include you in our discussions

2. Masterclasses - I realize that so far we have had only piano masterclasses but I do hope that when we have 2 or more saxophonists or harmonicists(?) etc that we can then expand masterclasses to other instruments as well. We will be working on our fourth piano masterclass in either February or March of 2019. Many of the participants including myself have found the masterclasses really insightful and have gained tools to add to our toolbox of learning.

3. Pursuing Official Non-Profit Status - this is really important and my goal is that sometime in 2019, I will apply for this status. Once we have the non-profit status then the next step will be to apply for charitable status. I may at different times throughout the year, take 10-15 minutes of our group meetings to discuss some aspects of this application so that I can gather your input and to report the progress that I have made. I would really like to create a committee to do this as it is a long and lengthy process and I need help but whether or not I get the help or not, I will be proceeding. Let me know if you are interested in being a part of this committee.

4. Social Opportunities - Meetups, Both Classical or Jazz Concerts - pre-chat or post-chat, AGM - annual potluck brunch? I have personally told each of you how much I value just talking "music". This is something that Edel and Elena really value as well so we will be implementing more social opportunities. One of the things that will be necessary for us once we gain non-profit/charitable status is that we will have to hold an annual general meeting (AGM) so we can have perhaps a potluck brunch where we first discuss important aspects of our group's business and fulfill this condition and then we can use this as an opportunity to socialize. I have also invited all of you on social media via FB or IG to classical concerts or jazz concerts that I have chosen to attend this past year. I have gone to a number of concerts on my own which I am used to doing now and I still enjoy. However it is always good to have someone to go with so I can discuss the musical experience. I am happy to say that I was able to go to a Honens piano laureate concert with Edel and to both a Primetime Big Band concert and a chamber music concert with Elena. Also, Edel and I go to almost all of the piano meetups to perform and to listen and socialize with each other and with other pianists. It was at the piano meetups that I got to know Carlo Santos (past organizer of the meetups and who taught us the first masterclass for our group), Lisa Kiernans(who has become such a great supporter and friend), Tony Matthews (who has also become a friend and who gives me practicing tips and advice) and Angus Poon ( who is now the organizer of the meetups and does such a great job at it).

5. Community Service - this is a mandate that is very important to me however due to various commitments, I was not able to plan any performances at seniors' residences other than the one in March at Carewest Sarcee. I was very happy that Stephen invited our group to join him at the one he organized at Carewest Garrison Green in December. Edel and I were able to join him and another guitarist. We had fun playing our pieces and singing Christmas Carols. The residents really enjoyed it! This is something that I will be planning more performances for our group to participate - I am aiming that we can at least do this bi-monthly if not monthly so there will be more opportunities for us to perform and to socialize. Giving the gift of music is the best gift that any of us as musicians can give to others!


I think I will sign off for now as it is almost 1 am. Here I go - working into the wee hours of the night again but I feel good because I am blogging again and talking to all of you again. Thanks for reading (listening)!

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