Myths About Teaching Freelance Debunked, Part 1

Myths About Teaching Freelance Debunked, Part 1
There are a lot of myths about teaching music freelance that I've heard from my coaching clients and others that I am going to debunk in a new blog series, so here it goes. :)

Myths about Teaching Freelance Debunked, Part 1

#1 If I want to teach freelance, I have to teach private lessons.

Nope! I do teach a couple private lessons (currently I only have 4 private students), but that is not the bulk of what I do. Mostly, I teach choirs (3 different groups) and elementary music classes during the day!

#2 If I want to teach private lessons, I have to give up my evenings and weekends.

Also no! All of the lessons I've taught from my home as a self-employed individual have been during the day. Occasionally I'll offer makeup lessons on a Saturday or an evening, but all of my lessons (at one point I had 13 private lesson students) have been during the day. How do I find students to fit this need? Homeschoolers, retired folks, and online students in other time zones are the three easiest ways, in my experience.

#3 Self-employed people pay double taxes.

While I am no tax expert (so don't take my comments as advice, just my own experience!), I have never paid double in taxes because I am self-employed. There are SO MANY things we can deduct by being self-employed that my taxes are no worse than someone who is an employee, and I have free control of my schedule, work part-time with full-time pay, and don't have nearly the amount unnecessary paperwork or meetings as employed people do. To me, the perks are worth it!

If you'd like more budgeting 101 for self-employed music teacher tips, you can grab that here. I'm all about saving you time where I had to learn the long way through living it. :)

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If this was helpful for you and you'd like to stay tuned for part 2, you can join my free group where we talk about this kind of thing all the time. I post the blogs, informative videos, and discount codes to my coaching & courses here.

The Best Piano Method Book for Beginners

The Best Piano Method Book for Beginners
There are SO MANY method books out there for teaching beginners how to play piano... and there are even video courses and such to learn from home without going to a teacher!

Here's my favorite piano method books for beginners and how I recommend best utilizing it.

4 Reasons Piano Pronto's method series is my favorite

1) There are multiple first places to start -- whether you are or have a 5 yo, 10 yo, teenager, or grandma wanting to learn for the first time, there's something for everyone! Most of the beginner books do not have cutesy pictures and diagrams, so they're great for older beginners who don't want to feel like a little kid as well as the young beginner to not have too much "eye clutter" on the page.

2) They have a GREAT transfer guide -- as a piano teacher, this is awesome for those students who've taken a bit of piano but are just starting with me; this helps me place them at a good spot in the method series so that there's a bit of review but not too hard or too easy... like goldilocks, just right!

3) There are so many amazing supplemental books and single pieces by a variety of composers in the community -- these are handy for so much: hooking a kid's interest at the appropriate playing level, honing in on a transfer student's ability before having them buy books, picking something fun for a recital, and more.

4) I really like the approach to introducing the grand staff, various theory concepts, and pacing -- the minimal explanations of various theory concepts that are written on the pages allow me to teach the concept how I want to, which varies sometimes student-to-student so that I can meet their learning style and level of understanding the best way possible. I've also found that my students are MUCH better readers with this method than any other I've used before.

5) They make everything listen-able and sample-able -- I can look at every page in the books if I want to online before purchasing (with parts greyed out, of course)! This is invaluable, as I can have a good look before buying a bunch of books that I don't know will be a good fit for a student. This again allows me to customize my teaching SO well to each individual student.

There you have it! Can you tell I like Piano Pronto? ;)

If you're a potential student, here's how I recommend best using the PP resources: get yourself a good live teacher (not just online video course). Find someone who is friendly and kind (doesn't make you feel silly for asking questions or making mistakes), who makes it fun and motivating for you/your child by seeking to connect the learning with your/their interests (including finding styles of songs you'd like to play), and who starts by reading the staff (not finger numbers or pictures or some other way, unless their is some learning disability present, there are exceptions to this rule of mine!). This will help you move forward better in the long run and play from any music you want to in the future!

If you're in the west Twin Cities metro area MN, I'd love to connect with you about taking lessons in-person, or I also offer limited virtual lessons via Zoom (currently I only offer daytime hours, but if your time zone is different, it may still work!). You can learn more here or message me and I'll get back to you!

3 Toys I Use to Teach Musical Concepts to Young Children

3 Toys I Use to Teach Musical Concepts to Young Children
As a music teacher, I love to use toys and props in my homeschool early childhood music classes and lessons to help children learn musical concepts. It is so much fun to see their creativity, and it's always an added bonus if they have that toy at home already that they can go home and use musically.


Here are my top 3 favorites! Let me know if you try these out in your home or classroom!



1) Pop-up Squirrels

These pop-up squirrels are so much fun! They're a great fidgety-type toy to give your hands something to do, but I love using them with my squirrel songs. I have multiple squirrel songs, but my favorite one to use with this toy is Peep Squirrel (here's a demonstration video in case you don't know the song). I find that having a prop or toy helps young children stay engaged in the song for many more repetitions of the song than if I just sang it alone, allowing their ears to hear the song more times and sing it way more accurately once they do! I usually pass this toy around the circle and sing it myself while they keep the beat. Then another day, I will have them sing the song while they pop the squirrel on the beat.

2) Hoberman Sphere

The hoberman sphere is often called a breathing ball, and I enjoy using it to teach young children what their lungs are doing when they breathe! It's a great way to start off a children's choir rehearsal, or to use with any class if children got a bit wild in the middle as a way to reset and regroup. I like having students take turns opening and closing it; I always pick students who are demonstrating a specific skill I would like to see (ie low diaphragmatic breathing or silent breaths).

3) Googly Eye Rings

I just love using these googly eye rings for vocal exploration or Arioso (if you're familiar with Feierabend's First Steps in Music)! You can get them in different sizes (like these big ones here) but I find this size to be the best for little fingers. I like to call mine hummers and have the children make humming sounds with them. They are SO willing to sing on their own if they have a fun toy/prop in hand to do it with! They'll even have musical conversations and make up tunes together with these little guys. I always buy the 100 pack because they're tiny and we lose them easily. :P



Well, there you have it! My top 3 favorites. Which one are you going to try or have you tried and really liked?

For more helpful music class ideas and freelance music teacher tips, join the community here!

How to Be a Successful Music Teacher as a Highly Sensitive Person, Part 2

How to Be a Successful Music Teacher as a Highly Sensitive Person, Part 2
This blog post is part 2 of a series, to read part 1, click here. :)

4. Give yourself grace.

I am generally more comfortable around children than adults, with the exception of my core group of friends and church community. It turns out that it’s easy for me to be “in front of” 120 children directing a concert or 30 children in class, but I get nervous talking with a parent or family. The irony makes me laugh, but it also shows me that I am making the most of my strengths and giving myself grace to work on the things that are harder for me.

As a teacher, you’re in a role where your HSP strengths are extra valuable. Don’t get too hung up on the parts of it where you feel out of your comfort zone.

5. Create a “stage persona” for stressful situations.

Not every highly sensitive person is a performer (some would dread it!), but most of us are creative in some way — which is a gift we can draw on in overwhelming situations. In my case, I use my ability as a performer to step into a “stage persona” when needed for my job.

My persona is still me (I’m not creating a false personality or anything), but I’m able to confidently step into that “role” even when my body or mind is on overdrive. It helps to center me and lets me address the overarousal when I cannot take a break or escape the situation immediately. And now that I teach freelance instead of public school full-time, I rarely need this persona now.

I believe any highly sensitive person can do this. Imagine what your “teaching persona” would look like, if there was someone cast in your role on a TV show or in a book or play. How do they talk? How do they act? What’s their signature phrase or look? Maybe even give your stage persona a name, and consciously remind yourself that that’s who you are when you’re feeling overstimulated.

6. When things get tough, lean on your support system.

My first semester, I cried in my principal’s office at least four times. I was so grateful that she saw these instances not as weakness, but as a sensitive personality that can be an asset to taking care of students in our school.

I’m also grateful that my husband understands when I need 15 minutes to “decompress” when I first arrive home from work, and he gladly creates that space. He also knows that if I’ve been home alone all day (spring break!) I will usually be excited, chatty, and ready to go out or do something fun with him.

Not all of us have such supportive, understanding people built into our lives, but it’s important to seek them out — or learn how to speak up for our needs with loved ones. Especially when you’re in a profession where you have to nurture others, you need your own support system in place. Know who you can turn to, and don’t hesitate to open up to them when you’re stressed. They may be the difference between burnout and success. This is why I created Freelance Music Teacher Moms -- to be just that kind of space for people. Come join us, if it would bless you to be surrounded by these kinds of awesome educators.

7. Adapt your environment to fit your needs.
I don’t play music in my classroom as loudly as some students would probably like it, but my students who are HSPs would thank me for that decision! Likewise, my classroom has two banks of fluorescent lighting, but I only ever use one set. (Often, I turn the lights off altogether and use the window or strings of lights to create the atmosphere I need to work well, or light covers like these.) And I definitely don’t give twenty-five kindergarteners each a triangle all at once, even though it is music class. I’ve learned to teach differently so that all the students are engaged even if just one or two of them have a triangle.

The list goes on and on. My biggest breakthrough personally is to schedule concert nights, when possible, the night before a “non-student” day, like professional development or a grading day. These are my personal adaptations — but it’s essential for any highly sensitive person who’s going to teach to find ways to adapt like this.

Much of your arc as a teacher will involve continuously modifying your environment from a hectic one to a soothing, creative one. The result will not just make your days easier, it will also improve what your students get out of it, whether they are an HSP themselves or not.

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I hope you found these tips helpful! Let me know below which one you're looking forward most to implementing in your own teaching.

Like what you read here? You can catch more good content on my YouTube channel here or grab the planning concert considerations checklist here.

How to Be a Successful Music Teacher as a Highly Sensitive Person, Part 1

Being a highly sensitive person or HSP as a music teacher isn't necessarily a walk in the park; it comes with some challenges for sure. But it can be done well and you can thrive as a music teacher HSP! I know because I am. :) Check out these tips below or watch here to get you started on thriving rather than feeling so overwhelmed:


Let me paint you a picture of my life a few years ago. My first music class comes into my classroom at 9:30 a.m., talkative and full of energy. We are ready to begin our fun but hard work for the day of becoming tune-ful, beat-ful, and art-ful people. I have a 30-year plan for my students: to be able to sing to their own children one day, to clap on a steady beat at a ball game or concert, and to be moved by expressive music in all sorts of contexts. My students experience the joy, the seriousness, the hard work, and the playfulness of music, and I consider it a great joy to accompany them on the journey.

As a highly sensitive person (HSP), I also consider it an exhausting vocation. I work with more than 500 children total: 10 half-hour classes per day with around 200 K-4th grade children. On my feet the whole time, every day, five days a week.

Not sure what an HSP is or if you are one? Learn more here.

When my last class of the day walks out of my classroom, I sit briefly before bus duty and I sigh, always worn out but some days more encouraged than others. I might have more energy in the evening if I had a regular desk job, or perhaps a job that is less emotionally and physically taxing. Sometimes, I envy those jobs. But I don’t believe I would feel as fulfilled as I do knowing the impact I am making on the young people at my school.

Here’s why highly sensitive people like me are drawn to teaching — despite the overstimulation — and how I don't just survive but thrive.

Why Highly Sensitive People are Drawn to Caring Professions Like Teaching

Not all teachers are highly sensitive, and not all highly sensitive people are teachers. But I do believe that we HSPs are drawn to caring, nurturing, and creative professions like education. I’ve personally met countless other teachers who are sensitive (and some who are not...) and I think there’s a reason for it. Highly sensitive people tend to love students of all ages, learning, and helping others. In some ways, teaching fits us like a glove.

That doesn’t mean we’re necessarily well-suited to the environment of the classroom — in fact, my first semester teaching was awful. I struggled to balance my work and home life. Many of my students came into the classroom dealing with trauma of their own, and took it out on me. (This still happens, though each school is different.) I didn’t feel at all equipped to handle it. Honestly, I cried on the way home from school most days, and I'm not even much of a crier for being an HSP, I just had no other way to express the overwhelm I felt.

But I believe that highly sensitive people can overcome these challenges. In fact, I think our empathy, our creativity, and our awareness of others’ feelings help make us especially valuable in roles like teaching.

And I’ve learned a few strategies and ideas to make it much easier.

7 Ways to Succeed as a Teacher When You’re a Highly Sensitive Person

1. Learn to let go when your lessons don’t go as planned.

In my desire to do everything really well, I struggled a lot my first semester. Most things in education don’t go “as planned.” I learned that it’s more important how I respond when things don’t go as planned than IF they go as planned. This realization (which can be applied to most things in life) will take a lot of pressure off of you and allow you to be a better listener and educator.

2. Give yourself permission to say no.

It’s okay to have a day to eat lunch by yourself at work (even if you feel weird at first for not joining your coworkers in the staff lunchroom). It’s okay to build in “down” weekends to rest. It’s okay to stay home for an evening or two during conference week or concert week. It’s okay to not get another “real job” during the summers (in my case, I do odd jobs and plan for the next school year, teach music lessons, and teach occasional community education classes). Your body and your loved ones will thank you in the long run.

3. Your empathy is the superpower your students need.

There are many students who struggle in louder, chaotic, collaborative spaces like a music classroom. It’s more unstructured and less predictable, and that can be over-arousing for me as well as many of my students (whether or not they’re highly sensitive).

As highly sensitive people, our ability to say, “I see you, I understand you, and I am with you” — even while challenging them to grow and take risks — is a game-changer! It helps them confront their challenges without shame or self-doubt.

Our empathy also means we need to be gentle with ourselves. For example, you may struggle with secondary trauma when you see the hurt some of your students go through, or experience it yourself when they lash out. Being able to recognize your feelings not as being weak but as caring helps separate their pain from your own, and be a little more resilient on days when you struggle.

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Click here for part 2 of this series!

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!"

...

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!

The Public Education System, A Response

The Public Education System, A Response
Exhausted.

That was the emotion I thought I felt. I know, I know.... exhaustion doesn't sound like an emotion word, but I felt it in my bones, I lived it day by day and hour by hour.

That weight of never being done practicing or lesson planning. The long hours under fluorescent lights, trying to study through the pain or finish up cleaning recorders before running home to teach lessons and finally collapsing in bed after scrambling to put a semblance of a meal together. The loneliness of working non-stop, rushing from class to class without true connection with another adult.

The lack of deep friendship and understanding. The never feeling good enough. The push push push without relief, without let-up. The feeling like "classroom" teachers aka grade level teachers (I never liked that term, don't I teach in a classroom too?!) were superior just because we provided their prep time during the day to have a full, uninterrupted hour to plan while we were left with the scraps of 10/20/30 minute chunks to try to get something meaningful accomplished before running out to do bus duty.

This was the biggest thing, though, that I felt when in the rat-race of the typical college education degree and subsequent years of teaching in public education: Exhaustion.

This is why burn-out happens so quickly and easily, especially with the younger generation. Why?

Because we've pulled back the curtain, we've seen that it doesn't and shouldn't have to be this way.

Do I judge any of my teacher friends for continuing to choose the public system, or friends who have kids in that system? Absolutely not! What is right for me in these situations may not be right for you, and vice versa. What I DO know, though, is that there are SO many teachers like me, well-meaning and very good, but just not suited for the mold that is public education.

In particular I have created a space where I no longer have to feel caught in the middle to provide for my family.

I can have BOTH. I can experience the joy of teaching AND make a good income (a lot more than I did as a young public school teacher). I can experience rest AND meaningful work. I can lesson plan AND have time to use the restroom whenever I want. I can enjoy kids and their smiles and laughter in large or small group settings AND go home at a reasonable time of day to make dinner for my family and enjoy the sunshine and snuggling my dog. I can get all I need to done and more AND have my weekend to myself now!

There's more to this life than work. But I wanted my work to be fulfilling and meaningful and have IMPACT.

I can choose how to run my schedule now. I choose my hours. And I don't have to teach private music lessons unless I want to (which I do, but it's my choice, not my duty to make a few extra $).

And you can too. It's not rocket science. :) But there are practical steps and considerations to make. Come learn with me how.

Jump! Announcement

Jump! Announcement
If you get my blog updates (or want to get them), you may remember I wrote a little while back about that feeling you get when you're wading out into the unknown or trying something new that scares you a little bit but you know it's a good thing... That feeling you get that is slightly overwhelming but more exciting than anything else? I'm standing at a crossroads, at the beginning of something amazing and wonderful and challenging and awesome all tangled up together.

First, some sad news: I resigned my teaching job at Hayes Elementary. I will dearly miss some wonderful colleagues and equally wonderful students, particularly the 30-some singers in the before-school Early Bird Choir. But once a giraffe, always a giraffe!

Now for the exciting news! I am greatly looking forward to teaching on my own as Orem Music! I will be teaching for a few homeschool groups in the Twin Cities -- as of right now for Wings and CHAT -- doing ukulele classes, a choir/general music type class, co-teaching band, and leading low brass sectionals. I am also going to be teaching private voice and ukulele lessons. I already teach beginner and intermediate ukulele classes for adults through various community education districts in the area, and will continue to offer these options as well as private lessons for adults. For a current list of events that are already scheduled, check out the events page.

I am also continuing to intentionally grow my wellness business with Young Living, focused specifically on serving those who struggle with sensitivities, are Highly Sensitive themselves (HSPs), but also those who deal with TMJD or other chronic issues. I love problem solving with people, walking alongside them on their journey to fuller wellness, and empowering them to think critically about how God has made them and made His world and plants to support our growth and healing. God is opening doors for me to serve others, including creating a welcoming space for others to learn and grow, and I am so grateful and humbled to love people and walk parts of life with them that they sometimes don't wish to share with others. I want people to feel hope rather than fear about their health!

Embarking on this adventure has been a bit nerve-wracking, but also quite exciting during such a season of uncertainty in our world. While the details are not final, given our somewhat lack of knowledge of what this fall will bring here in Minnesota still, I trust God to continue providing the right places and people for me to connect with and offer my enthusiasm, joy, and skills in service. I know God has made me to teach music, and more fully to train up young people in understanding how God has made us all as musical beings, gives us music to worship Him, and allows us to connect with and serve others through music. I am very excited to begin teaching music and training up young people with this more focused vision in mind, and I can't wait to see whom else God brings across my path to serve in the ways He has gifted me.

3 Non-Musical Ways to Maximize Potential and Increase Confidence

Do you struggle with performance anxiety or mindset and confidence? You are not alone. Sometimes addressing non-musical things can really help the issue at hand, speaking from a teacher and performer lens.



Here are a few non-musical ways to help you (or your child) experience success in addressing performance anxiety or general confidence and anxiety. Read on to the end to get a free recipe for my concentration and focus blend.





1. Encourage a Growth Mindset

Growth Mindset is not a new concept, but it is especially important when tackling difficult tasks or subjects. Studies show that if people believe they can do something, even if it is difficult and they may not get it right away, they learn it better, retain it longer, and stick with the hard task longer if they have a growth mindset.

Encourage your inner self to use phrases such as "Mistakes help me grow." or "My intelligence can be developed." or "I keep trying and never give up!" instead of "I'm not good at it." or "I give up easily.'



2. Get Good Sleep

“Daytime thinking is a building process, whereas nighttime thinking is a sorting process.”

― Caroline Leaf, Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health 

Did you know that people with sleep issues are often misdiagnosed with attention or learning issues? This is because our brains make sense of and sort our experiences at nighttime from during the daytime. When we don't get enough good sleep at night, our brain isn't able to "download" and synthesize what we took in from the previous day. So maybe you did a lot of great learning and made progress the day before, but if you didn't sleep well or long enough, that learning may be lost. There are so many other reasons sleep is vital to health and wellness and learning! Read a scholarly example here.

Set a bedtime routine and stick to it! If you need ideas, I shared 11 tried and true ways to get better sleep here that can be adapted very well for anyone, including kids.



3. Strengthen Left- and Right-Brain Connections

Do you enjoy some activities that are completely unrelated to performing? Of course you do! There are many studies that show certain activities (like purposeful cross-body movement) strengthen the pathways in the brain between the two hemispheres. What does this have to do with performing? Well, music often requires that these pathways be strong. When practicing using these pathways, it's like exercising a muscle and will get stronger with use. The stronger you build a muscle, the stronger you feel when something heavy comes along that you have to pick up. By building strong pathways with something different -- like movement -- you can come back to it feeling stronger, like it is a bit less heavy than last time.

In the
 middle of a moment of anxiety or performing (or perhaps even right before it!), do 
this active listening + movement piece to activate those multiple areas of the brain.







"I Can Do This!" Focus & Concentration Roller Blend

10 drops Peppermint essential oil

10 drops Frankincense essential oil

15 drops Lemon essential oil

15 drops Stress Away essential oil

Add these essential oils to a 10 ml roller bottle and fill with carrier oil. 

Roll on wrists, collar bone, bottom of feet, or the back of neck before tackling a difficult task.



Need more ideas for grounding, calming, and uplifting options?


It is very important to know that not all essential oils are created equal...

You can’t just go out to a big box store (or anywhere online) and trust that you’re getting the good stuff. Lucky for you, I’ve got a source I trust – want to know more? Click the button in the top corner to contact me.




*Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. All things I love and use, of course!