Welcome to The Music Spark. My first ever blog! I am so excited to be starting this blogging journey. I know I keep referring to the “journey” – but for me, this is what I hope this process is. A journey to reignite my passion for life, teaching and music.
When I was younger, my life revolved around music. It was what brought me happiness and also provided comfort when I was down. It was what I loved doing. Along with my formal music studies, I spent many hours just making music for fun and relaxation. It was something I thought would be there my whole life as this amazing elixir for my soul – something I would always have time to do – quiet time to just sit in my room and play. So, what happened? I think most people would call it “life”.
Life happened – I became a Music teacher (though I had thought I’d become a lawyer or politician or Prime Minister), I got married, had two kids, got the dog, chickens, camper trailer, a million loads of washing, cooking meals, racing here and there – you know how it goes. Suddenly there was no “time” or “energy” left to just sit and be creative. Sure, music was there in my job, but I had lost the ability to have my time alone with it and just play and dream and get lost in the melodies. I could make time, but it just wasn’t the same. And anyone who’s been a teacher or has lived with one would know that teaching has an amazing way of draining the life from things (more on that another day).
And so, over 15 years on and many times in between, I have found myself asking “what is the problem and what is the solution?”. I am still not 100% sure on the answers to these questions, though I have many theories. And these are the things I want to explore in this blog and hope that the content helps you on your journey as well. I would also love you to share your stories and insights along the way. As they say in High School Musical – “We’re all in this together!”.
Why “The Music SPARK”?
When you enter the world of blogging, you need to think about your niche – what you are going to write about and connect with people on. I really wanted to do something that gave me an opportunity to share the things I do in my music teaching but I also wanted to look at teacher mental health and strategies to help cope with the stress of teaching.
Then, as I was reading Steve Biddulph’s book “Raising Girls” (after having read “Raising Boys” – both fantastic books for any parents or teachers!), he talked about the “SPARK”. This section of the book deeply struck a chord with me. Music had been my spark, and I had lost it – it felt as if it had totally disappeared. Biddulph says: “Your spark is your way of being in the world – artist, creator, writer, athlete, leader, caregiver, inventor, mystic, activist – this is your deep self, and that fire will keep you alive and sparking until the end of your days” (“Raising Girls”, p84). Biddulph refers to Dr Peter Benson who researched this concept of “Spark”. “Peter spent the final years of his life campaigning for one single idea that he felt could transform the quality of both home and school life for young people- the idea that we all have a “spark”.” (“Raising Girls, p 81). So, in wanting to ignite and nurture the “spark” in my own children, and those I teach, I feel I really have to reignite my own.
“Your spark is your way of being in the world – artist, creator, writer, athlete, leader, caregiver, inventor, mystic, activist – this is your deep self, and that fire will keep you alive and sparking until the end of your days” (“Raising Girls”, p84).
And it is from this that The Music Spark has been born.
So, on day one – here I stand. Ready to start my journey of discovery. It’s time to light the fire and rediscover my passion for life, teaching and music.
PS. If you are interested in the books “Raising Girls” and “Raising Boys” by Steve Biddulph, check out this link: Book Depository – Steve Biddulph