Mindset Hacks for Creatives

Mindset Hacks for Creatives


Embarking on the self-employed journey is like setting sail in the vast sea of creativity. To navigate the waves, a resilient and growth-oriented mindset is your anchor. Here are some down-to-earth mindset tips for the creative souls embracing the unpredictable path of self-employment (like I did!) -- things I wish I knew sooner!

  1. Embrace Growth Mindset: Think of setbacks as plot twists in your creative story. Roll with the punches a bit—see challenges not as roadblocks but as detours leading to unexpected inspiration. Let the journey be just as important as the finished masterpiece.
  1. Sketch Your Goals: Self-employment can get messy, especially for creative people. Jot down clear, achievable goals. Break down your big ideas into actionable steps, infusing variety to keep things lively if that's your thing! Tailor your plan to fit your unique strengths, ensuring that your goals become a playground for your creativity rather than a mundane to-do list that you don't even feel like doing.
  1. Take Creative Breathers: Creativity thrives in a well-rested mind. Take breaks to recharge and let ideas percolate -- it's great to use a notebook or the notes app on your phone to keep track of these ideas! Balance work and life like a pro—your best work often emerges from a rested and rejuvenated mind. Remember, you can't force creativity; sometimes, stepping away allows it to flow back naturally.
  1. Bounce Back Like a Champ: Resilience is your secret weapon. Treat setbacks as mere hiccups. Bounce back, adapt, and let each challenge make you stronger. A resilient mindset is your greatest ally in the unpredictable world of self-employment. And if you feel like this is a struggle for you, Big Think transformed my mind around these ideas!
  1. Learn as You Go: Think of your creative journey as an ongoing workshop. Stay curious, adapt to new trends, and keep learning. The more skills you add to your toolkit, the better equipped you'll be to paint your entrepreneurial canvas. I love that HBR (my business mentor's course) is constantly being updated and added to (which I have access to for life!) so that I can keep learning and growing and adapt to new things happening in the market, social media, and world.
  1. Surround Yourself with Positivity: Create a vibe that fuels your creativity. Build a network of fellow creatives and mentors who understand the self-employment world (join us music teacher moms over here doing just that if you'd like!). Positivity is contagious—let it be the background music to your creative process.
As a creative in the world of self-employment, simplicity and practicality are your best tools to allow the creativity to thrive while also getting done what's needed to make income. Sketch your goals with flair, adding variety to keep things exciting while tailoring plans to fit your strengths. Roll with the punches, take creative breathers without forcing creativity, bounce back with resilience, learn as you go, and surround yourself with positivity. Your creative journey is a work in progress—make it uniquely yours!

Easter Basket Ideas from a Music Teacher Mama

Easter Basket Ideas from a Music Teacher Mama
Need some cute Easter Basket ideas?



Here's some things I am going to add to my baby girl's -- both musical and non-musical, for now and for when she's a little older! Click on the photo to take you to where I got it. :)



1) Cute outfits! She's growing WAY faster than I anticipated, so we're buying clothes like crazy around here to finish winter and start spring in bigger sizes than I expected. :P

2) Books! Can never have enough books, especially that share Truth.

3) Conversation cards -- for older kids, about the things that matter most.

4) Musical instruments! Egg shakers are a great musical instrument and perfect for springtime Easter basket theme. :) I also really like ukuleles as an affordable first quality instrument. The brand below is a good starter.


5) Coloring books! There's tons of options out there, here's a great one I love.

There you have it! Some fun Easter Basket options. Check out my "Things I Like" page for more gift ideas.

How to Re-Inspire Your Choir to Finish the Year Strong

How to Re-Inspire Your Choir to Finish the Year Strong
Spring fever got your choir extra squirrely, lacking focus, or just struggling as we near the end of the year?

I can relate; we've had some antsy and not-our-best rehearsals in my groups lately too.

Thankfully I have some strategies for refocusing and recentering a group as we hit this point in the year to invigorate and inspire everyone to finish strong. I talked about them in this video here, and share them below as well:

1) Play a singing game, take a movement break, or try out a folk dance! These methods work really well for my younger choirs (3rd-7th ages) as they get more physically antsy in the spring as the weather gets nicer, and it really helps to refocus us in the middle of a rehearsal. I find that if I can teach them a few of these at the beginning of the year, they are great team building and connecting activities that help students get to know one another, and they are really easy to pull out this time of year as a 5-8 minute break in the middle of rehearsing concert repertoire because they already know how to play/what to do.

2) Keep something motivating or something they are looking forward to as top-of-mind. This could be a concert, event (like taking your students to a sports game to sing the national anthem like I am!), an outing, a tour, or even something like a party they are planning. Remind them that they are working towards that event and how much you are looking forward to seeing them succeed. Take moments during rehearsal to envision together what it will look/feel like to accomplish that, how you all will feel afterwards, and how you want to see it play out. This can really help remind an ensemble why they are here, their collective purpose, and help them look forward to how their hard work will pay off.

3) Re-visit our choirs commitment/values. I wrote about creating these here, and this point in the year is a great time to revisit these if part of your group is struggling to remember the ensemble's goals or why they are all there together.

I hope these tips were helpful. What other ways do you help your choir reset and be inspired this time of year?

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Like this and want to surround yourself with more people on this journey with you? There's great conversation in New & Freelance Music Teacher Community about this topic and more. Come join us!

The Most Important Part of Choir Rehearsal

Just as I put my hands down and they stopped singing, they turned to one another and started chatting, distracted and some disruptive. Some were whispering or talking as I was talking to give them the next feedback I had for them.

I will not talk over them. My vocal health matters too much to do that.

I felt discouraged. We'd wasted at least 10 minutes of our 75-minute rehearsal on these interruptions to the flow of a rehearsal, and I was tired. There had also been some typical teenage drama coming out earlier in rehearsal too, and I don't like feeling like a drill sergeant. I would way rather they learn how to self-manage and work with people they don't prefer, as in real life sometimes we do need to interact with people we don't prefer. But that won't just happen by chance.

So I decided to implement one of my favorite choral management techniques: a Choir Commitment that they write, agree to, and are held to.

My 7th-10th grade students did not disappoint, in fact, their wording was much deeper than I could've imagined or chosen myself.


The discussion that I guided as they came up with these guiding principles by which we would function in rehearsal together was the most important part of this commitment. If they don't know what it looks and sounds like for these to play out in a rehearsal space, how can they follow it? Clarity is key.

The word change from Respect to Honor occurred as a girl raised her hand to say, "Respect is something earned. What if someone is acting in a way that doesn't earn our respect? I think we should change the word to Honor. The Bible calls all to 'honor your father and mother.' There are kids in the world who have parents who do things that are not earning of respect, but they are still called by God to honor them. I think we should all honor each other even if someone does or says something that doesn't deserve respect."

"Wow." I agreed as I wrote in the additional edit, others nodding their heads as they thought about what she said.

There was a perfect teaching moment during the writing process too. When I wrote 'mistakes ar OK' on the board, I accidentally left off the "e." One girl, who can sometimes respond in an immature way, raised her hand and politely said, "Umm, Mrs. Orem, I think you made a mistake when you were writing."

"You're right, I did!" as I went to correct it. "Thank you for correcting my mistake in a respectful, kind way. I don't mind you calling out my mistakes or each others' at all, as long as you do it in a way that is honoring to the person who made the mistake. We all can keep learning."

We even had a conversation about changing voices in this context too, since that is a reason some do not give Maximum Effort -- fear of teasing when their voice does something they didn't want. It was SO good, and really shifted the atmosphere of the room from a space where there are things to hide or be embarrassed by to a sense of safety or transparency.

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"Now that you have created this commitment, you can hold me to my word that I will follow it. Do I have your word?"

*Nods of heads, looking around at each other seriously.

"Good. I'm here to develop you musically, of course, but my calling is greater than that. I know I have a responsibility to develop your character and speak into your life spiritually as well. I will hold you to these principles you put up here today. I will do it with ultimate honor and kindness, but I care about each of you too much to allow you to break your commitment on my watch. I am here to help you develop the character to keep your word. Alright, take out 'Praise His Holy Name' from your folder. Let's do this!"

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The most important part of choir rehearsal? It's the little things, the small moments where we get to shape minds and hearts and build character.

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Like this and want to learn more? There's a training coming in New Teacher Support & Community about this very topic (and the replay will be available if you're reading this in the future). Come join us!