The Eight Principles

I can't get over this video this week.  It hit my google reader at just the right time.  I have been visioning and brainstorming and putting plans together to finally accomplish some goals both personal and professional that I have had for some time now.  I have to keep reminding myself as I do that important planning step that the next step is action.  I bet we all have unfinished goals and dreams that are just dying to be accomplished.  Take the next five minutes to let this video transform and re-energize you.  Enjoy!  

Here are the Eight Principles mentioned in the film.

Get focused and...
1. Stop hiding who you really are

2. Start being intensely selfish

Be Creative and...
3.  Stop following the rules

4.  Start scaring yourself

Use Your Wisdom and...

5.  Stop taking it all so damn seriously

6.  Start getting rid of the crap.

Take Action and...

7.  Stop being busy

8.  Start something
My favorite quote of the whole video is...

"Don't wait any longer for permission to do what you want to do.  There are always reasons to procrastinate just a little longer.  Enough!  Just start!"

The Eight Principles video was made by www.BoxOfCrayons.biz


Grocery Store Musical

Improv Everywhere, was created in August of 2001 by Charlie Todd to cause "scenes of chaos and joy in public places."  Since it's inception, Improv Everywhere has completed over 100 missions or stunts involving tens of thousands of undercover agents. The group is based in New York City.

With the unsuspecting public as it's audience, Improv Everywhere creates spontaneous scenes in unlikely places and the videos are showing up everywhere.  This one landed in my e-mail in-box and I just had to share.  The founder, Charlie Todd, decided to create a produce musical in a random Queens, New York grocery, asking composer and lyricist team Anthony King and Scott Brown (of 'Gutenberg! The Musical!') to create the perfect grocery store show stopper.  Here's how it played out.  Enjoy!


One Hundred Things

   1. I was born in Lawrence, KS
   2. I moved around the Midwest when I was growing up
   3. I have lived in 3 American states: Kansas, Missouri & Nebraska.
   4. I went to 8 different schools
   5. I was born loving music.
   6. I thought I would be a teacher when I grew up.
   7. I don't remember a time when I wasn't singing.
   8. I was and still am an avid reader
   9. I love books
  10. I was the only child my mother knew that got in trouble for reading too much.
  11. Reading kept me from cleaning my room and doing chores.
  12.  From 7th -9th grade I was a member of the Lawrence Children's Choir
  13.  As a high school student I assisted with the LCC's feeder choir, the Choristers
  14. I have always felt older than I really am.
  15. Ready to do more and be more than I was allowed to be.
  16. I don’t like it when things don’t come naturally
  17. Musical things come naturally.
  18. Working with kids comes naturally
  19. Being friends with people who are quite older than me comes naturally
  20. I have been told I have a gift for conducting. 
  21. Conducting has become one of my passions over the years.
  22. My other passion is creating and leading relevant, artful worship.
  23. I got my first church music job at 19 years old. 
  24. I stayed at Centenary United Methodist Church for 5 years.
  25. My first job was working at in a retirement community's Kitchen as a dietary aide
  26. I have had some amazing musical opportunities over the years.
  27. I attend the University of Kansas as a Vocal Performance Major
  28. I studied voice with Un-Chong Christopher & Joyce Castle
  29. I have sung under the direction of Simon Carrington & Dr. John Paul Johnson
  30. I have been in choirs coached by Charles Bruffy & Bob Chilcott
  31. I have worked with Jane Marshall, Alice Parker & Helen Kemp
  32. After Graduating high school in 2000 I made my first trip to New York
  33. That's when I sang at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Simon Carrington
  34. My second time on the East coast a few years later I traveled to Washington D.C.
  35. There I sang at National Cathedral for evening service with KU's Chamber Choir
  36. We also performed at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York
  37. I love traveling
  38. Most of my travels have happened thanks to music.
  39. I met my husband at Henry's Coffee Shop.  Neither one of us drinks coffee.
  40. We dated for a year
  41. We were engaged for a year
  42. We got used to this being married idea the next year
  43. We call year number 2 of our marriage the year of the baby
  44. I also call it the year of the hospital.
  45. That year my husband's appendix ruptured and my daughter was in the NICU for 3 1/2 weeks
  46. More time than I have ever spent in hospitals.
  47.  But we all survived.
  48.  Moved to Kansas City, MO in 2006
  49.  Wasn't sure about that move.
  50. Have since grown to love my home.
  51. Still trying to finish United Methodist Certification for Lay Musicians
  52. I have one class left
  53. I’ve never been out of the country. 
  54. My husband has dual citizenship to Canada.
  55. I want to start my own professional vocal ensemble
  56. I am also exploring starting my own children's chorus
  57. I miss conducting.
  58. I am determined to get back at it.
  59. I was a percussionist in high school
  60. I want to own a marimba some day.
  61. I also was in the marching band's color guard
  62. Those were good times.
  63. I have a small monkey collection that I now share with my daughter
  64. I love being a mom.
  65. But sometimes motherhood is frustrating
  66. and it's not easy.  No matter how people say I make it look. 
  67. I like my large blue eyes
  68. My daughter Madeline got them, too
  69. And so did my son Oliver
  70. We look quite handsome together.
  71. I love to cook and people say I'm pretty good at it.
  72. I wish I had more time to get into photography.
  73.  I love the smell of pomegranate candles.  It's quite awesome.  
  74. I wear jeans most every day
  75.  I seem to work better at night but never past 1:00 am.
  76. I can't stand cola soda
  77. But I do like Dr. Pepper & Root bear occasionally.
  78. I love Sunkist Soda and drink far too much
  79. I'm a pescatarian but nobody really gets that
  80. so I just tell them I am a vegetarian.
  81. Pescatarians eat eggs, dairy & seafood
  82. I want to live somewhere with a metro where I don’t need a car.
  83. I want to recycle more but feel limited by my lack of space.
  84. My focus now is reduce, reuse. 
  85. My husband taught me how to crochet when we were dating.
  86. I now do it more than he does.
  87. I also loom knit. 
  88. I love yarn crafting so much that I created a group for charity giving
  89. It's call Yarn Blessings. (look us up on Facebook)
  90. I enjoy making the prayer shawls and baby blankets.
  91. I took 5 years of Spanish language in school
  92. Over the years I have sung in 12 languages the last time I counted
  93. I used to joke that I was a Chinese, Mexican, Italian in a past life
  94. because those were my favorite food categories. 
  95. I want to live in a simply designed home with lots of storage
  96. And it must have enough lawn for a garden
  97. and a clothes line
  98. Fall and Spring are my favorite times of year.
  99. This took longer to write than I thought it would.
 100. I guess I can't believe I had 100 things to say about me.  :-)


Creating a Musical Vision for 2010

For the past month I have been working on my musical vision for myself in 2010.  Each year I try to organize my activities to better reflect the goals I have for myself for that year.  Not everything goes as planned and some tasks get rolled over but each year it helps me stay focused.  I feel doing this activity this year is even more important than ever before for several reasons. 

  1. I'm 27 years old and want to make sure that before I hit 30 that I tie up current loose ends and finish any projects that I have left undone so far.  I would like to enter that next decade with a somewhat clean slate, ready for what comes next for me. 
  2. Now that I have two children my time to do what I love seems to be getting shorter and shorter.  I have to make sure what I do spend my time on is worthwhile and truly helps me accomplish my goals.
  3. Many different versions of the "Bucket List" have been showing up for me when I'm reading online.  I must be calling these to myself for some much needed reflection.
  4. I have so much I want to accomplish as a musician that I am a little overwhelmed.  Organizing and prioritizing my ideas should help take the stress down a bit.   

For this post I thought I would focus on my brainstorming sessions with the many "Bucket Lists" I have found.  I ran across 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind and decided to start there.  This list is all over the place and got me thinking about life and how I want to live it.  Then I was off to Day Zero where you can "Plan.  Create.  Motivate. Achieve."    Day Zero is the home of the 1001 day project.  It challenges you to complete 101 tasks in a 1001 days.  The tasks in your customizable list must be specific and be clearly defined.  Each task must also be realistic and stretching.  At first I had a hard time thinking of 101 things that I wanted to accomplish but Day Zero gives you suggestions that really helped to get the ball rolling.  Here are a few of my music goals from my list at Day Zero.   

1Go see an Opera

5 Sing karaoke at a bar

36 Record 1st Vocal Christmas CD

37 Create a play-list of my favorite songs for my MP3 player

38 Create & Offer a Family Music Class for the studio

39 Offer Music for Little Mozarts Music Class for the studio

40 Audition for the Kansas City Symphony Chorus

41Send info to Kansas City Chorale to audition

49 Record a Taize Music CD

50 Record a Sacred Music CD

61 Attend several live music events

66 Go to the Kansas City Jazz Museum

67 Go out and listen to live Jazz

68 Video Tape Me Leading Worship

71Sing at a Piano Bar

72 Record Wedding & Church Music Sample CD

73 Practice & Perform my 2nd Solo Recital

74 write 4 articles a month for my blog

75 Find out more about Emerging worship

76Attend a KC Taize service

78 Start my own Kansas city choir or ensemble

79 Book myself for Christmas 2010 music gigs related to my CD

80 Hold First Christmas Winter Concert w/ Choir-Ensemble

81 Hold First Late Spring Concert w/ Choir Ensemble

82 Hold a Spirituals Concert during black history month or MLK Day w/ choir ensemble

83 Reignite Kansas City/Raytown Taize for Advent 2010

90 Hold auditions for my choir/ensemble May 2010

91Have Choir Ensemble retreat August 2010

94 Hold German Leider Recital w/ Don Forsythe

97Add Music Player on Website to showcase recorded works

98 Finish rep list on biography

100 Prepare an audition notebook w/ varied selections

This is such a great way to keep track of personal goals of any kind.  I am looking forward to checking some of these things off my list.  I encourage you to take some time this week and make a list of all the things you have yet to accomplish on your 2010 "Bucket List".  Then make a plan for your year.  Research what it would take to complete some of your goals and break them down so you can manage the steps.  Stay confident and enjoy the journey.  You will reap some amazing rewards.


Quote of the Week "In the long run..."

"In the long run, you make your own luck - good, bad, or indifferent."

- Loretta Lynn


We're a Favorite Place on Google!

I don't know what I would do without Google products.  They supply me with this blogging platform, multiple email addresses, calendars and websites.  I use just about every product they offer and if I don't I know my husband does.  Even our kids (both under the age of 4) have email addresses with gmail.  So, the other day I got a yellow envelope in the mail from my friends at Google and was surprised to find out that the Elliott Music Studio has been chosen to be part of Favorite Places on Google based on my Google Local Business listing.  This is so cool!  I waited a couple weeks to pass on the good news because I had to figure out how exactly this new status works.  The video below should help a little in explaining it.  Take a peak!

The Elliott Music Studio is one of over 100,000 local businesses in the U.S. that Google has sent these neat little decals to.  These businesses have been the most sought out and researched on Google.com and Google Maps and have earned the name "Favorite Places on Google".  Each window decal has a unique bar code, known as a QR code that you can scan with any of hundreds of mobile devices — including iPhone, Android-powered phones, BlackBerry and more — to take you directly to the Elliott Music studio's Place Page on your mobile phone for instance. With this new technology you can easily go up to a storefront and immediately find reviews, get a coupon if the business is offering one or star a business as a place you want to remember for the future. Soon, you'll be able to leave a review on the mobile page as well, just like from your home computer.

I am looking for the perfect place for my new decal and will be updating my business profile on Google Local Business to take advantage of this new status.  Thank you Google for this great honor and opportunity.  What will they think of next?  


Quote of the Week "As long as a man stands..."

As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way. 

-Ralph Waldo Emerson


In this very moment I'm...

Listening to: My radio (elliottmusicstudio) on thesixtyone.com

Crushing on: My new Yarn Blessings fan page on Facebook.  I'm so proud of it!

Lusting over: Lion Brand Yarns & New Music Books. 

Consuming: Sunkist Orange Soda on the rocks.  My favorite!

Rocking: Jeans and a T-shirt with socks because its just that cold around here.

Reading: The Internets

Watching: Music videos on Youtube.com

Stressing over: Paying the bills while I do what I love.

Scared of: Loosing my passions to the monotony of everyday life.

Style I love: Simplicity with pops of color

Make-up essential: My new Pixi make-up kit from target.  Thanks Mom!

Wanting: More Music Books, A new haircut & wardrobe, time to write.

Loving: The quiet with a hint of music in the background.

Hanging for: The new music books I ordered for my daughter.  I can't wait to share piano with her.

Addicted to: Quorn Gruyere Cutlets.  They are amazing and totally vegetarian!

So tell me... what are some of your currents?



Quote of the Week "O Christmas Sun..."

O Christmas Sun! 
What holy task is thine!
To fold a world in the embrace of God!

~Guy Wetmore Carryl


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