Music, Education, Learning Styles,
And the Journey of this Music School
And the Journey of this Music School
I get told this a lot: “You’re so lucky.” Lucky that your business has grown. Lucky that you live in the country on 3 acres of land. Lucky that you get to travel so much.
People, luck has NOTHING to do it. The fact is, I’ve worked really stinking hard to get where I am today.
When I was in elementary school, I would enter singing contests. I won a lot of medals, mostly because my mom was a music teacher and she strategically picked out songs that fit my voice and range. She set me up for success—it was no accident.
In high school, as I shifted my focus to playing piano, I never won a “Superior” ranking in the high school contests. I always came up short, taking home an “Excellent” ranking. I was studying with a phenomenal piano teacher who was more concerned with my proper technique than showy pieces that would win me medals. That hard work paid off when I got to college. My piano teacher was pleasantly surprised at my level of proficiency with classical music and with my sight-reading abilities. Neither were accidents—I had teachers pouring into me, teaching me those skills.
All through college, as I worked toward my major in music, I didn’t really stand out in the crowd. There were always pianists better than me. Vocalists that got chosen first. I kept my focus on my practicing and studying, not really worrying about comparison. I left nothing to “luck” or “chance.” I just worked really stinking hard.
In May of my senior year of college, when the college professors announced the end-of-year awards, I was distracted, looking down at a paper in my lap. I wasn’t even looking up when they called my name for Music Graduate of the Year. My friend sitting next to me had to elbow me and hiss, “That’s you!” I was completely taken by surprise. I had never ever expected to win an award. But my music professors all saw the same thing in me: Determination and hard work.
When it comes to building my business, I’ve done much of the same thing: I’ve focused on working really, really hard, not worrying about others around me, and with determination, I’ve built Signature School of Music one level at a time. Imagine my surprise when I won “National Studio of the Year” in 2012! And then, in 2013, the city of Rogers awarded me with the “Small to Medium Business Excellence Award!” I was stunned. In fact, I cried. I have never wanted the spotlight—I’ve just wanted to work hard and push myself for results. Sometimes, though, you have to glance up and accept your award. That’s what I did in college, as I walked down the aisle to accept the “Graduate of the Year” award and that’s what I did the last two years for my business awards.
What’s next? Lots of hard work, diligence, sweat and tears. I’ll keep working hard, and I guarantee, whatever success lies in the future is NOT pure luck. It’s the result of diligence, research, prayer, and tears.
Whatever YOU are working for, be encouraged! Your efforts WILL pay off! Stay the course. Keep your eyes focused straight ahead, work hard, and enjoy the ride!
I kind of get tired of everyone talking about “New Year’s Resolutions.” Dieting. Lifestyle changes. Goals. Vision.
January seems full of hype and then a quick letdown. The cold weather and sickness can be downright depressing at times.
I encourage you to do something different this year. Instead of pushing yourself to accomplish a new goal, how about you look backwards? Grab your calendar and look at all the things you DID this year! Check your Facebook page and celebrate all the awesome moments you experienced.
We all need encouragement and a pat on the back! “Slow and steady wins the race” but it doesn’t feel too exciting at times. If you picture yourself as a snail, take the time to look backwards at the trail you’ve been traveling and see what the last year (or last 5 years) has held for you.
Celebrate the milestones you’ve experienced! If you only ever reach, reach, reach forward, you will risk discouragement at how far you have to go. Instead, celebrate how far you’ve come!
Have you formed new friendships? Traveled to new places? Moved? Tried something new? Gotten healthy? Made it through a really difficult season?
I love to journal. Flipping back to see my frustrations and joys from the last year is encouraging to me. I made it! We’re here—the year 2014. Our studio and our family has experienced some pretty huge moments this year and I think it’s appropriate that we take a deep breath and just enjoy all that we’ve accomplished.
No matter what you’re going through or facing, this note is to encourage YOU. Look how far you’ve come! Look at what you’ve pushed through! That’s something worth celebrating!
Jen Hickle, Author,
Hi! I'm Jen Hickle. I started Rogers School of Music when I was newly married and finishing my music degree. I LOVE music, I love education and I also love writing! This blog is where you can get to know me a little better and I can share my love of education and music and personalities, as we tailor music lessons to each individual student!