What Have You Learned?

It’s great to finally start having some things return back to “normal” after the pandemic. We’ve all learned a lot during this past year. If each person made a list, and we compared them side by side, perhaps there might be some things that are similar but for the most part, I’ll bet each one would be different.

Keeping yourself and your family safe became the number one priority, no matter the costs. Having three “high risk individuals” living in my home at the time, we took the virus very seriously. The pandemic helped remind us what’s truly important in life and what things are nice, but not critical. Our schedules suddenly became free from all extra curricular events for a time.

I remember when I saw an empty parking lot at a chain of retail stores in the middle of the day and how strange it seemed. This was another reminder of what’s critical such as food and medication and other household items, like toilet paper, right? We all had to get used to wearing masks and it became a natural part of getting out of the car to go into a business. Yet, now it seems strange to see so many people without masks.

What did I learn as a musician?

One of the big changes was moving to online music lessons and learning how to use Google Duo and Zoom. Now, it can be a great backup plan for an unexpected meeting scheduled at work and no ride available for a student to get to their lesson. We can both hop on and do a Zoom lesson and already know the settings we need to use and how to communicate via the internet.

As a teacher, I learned how to be more specific when talking to my students since I couldn’t just point to their music with them standing or sitting next to me. This experience also helped students increase their listening skills and learn how to take their own notes for their lessons. Above all, it taught us all how to adapt and we proved that we can adapt and learn to make things work.

I hope some habits, such as frequent handwashing and cleaning door knobs more frequently, and keeping your germs to yourself will remain a natural part of our lives. Instead of focusing on what a challenging year this has been, take time to count your blessings.

Take a few moments and ask yourself, or even better, write down what you’ve learned from this past year and why you are better because of it. Hopefully, you have gained appreciation for things you took for granted before. Let this pandemic experience make you a better person and give you a hope filled future.

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