The other day I had my very first surprise party. My friend Jessica picked me up and told me we were going to Laura’s house, but we had to stop to pick up pizza on the way. I had a strong inclination something was up when she came out of the pizza parlour with three boxes of pizza and a box of breadsticks. “Laura’s a picky eater,” she joked, and changed the subject. I had never been to Laura’s house before, but besides my wide-eyed reaction to her huge property, I noticed her driveway was full of our friends’ vehicles. Inside the house, Jessica led me to the basement where the lights were turned off. She practically pushed me into the room where, after a moment of confusion, my friends jumped out and yelled, “Surprise!” It was a party for my send-off to graduate school, complete with a banner, chips, cake, ice cream, party hats, presents, and games. My friends did all of this… For me. They have been by my side since they took me under their wings 7 years ago. Sometimes, when I was really busy last year, I didn’t get a lot of chances to see them, but I felt their presence in my heart. I lost some focus preparing for my exam when my best friend Angela went into labour. But, seeing the smiling mother and sleeping baby at the hospital, then holding the little one in my own arms, I experienced true happiness. There is something so powerful and inspiring about babies. I felt more motivated to work hard after that day.
I like to open posts with stories because I feel that they are more effective in conveying my point. This post is all about support and having a support system. Without a doubt, my 365 day project would not have been feasible without my support system, and I think as a teacher (albeit a very new one), I need to tell students and parents that learning is optimal when everyone works together. There will always be independent learners as well as those who need more of a push, but by and large, for the average student like me, a support system is crucial. This is true for both students young and not so young. I think there is a lot of material out there already proving that young students work better with parental/guardian support. I haven’t been researching enough yet to know if there is a significant difference in progress of adults or mature students as far as support is concerned. In my personal journey, I needed to rely heavily on my support system to get me through the first obstacles I faced, including practising when stressed, and dealing with performance anxieties.
It is challenging to write about my support system without sounding either very sentimental or very fortunate. Both feelings are so true, though, as I write this I am feeling sentimental, thankful, and lucky. Waiting for my new school semester to begin, I have this special opportunity to reflect upon this past year and be thankful for everyone who was a part of it. I have very loving parents, a piano teacher who inspires me beyond words, and the best friends possible (both human and animal- that way I can include my dog 🙂 ). These support systems have helped me realize that a life full of music is so much more fulfilling when I have people to whom I can dedicate each pleasure my craft brings to me. This is like a circle of strength and happiness. Having music in my life every day through piano practise and listening opportunities has made me a happier person, and having the support systems surrounding me with unconditional love has made all of my musical endeavours possible.
Thank you. ❤