Days 17-31, Decide, Commit, Succeed

March 17th-18th: I spent the last couple of days reaching out to former students for a new page on my website, Former Students, Where Are They Now? It has been really great hearing about their successes and catching up! I’m really looking forward to completing this page for all to see!

March 19th-20th:  This weekend has been packed with the MTMS St. Patrick’s Day Parties and Recitals and three Palm Sunday performances at Peace Lutheran Church in Gahanna. All of my students played beautifully on Sunday at their recital! The crafts I ordered for the parties turned out to be a huge hit for students and teachers alike! Art therapy all the way!

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March 21st: This afternoon I drove down to Athens to give a presentation to the OU Flute Pedagogy and Repertoire class called, Navigating the Collegiate Job Search. We discussed where to search for job postings, helpful resources for preparation, how to write a cover letter that stands out, writing a CV and keeping it up-to-date, letters of recommendation, preparing a teaching philosophy and performance samples, etc. I also covered each round of the search, including SKYPE interviews and on-campus interviews. I’m hoping to use this presentation to write an article for Flute Talk Magazine or Flutist Quarterly very soon.

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March 22nd: Luckily I remembered to bring my iPhone tripod and I recorded my presentation yesterday. Just when you think you won’t have a use for something like this, someone asks to see examples of your past presentations. 😉 It’s best to just record everything! Today I uploaded the video of my presentation to YouTube so I have it for future use. I made the video private, but for those who might be interested, let me know and I’ll share it with you!

March 23rd-26th: I’ve spent the last couple of days going through all of my recordings and uploading many of them to my SoundCloud account. I posted several pieces for solo flute, piccolo, and a few chamber works. My SoundCloud account is also linked with my website if you are interested in checking it out. (www.angelaheckmueller.com)

March 27th-28th: These past couple of days have been full of Easter activities and gigs, but I’ve also completed a couple of updates to the events calendar on my website. Check out my calendar for upcoming performances!

March 29th: I’m revising my Teaching Philosophy and might include this information on my website. I also completed my former student page with the information I currently have. I’m still waiting on bios from one or two students, but I can add their info later.

March 30th: To complete this month’s goal, I’m scanning all of my recital programs and organizing them by month and year. I have had occasions where people have asked for electronic copies so now I have them ready and waiting in a safe location. I’m also working on a Flute Choir page for my website that I hope to link to the MTMS website. I’m hoping to launch that page in April.

March 31st: Along with my Gals With Goals 30-day challenges, I’ve also decided to learn a Telemann Fantasie each month. This month I learned the third fantasy and plan to record the first three fantasies very soon. Stay tuned!

Days 6-16, A Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Wish

March 6th-7th: I’ve been working on several website projects this week so stay tuned for the finished product! I started contacting former students to catch up with them and to get their bios and headshots for a page on my website called, Former Students: Where Are They Now? I can’t wait to finish this page in order to share what they’ve been up to and give them a little shout out!

March 8th-11th: My Vistaprint order arrived so I spent a couple days updating my entire music library. Unfortunately, I only made it half way through my library with the 1,000 stickers I ordered. I made another order and will finish labeling my music once it arrives! I’ve drafted two additional pages for my website, a flute choir page and a page called, A Few of My Favorite Things. Stay tuned for the launch of those pages!

March 12th: On Monday, March 21st I’m giving a presentation to Ohio University’s Flute Pedagogy and Repertoire class called, Navigating the Collegiate Job Search. I spent some time today organizing my materials and preparing my handout for this presentation.

March 13th-15th: My second Vistaprint order arrived so I continued marking the music in my library. I ended up running out of labels AGAIN! I had no idea I owned so much music! I made my third Vistaprint order and hope to finish this project next week! At least the labels look fabulous! 😉

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                        Before                                                                 After

March 16th: This morning I continued working on my former student page and finalized my presentation for Monday. I’m hoping to use this material to write an article for Flute Talk Magazine or Flutist Quarterly so stay tuned!

Days 1-5, Organize your life around your dreams – and watch them come true

March 1st: During the month of March I will be doing daily website and professional development updates to meet my 30-day challenge. I started my goal by updating the calendar on my website. There were a couple events that needed moved from upcoming to past events and a few items that I needed to add. I had a little extra time in my schedule today, so I also revisited my January goal and cleaned out our closet and dresser drawers. Now everything is reorganized and I have a bag of cloths ready for donation.

March 2nd: I revisited my website calendar today and added blue hyperlinks to each event. By clicking on the link, you can go directly to the event’s webpage for additional information, such as admission fees, location, times, repertoire performed, event description, etc.

March 3rd: Today I put our headshots to good use and ordered new business cards for myself and for Joe that include our websites. Here’s a little preview!

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I have a really old stamp that I use to label the music in my library. It’s drying out and only has my maiden name, so instead of ordering a new one, I made labels to update my music.

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Just for fun, I ordered some personalized cards that I can use for thanks you notes and other things. I can’t wait receive the order and to start using our new materials!

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I also worked on a little recording project day, but more about that later…

March 4th: I made a couple revisions to my full biography today and uploaded the revision to my website. I did a small redesign to add an “About Me” tab with a dropdown menu featuring a short bio and full bio. Eventually I would also like to include personal details, such as a link to Gals With Goals, as well as information on my favorite things I like to pursue outside of music. Stay tuned for those changes.

March 5th: I make revisions to my CV about once a month so I don’t forget things I’ve done. I realized that there were a couple sections missing so I’ve added those and I’m also posting my CV to my website. Stay tuned for more updates next week!

Days 14-29, practicing mindfulness and meditation in an Angela sort of way

February 14th-15th: I have a big performance coming up this week and the reality is, I need to mentally prepare in a way I know will lead to a successful experience. Like any athlete preparing for a sporting event, I need to pump myself up with continuous positive thinking and keep those negative “inner judges” at bay. In order to do this, I listened to the audiobook Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. As a musician, I cannot reach success without facing my fears and allowing myself to fail…sometimes miserably. As someone who suffers from performance anxiety, I can tell you that I often have to rely on my practice and muscle memory during a performance in order to battle nerves. I’m constantly reminding myself to relax, let go, and be brave enough to take risks.

February 16th-17th: After completing Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, I jumped right into listening to Year of Yes, How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes. She is the creator and producer of the hit ABC TV shows Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder. In her book, Shonda talks about being an introvert who decided to say yes to anything and everything that was asked of her for a year, such as accepting invitations to situations that make her extremely uncomfortable. This is perfect advice for someone who is about to perform for a brand new audience tomorrow.

February 18th: My mom’s birthday and performance day…when I’m nervous I get overly emotional and have the sudden urge to cry. What’s the best way to avoid crying? Laughing. This morning I listened to the podcast Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! from NPR while getting ready. It’s silly, snarky and keeps my mind free from nerves.

February 19th-20th: My performance is finished and everything went really well. On one hand I feel free, as if a huge weight has been lifted. On the other hand, after a really long performance day, I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck! Every ounce of my body hurts and I am completely exhausted. On my flight home I listened to the audiobook, 8 Keys To Practicing Mindfullness: Practical Strategies for Emotional Health and Well-being by Manuela Mischke-Reeds. The good news is, I learned that I am already a pretty mindful person. Score!

February 21st-26th: This week I’ve been listening to 10 Mindful Minutes: Giving Our Children – and Ourselves – the Social and Emotional Skills to Reduce Stress and Anxiety for Healthier, Happier Lives by Goldie Hawn. To be honest, when I checked out this audiobook from the library, I noticed the title and completely missed the subtitle. Doh! In my quest for a quick and painless way to complete this goal, I found a source that will help me as a teacher.

February 27th-29th: We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘when it rains it pours’ right? Well, that is my life right now. On my quest to reset, reenergize, and focus on my next goal, I’ve decided to listen to the audiobook, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Nell Scovell and Sheryl Sandberg. I’ve also been working on the Telemann Fantasie No. 1 in A Major as an extra little goal this month. I’m looking forward to a new month and a new goal!

Days 7-13, Strive to Focus on the Present

February 7th: After our Sunday morning routine of NorthStar and Trader Joe’s, I completed a mindful breathing meditation from the app, Breathe. This guided meditation reinforces moments of feeling physically and mentally settled and calm. It is also useful to relieve a variety of emotional states, including stress and worry, and helps when you feel physically or mentally unsettled. I’m feeling a lot of anxiety today for Joe because he is performing the Dvorak Cello Concerto this evening at 7:00pm with the Capital University Orchestra. I know it will be a fantastic performance because he has been working so hard these last couple months! What can I say, I’m just being a nervous Nancy. 😉

February 8th: Joe’s performance of the Dvorak Concerto was absolutely stunning last night! I’m so proud of him and very thankful that Brooke was able to capture this photo of the event! After a brief stretch this morning, I completed a 6-minute guided meditation called Engaging Your Senses from the app, Breathe. It reinforces your moments of feeling physically and mentally settled and calm. It also helps with feelings of sadness, depression, and unsettledness (both physically and mentally). This meditation is quite different than the others I’ve completed because it focuses on the senses of sight, sound, smell, and touch.

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February 9th: This morning I used the Breathe app again and completed a guided meditation called Mindful Walk, a 4-minute meditation to reinforce your moments of feeling physically and mentally settled and calm. This meditation helps when you feel depressed or sad, or when you feel physically or mentally unsettled. We have our music and meditation performance tomorrow, so I thought it was fitting.

February 10th: This evening we provided music and guided meditation for the Ash Wednesday service at Peace Lutheran Church in Gahanna. My nerves were running high because we have been working on this program for a really long time, and we wanted everything to go smoothly. I tried to calm the nerves by focusing on my breathing during the meditative moments. What a concept, right?!?! Now that this service is behind us, I can switch my focus to the performance I have next week in Tacoma, Washington.

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February 11th: This afternoon I completed another meditation from the Breathe app called Be Present. This 3-minute meditation was quite different then the others because it wasn’t guided and simply featured background nature sounds of moving water, chirping birds, etc. It reinforces moments of feeling physically and mentally settled and calm, and provides a relaxing focal point when you need to take a mindfulness break. I also listened to The Daily Meditation Podcast while in the car on the way to work. This particular podcast was a Loneliness Mudra Meditation. I really connected with this meditation at first because it suggested that creating goals for yourself is a source of meditation and mindfulness. Brooke, it’s a Gals With Goals score! 🙂 I was really getting into this podcast after hearing that, but then she lost me when she started talking about mudras, chakras, stones, colors, and “monkey mind.” I just don’t know about all of that…

February 12th: I woke up with a cold this morning, which is the worst possible timing ever. :/ After taking some Airborne, I completed 10 minutes of yoga for flexibility and relaxation and then did a 6-minute meditation from the Breath app called, Commonality of Suffering. This meditation will support your attitude of kindness when you are feeling angry, frustrated or resentful, and relieves feelings of loneliness or isolation. This guided meditation asks you to reflect on ways things change when you don’t want them to, which was quite fitting for a morning when I think I might be getting sick and don’t have time for that. Grrr….

February 13th: Well the Airborne didn’t work yesterday, and I am definitely sick. Blah! I have five students playing solos today at OMEA Solo & Ensemble Contest and of course my first two are pretty much at the same time at different locations. I pulled out my super woman cape and tried to make a plan to hear half of my first student’s performance from outside of the room and then frantically drive across town to catch the second performance. I gave up in defeat knowing that unless I figured out how to teleport from one place another that plan was impossible. I was able to hear two out of the five play, and I know they all played beautifully! Here’s a pick of Samantha from last year and one of Miranda from this year.

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I came home to scramble around and get some work done, and then I had to slam on the breaks to do my meditation for the day. I chose the 6-minute meditation call Cause and Effect from the app, Breathe. This meditation helps reduce feelings of defeat, discouragement, or unhappiness. I still have a lot of work to do with this whole meditation thing, but I’m certainly trying!

Days 1-6, Practicing Mindfulness and Meditation

During the month of February I will be studying mindfulness and meditation, a modern movement and practice of becoming aware of one’s “stream of consciousness”. Hold onto your hats folks, because getting this energizer bunny to sit still for any length of time with a quiet mind will be an absolute miracle! Wish me luck!

February 1st: For a couple days leading up to the start of this goal, I downloaded a few apps for mindfulness and meditation, checked out several audiobooks on the subject, and also subscribed to three podcasts. This morning I started the day with a simple yoga routine followed by a 2-minute guided meditation to calm from an app called, Calm. This is a simple body scan meditation to help quiet the mind and increase a sense of calm and well-being. I also spent a good portion of my morning practicing for two recital programs I have coming up, one of which will be a musical meditation! Please join us at Peace Lutheran Church in Gahanna on Wednesday, February 10th at 7:00pm for an Ash Wednesday service of music and guided meditation.

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February 2nd: After my yoga routine this morning, I did a 3-minute guided body scan from the same app I used yesterday. This guided meditation began by having me focus on my breath and then on specific areas of the body from head to toe, relaxing each area and relieving any tension.

February 3rd: Following my yoga routine, I tried a 3-minute mindful breathing meditation from the app, Breathe. This app is pretty interested, because you begin your session by “checking in” with yourself to see how you are doing and how you are feeling that day. Once you identify the emotion you are feeling, you complete a meditation to improve your day!

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February 4th: After my morning yoga, I completed a 5-minute meditation on Gratitude from the app, Breathe. This meditation was dedicated to reinforcing my feeling of happiness, joy and enthusiasm. It is also recommended for times of sadness and depression, or when you are feeling jealous or judgmental. While driving to and from work this week, I’ve also been listening to the audiobook, Mindfulness for Beginners. The ironic thing is the author suggests not talking about your meditation…At all…TO ANYONE! HAHA! I guess I have succeeded (for actually completing my goal) and failed (for talking about it to you) at my goal this week at the same time!

February 5th: Today marks Day 5 of daily yoga practice and daily meditation. This morning’s meditation also came for the app, Breathe and was a 6-minute meditation called, Relax, Ground and Clear. This guided meditation reinforces the moments you feel physically and mentally settled and calm. It is used to help relieve feelings like fear, worry or insecurity, and also has a grounding effect when you feel physically or mentally unsettled. With two major performances approaching, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate type of meditation to try!

February 6th: This morning I completed a guided meditation from the Breathe app called, Great Compassion. This is a 9-minute meditation to strengthen your kindness, compassion, hope, joy, and appreciation. It can also be used to help reduce feelings of guilt, helplessness, shame or vulnerability. This guided meditation was divided into three parts: 1) compassion 2) pain & suffering 3) putting others before yourself and it was my longest meditation yet. My mind bounces around like a pinball in a pinball machine. I’m constantly planning and making lists of ideas in my head so I am pretty terrible at this whole meditation thing, but at least I’m trying! Hopefully I’ll make some progress by the end of the month! I hope to see you all on Wednesday for Music & Meditation!

Days 24-31, Declutter Your Space, Declutter Your Mind

January 24th: I decided to focus on my digital files this week, and I started by changing my email signature on both of my email accounts! (Long overdue, I know!) I also added my website to my email signatures and my Facebook page!

Dr. Angela Heck Mueller, Flute
www.angelaheckmueller.com
Adjunct Music Instructor, Ohio Dominican University
Third Flute & Piccolo, Springfield Symphony Orchestra
Gahanna Site Manager & Instructor, Michelle Tuesday Music School
Flute Instructor, Music & Arts

January 25th: Today I organized all of our digital photos in folders on my computer by event, location, and year. I usually do this on a regular basis, but lately I haven’t been keeping up with it so there were wayyyyyy too many!

January 26th: This morning I updated my CV and resume with my website and some other concerts and events that have happened within the month. I try to update both documents on a monthly basis to make sure I don’t forget to add anything.

January 27th-28th: I started listening to the audiobook, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. I’m already a really organized person so it was nice to hear that I am on the right track, but there are always areas that need improvement! I could probably dedicate another month to this goal in order to use some of the new suggestions from this book! I’ve already created another list of projects to tackle later in the year!

January 29th: As per my usual Friday routine, I completed my weekly cleaning and laundry tasks before practicing and working from home. I’m really glad I started the year with this goal, because it has helped me cut back on the time it takes for these weekly chores! YAY!

January 30th: This morning I cleaned both of my offices at MTMS. I keep these spaces really organized, but they can quickly collect dust! Clean work spaces=more productivity!

January 31st: Outside of our Gals With Goals 30-Day Challenges, I set another goal for myself for the year. I decided that I would learn a different Telemann Fantasie each month. This month I learned Fantasie #2 in A Minor. I’m planning on recording them either all at once at the end of the year or in a couple different recording sessions throughout the year. More to come later on! I’m looking forward to a new month and a new goal!

Days 17-23, Happiness is…a clean and organized home

January 17th: This morning I washed all of our pillows. We have a front load washing machine so I can only load two to three pillows at a time while making sure they are positioned so that the load stays balanced. I washed them on a normal hot cycle using our regular detergent, but you can also add a few drops of tea tree oil to kill germs and a half cup of baking soda to remove smells and/or perspiration stains. Joe and I are notorious for “wearing out” our pillows and just buying new ones, which is really expensive. I was completely blown away by the results of this little experiment, because our old pillows are like new again!

January 18th: I keep a storage container full of gift bags, tissue paper, wrapping paper and other gifting accessories under our guest bed. With the holidays behind us, I had all kinds of these items that needed reorganized so I can recycle and reuse them next year. I leave the tags on the bags to make sure I don’t regift it to the giver the following year. If I can avoid ripping the tissue paper while opening a gift, later I’ll smooth it out with the other sheets I have and then fold them up together. When I need to prep a gift for someone, I have tons of colors and sizes to choose from! Reduce, reuse, recycle right?!? It’s okay, you can think less of me…I know I’m cheap. 😉

January 19th: We keep all of our extra (now clean & fluffy) pillows in our guest bedroom closet along with all of our suitcases and travel supplies. After travel, these items usually get haphazardly tossed back in there until the next trip. I spent my morning reorganizing this space and now it looks tidy again! Hooray!

January 20th: Alright, you all know that I am a super organized, OCD kind of person. Well here’s my dirty little secret. When I have something that I don’t really know what to do with, I shove it in our office closet and try to forget about it. Sorry Joe, but you are just as guilty here. When he purchases tech supplies or new cello strings, the box and it’s contents end up in the same closet. I finally organized our office closet today and needless to say, it took forever! Let’s see how long we can keep it this way! 😉

January 21st: This morning I tidied up our laundry room. Last spring I purchased some really cute organizers for our laundry room shelves. I just had to straighten those up a bit and wipe down our washer and dryer to rid it of dryer dust.

January 22nd: Today I completed my weekly cleaning and laundry tasks. Luckily, it didn’t take as long as it normally does because I was so thorough last week. I’m looking forward to hosting my quartet rehearsal this evening!

January 23rd: Before heading into the studio for the day, I organized our furnace room. This space is pretty small, so for safety precautions I try to tidy it up on a regular basis making sure that nothing comes close to the pilot light under the furnace.

 

Days 1-9, Decluttering Life

My goal for the month of January is to declutter and organize our house and our lives. I can’t think of a better way for a neat freak to start the new year than spring cleaning in the winter! I’ve picked small projects around the house that I’ve been putting off for a really long time, and I plan on getting rid of a lot of things we don’t use and have been holding onto for way too long.

January 1st: I started the new year by sanitizing all of our towels and reorganizing our linen closet. To be honest, the linen closet was already very organized before hand, but the sanitizing cycle on our washer takes two hours so I needed to accomplish this goal on a day I didn’t have to go to work! Bath towels are really thick, so over time they tend to lock in moisture leading to a musty smell. Gross, am I right?!? If you want to keep your house germ free, wash your towels often and use the sanitizing cycle as often as you can.  If your detergent isn’t doing the trick, try vinegar before busting out the bleach. There is nothing more disgusting than emptying your dishwasher and drying your silverware with a towel full of germs. I mean…yuck! :/

January 2nd: For the rest of the week I’ll be focusing on organizing and decluttering the kitchen, so today I tackled our spice racks. We cook a lot so we have an entire cabinet designated to spices. But lets be honest, we probably all forget what’s actually up there and end up buying duplicates. I threw out old spices and also condensed others so we have one jar instead of two. Some experts say spices never expire and others say spices have a shelf life of six to 12 months. I’ve also heard ground spices expire much quicker than whole spices.

January 3rd: Today I tackled our fridge and freezer by throwing out anything past its expiration date, wiping down all of the shelves, interior and exterior features, and reorganizing the contents. About a month ago, I was reminded of the importance of air tight containers. I had put something in the fridge and the lid wasn’t on tight. When I got my water the next day for our morning workout, I noticed that it had a really funky taste. At first I thought our filter needed changed but later realized it was the ice that tasted like the meal I had placed in the fridge. Needless to say, I had to dump all of the ice from the freezer and replace the baking soda containers I leave in the fridge and freezer to prevent odor. Doh!

January 4th-9th: The remainder of the week has been dedicated to reorganizing our kitchen cabinets. Confession time…I still had a couple of Kitchen Aid attachments, a wok and a giant roaster pan tucked away in our office closet, because I didn’t think we had space for them in the kitchen. Wrong! With a little reorganizing and pitching kitchen items that we really don’t use, I think I’ve managed to fit all kitchen items in our kitchen! What a concept! I’ll be moving onto a new area of the house next week! 😉

Days 10-16, Organizing Life

January 10th: I started the week by revisiting the kitchen and reorganizing our pantry. First, I removed everything from the shelves and lazy susan. After wiping down the shelves, I sorted through the contents to condense items as much as possible, I threw out a couple things, made a grocery list of things that are running low, and restocked the shelves.

January 11th: Today I tidied up our storage area under the kitchen sink. It was already it pretty good shape, so I added a couple items to our grocery list, refilled all of our soap containers, and condensed other cleaning supplies.

January 12th: Now that winter recitals are complete, I’ve been collecting a ton of music from my flute choirs. After organizing all the music, I refiled it on my bookshelves. This is quite the process, because all of my music is organized by genre and alphabetized by composer last name. There were stacks and stacks of music that I collected, so it also required shifting things around on the shelves to get everything to fit in the proper order.

January 13th: In order to complete today’s goal, I cleaned and reorganized our coat closet. I emptied all of our jacket pockets, washed all of my scarves and a couple of our jackets. Once things were nice and clean, I hung up all of my scarves and arranged our jackets by season.

January 14th: This morning I washed all of our bedding and blankets around the house. Obviously this is a pretty regular task, but our guest bed doesn’t get used very often, except by our cats who tend to leave an extra layer of fur for our guests. It’s nice to just freshen things up once in a while, especially if we are expecting company.

January 15th: On Friday morning I clean the entire house and wash all of our laundry. It takes a couple hours, but it’s nice to start the weekend with a clean house!

January 16th: This morning I reorganized our bathroom cabinets. They were already pretty organized, but I went through all of our medicines to throw away anything that had expired and added needed items to our grocery list.