This year I decided I was going to give all of my students small gifts at their last lesson of the year. I did last year, except it was in the baked variety. I think I gave them pumpkin bread, but since I don't remember I have to conclude that they don't either. Thanks to pinterest, I got a few ideas for some sheet music art and decided to see what I could come up with to create my own sheet music ornaments. I did two different kinds, the one you can find here and the other I'll show you how to make. The modern paper ornaments I did half the size that the instructions give, and they were perfect sized ornaments, I just did sheet music strips on the outside to make them more music-ish.
The end result was (supposed to be) that each student got a cupcake and an ornament, but I had cupcake-counting/cupcake-frosting issues and in the end a few students didn't end up getting cupcakes. I felt bad, but what can you do?
Chocolate-peppermint-candy-cane cupcakes: yum!
So, without further delay, here's how you can make your own lovely sheet music ornaments.
( A few credits in order: I combined ideas from this post and this post that I found on pinterest to create my own.)
probably about half of the ornaments i made total...
"To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, each according to his ability."
~Matthew 25:15 (click here to read the whole chapter)
This week I am beginning to prepare some practice incentive ideas and goals for my students. I made a couple of lists of goals that my students could acheive over the course of the semester. The first list encompasses all of my students, it contains goals that are acheivable no matter the level, age or instrument of my students. The second is specific to my older, more advanced piano students; it contains more challenging goals that will fit their level of playing. The third list is for my younger piano students, it has challenges that are contoured toward their lower level of playing. The fourth is for my violin students, with goals that relate to the challenges specifically involved in playing the violin. When I hand out those lists next semester and ask them to pick out some goals to aim for, I won't give my beginner piano students the second list or the fourth list. Nor would I give the violin students the second or third list! They need challenges according to their ability.
Most mornings I sit down with my Bible and a notebook and a pencil and read, and then if something sticks out at me I'll write for a while. I'll pull out my Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest and read, or whatever other book I'm reading at the time and see if anything connects, and I'll write that down too. I don't journal every time, but usually the frequency of my writing about what I'm reading is a pretty good indicator of my spiritual life: if I'm writing pretty frequently I feel like I'm learning things, I am spending time tuning in to what God is saying, if I'm not writing then it's the result of a dry period. Writing reflects life.
Every time Ally and I sit down (usually its over texting or phone) to plan a worship night, we go over some themes that have been recurring in our lives, ideas or topics that God keeps bringing up. And then we'll pray about those topics and pick one, or God will lay a completely random one on one of our hearts and we'll do that. But I realized after doing four or five of these worship nights that every time Ally asked me what the themes were in my life (what God has been teaching me about), obedience just kept coming up. We haven't used it yet, but I looked back in my notebook that I use with my Bible reading and discovered that it's something God has clearly laid on my heart recently. It seemed like almost every other page was about obedience.
Obedience. It's not exactly the number one best selling topic among Christians. We prefer topics like "God's Promises" and "God's Forgiveness" and "God's Presence". "God's Love" and "God's Mercy". Those are all wonderful topics, and I need to be reminded of them, but on days when I've spent too much time reading blogs and stalking people on Pinterest, I need God's reminders about obedience. Maybe I'm not the only one.