The Year That Was…

Skip Holmes and Katherine Moller at the ECMAs in Charlottetown PEI

At this time of year everywhere that you look there are stories of “The Year that Was”, the year in photos, the stories that got covered by the media, the stories that should have been covered. So, in that spirit, I thought I would write up a blog on 2011 and what happened in my life.

Let’s start with the highlights! The year started off with a bang as I was chosen to showcase at the ECMAs. The actual event took place in April in Charlottetown, PEI and was excellent. Another big highlight was being nominated for two awards at the Music NB Awards: Female Recording Artist of the year and Educator of the year.

Sadly, also on my list of all things exciting has been getting an iPhone. It is embarrassing how much I like my phone. Those who know me and work with me love my iPhone as it has actually made it so that you can reach me. It has made my life much easier!

Always a highlight for me is going on the band trip. I run the string ensemble at Leo Hayes High School and each year we go on a trip. This past year the trip was to Montreal and was excellent! I went to university at McGill so it was like going home in a way. I get at least as excited as the kids about going on these trips. Other than the school trip, it was a quite year as far as travelling goes. I went to Maine to visit family and also went to Cape Breton to meet up with my bother and his clan.

Teaching has gone very well this past year. I guess one of the biggest highlights in that realm has been starting a string programme at Park St. Elementary School. This is actually the school where I started playing the violin all of those years ago! We had over 40 kids in the programme and put on a concert at the end of the school year with a full orchestra including all the kids in the band programme and string programme. It was quite a sight to see!

As far as disappointments go, my second CD was not nominated for an ECMA and I did not win either of the awards at the Music NB Awards. I had also applied to Contact East for a showcase and was not chosen. I must say though that these pale in comparison with the death of my father. My father passed away in August, and that put a damper on the rest of the summer. As with all things though, there is always a silver lining! It was amazing to see the turn out at his memorial and it was great to have been able to go on one final vacation together!

All in all, I would say that 2011 was a great year! You can’t have life being all positive… We all need a few disappointments in our lives to keep it all in balance! I however do chose to focus on the good that has occurred. I hope that you have all experienced a wonderful year as well!

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One of the many reasons why I love this time of year…

I happen to love this time of year.  I know, it is full of ridiculous commercialism andpeople are running around like crazy.  The parking lots are full and there are always lots of accidents at the time of year as everyone rushes without really paying attention to what they are doing, but I still love it!  One of the many reasons is how nice it is to teach my students right now.  You might think that I would get tired of hearing Silent Night every year, but really, I don’t.

So why do I love teaching Christmas music?  Well, my students always get excited when we start.  I have a rule in my studio that we don’t start working on Christmas music until after Halloween.  This is to help maintain my sanity, but also to build excitement.  Kids love Christmas music and are always excited to play music that they have heard all of their lives.  They love playing music that their family immediately recognizes as well.  Often they are looking forward to playing for their extended family when they visit over the holidays.  That is one of the many joys of this time of year!

I also love teaching Christmas music because my students learn it really quickly.  It is amazing the progress that they are able to make during this time of year.  I try to balance music that they like with music that will help to develop their skill.  I am a great believer in being able to read music, so I do get my students to play music that they don’t hear all the time.  This means that when Christmas comes, they have the added bonus of having heard the music their whole lives, so they are able to learn it much quicker.  That is satisfying for them, their parents and for me!  I do love this time of year!