To the Music Grads of 2019

It’s graduation time!

It’s the culmination of years of hard work, studying, practicing, papers, presentations, and performances. A time most certainly worth celebrating!

Florida State University, Doctor of Music - Woodwind Performance, 2015

Florida State University, Doctor of Music - Woodwind Performance, 2015

Facebook reminded me that I finished my doctorate four years ago this week.

And just a few months after graduation, I got married!

Wedding Day! 7/11/2015

Wedding Day! 7/11/2015


I applied to lots of jobs – college jobs, administrative jobs, and government jobs – anything arts related.

And I didn’t get any of them. Not even an interview.


So I had to make things happen myself.

I inquired about teaching at an after-school arts program and got a 10hr/week job as an office manager and music theory lab instructor.

I built my first website ( and figured out how to get it on the first page of Google when your searched “flute lessons Tallahassee.”

I grew my private studio from 3 students to 17 students in a little over a year.

I inquired about teaching at another after-school arts program and ended up serving as an arts camp counselor, then flute and piano teacher, then music director, and eventually, the arts program coordinator.

Then we moved to Kentucky, and I had to start all over again.

So maybe you’re applying to jobs, or maybe you have a job lined up already.

Maybe you’re going to grad school.

Maybe you’re taking time off to travel.

Maybe you’re moving someplace new, or maybe you’re moving back in with your parents (for now).

Or maybe you have NO IDEA what you’re going to do or what’s next.

Whatever happens, you’re going to be ok.

Because your education does not stop here.

You are constantly evolving, and there is something to be learned and gained in every season of life.

 My office manager job taught me how to communicate on the phone and handle people that were upset (and how to not take it personally when people were upset – I once had a parent say, “I blame YOU for ____.” Of course, it was something I had no control over.)

My music director and arts program coordinator positions taught me how to organize and work with the community.

 And I learned a lot on my own and through online courses about building a studio – branding, marketing, recruiting, networking, graphic design, and web design/SEO.. none of which I learned in school.

Oh, and self-employment taxes from private teaching and contract work? That was a BIG learning curve.

All that to say..

Savor and celebrate this time. It truly is a marker of a new chapter and fresh possibilities.

And if things don’t pan out exactly as you thought or as quickly as you’d like, it is not a sign that you aren’t enough.

Be open to possibilities. Express gratitude. Follow your curiosity. Continue to learn, and know that you have gifts that only YOU can give.

With peace & compassion,