“It is always during a passing state of mind that we make lasting resolutions.” Marcel Proust
Last week, I blogged about trying to remain calm as the end of the semester/choir year approached. Several of you contacted me about how timely this blog was, and I THANK YOU for your kind comments! This week, in the midst of all your busyness, I suggest you do some work in preparation for NEXT year.
Have a notebook, keep notes on your phone or computer or simply dedicate a piece of paper and jot down what is working and what is NOT working this spring. Did your repertoire work out the way you imagined it would? Were you happy with the quality of those final performances? Did you have enough rehearsal time? How could you have planned things so that you and your chorus/choir didn’t feel rushed? Did you pack too many rehearsals, concerts, and recitals into too short a period of time? What could you have done to make it easier on yourself, both musically and administratively? Did you have enough help to accomplish what you needed to accomplish? Are you happy with your chorus/choir and how they stepped up or were you dissatisfied with how they didn’t step up? What one thing surprised you pleasantly? What one thing surprised you UNPLEASANTLY? How could you have prevented the unpleasant surprise? Were your accompanist or other instrumentalists you hired up to the job and will you hire them again? What was the difference between the spring semester and the fall semester? I am sure you have other ideas on what to note for your own particular situation.
Continue jotting down your ideas about what worked and what didn’t until the day after your last concert and then PUT THE LIST AWAY for at least two weeks. Concentrate on grading and getting your choir rehearsal room back in order, filing music and returning the rentals all the while thinking about what you could have forgotten to put on the list. If you think of any other things to include, jot them down on your list but DON’T READ the whole list yet.
After about two weeks, bring out the list you jotted down and read it, making notes as you do to clarify any questions you have in your mind. Perhaps the in-house printer did a good job this time, but why were the programs so much better in April than in December? Was there something you did differently for the April concert programs to facilitate a better outcome? If you can you recall the difference, then jot that down. In fact, beside each item you’ve jotted down, make some sort of comment, whether it’s good or bad, about it. Then, leave the annotated list alone for a few more weeks.
Get out your annotated list, and begin to really, really digest what you’ve written down. Make a New School Year List of Resolutions based on what you wrote. It can be a formal list or informal but written down so you can read it. Make sure you include the items that worked; I bet there are more of those than items that did NOT work! As you begin to plan, refer to your Resolution List often, using it as a guide of sorts, especially as you plan further into the school/concert year. It is so important to try NOT to make the same mistakes over and over again but learn from them so you are able to move on.
Enjoy your down time and I hope you have a marvelous and relaxing vacation!
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