Right now I’m just delighted to be alive and to have had a nice long bath. (Richard Branson)

No doubt Richard Branson is one of my biggest heroes.

I mean, the guy is totally loaded, but he also spends a lot of money on really powerful causes. But that’s not why I’m writing today. I want to talk about gratitude.

Y’all know that ‘the world’ today is filled with unhappy, ungrateful people. Yet those that find ways to prosper are exactly that: filled with gratitude.

As Music Educators, may I propose we take a moment together and be thankful for these things:

  1. Cloud Based Storage. Seriously. I could not do what I do without my Dropbox and Google Drive accounts. From sharing files with other teachers to sending download links to parents, having world-wide access is something that helps us streamline and simplify our lives.
  2. Online Music Streaming. I’ve done entire programs with just Spotify tracks as my accompaniment. We dance to my “HFCS Songs” playlist, we play The Emoji Game to my “HFCS Emo” playlist. I can instantly introduce the students to some of the most incredible performances in the professional world without ever leaving my classroom or inserting a disk. Amazing.
  3. Tiny microphones and cameras. Like the ones in our computers, laptops, and phones. I’ve recorded myself to have students sing along to, I’ve recorded their ensembles for self-assessment, and I’ve even made videos of them keeping a steady beat, playing instruments, and even secretively when they’ve lost control, so they can see exactly how ‘bad’ their behavior looks.
  4. Time between classes. Whether it’s an hour prep or a 2 minute break, you can take a deep breath, or quickly prepare for the next session. As for me, I work almost back-to-back, with one class coming in as the other is going out, so even a 2 minute interval for breath and reflection makes a huge difference in my day. I also really like THIS APP. I have it set to send to me right in the middle of my day. Love. It.
  5. The people in our lives. I know it’s easy to be grateful for your spouse or significant other, and even our own children. But what about that administrator that told you what song to sing, or denied your latest instrument repair request? Or the gym teacher that scheduled a track meet the day of your concert? Or that ONE STUDENT, you know who they are!

Yet it is these interactions that we have all the time that create our day, that tell our story.

If we can find room every day in our heart to fill with gratitude, our stress will melt away, and our lives will seem just that much brighter.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!