Once upon a time, I graduated with my Master’s from a top conservatory and moved to a brand new city on my own. My now home, Chicago. I knew one person and knew no musicians. I grew up on a farm in Michigan and knew nothing about city living.
I remember signing a lease, putting down the first and last month’s rent on an apartment with bullet holes in the glass of the entry way and realizing I only had $300 left. $300 total to my name. And bonus, I had no job lined up!
All I had was my horn on my back and a dream. I wanted to make it gigging in Chicago. I wanted to take the L and go listen to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. I wanted to win an audition. I had no idea how it would work, but I knew it would.
Once upon a time, I joined a mastermind for women entrepreneurs led by a spiritual money coach I adore. It was at the peak of the re-ignited civil rights movement in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. It was all about building conscious...
I have been a classical musician and immersed in the culture of music my entire life. And when I say entire life, I’m not exaggerating.
My parents met in music school, my Dad proposed to my mom after a rehearsal and they both pursued lives and careers as musicians and music educators. Since I was in utero I have been drenched in the beautiful world of music.
Growing up music was just a part of who we were. The piano was always being played and a part of the culture of both our family and the classical music world was performing at a high level.
Excellence was expected and part of our family identity. Being able to skill build, perform at a high level under pressure and my ability to reflect and hone a craft have all been amazing assets to me in my life. Each of which can be traced back to my experience as a musician and our family of high performers.
Just like any beautiful world, the world of music has it’s complications.
I’ve been learning about the laws of the universe my whole life.
Newton’s third law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is the law of cause and effect.
Einstein’s theory of gravity challenged Newton’s, stating that gravity isn’t a force, but rather a curvature of time and space caused by mass and energy. Either way you slice it, gravity holds.
I remain grounded here on Earth each day and so do you.
There are scientific and spiritual renditions of each of these laws. I experience them each and every day as I consciously create my life and live my unique Divine Design.
At the end of the day, each law is based in one profound truth:
Everything is energy and everything is connected.
There is one law of the universe that gets a lot of hype. It’s the Law of Attraction.
The Law of Attraction states that “like attracts like”. It was largely made...
About three years ago, I achieved one of my lifelong biggest dreams. I won an audition for a full time job playing my horn.
After hundreds of auditions, failed attempts, tearful plane rides home after ten second shots and never advancing once for years - I not only advanced through to finals, I won.
A culmination of years of practice at my craft and the skill of auditioning paired with a healthy dose of mindfulness and self-love did the trick. I soared.
I remember feeling calm, knowing for a fact that I would play at my peak and feeling ease - even joy - wash over my body in the final round.
I was in my flow and I was in flow by deliberate choice.
Winning this job was a huge deal. I had spent literally decades playing the same 30 second snippets of music over and over perfecting them to ensure my complete preparation for when I got my shot.
The majority of musicians long for a win like this and never achieve it. I did.
Not only was...
I believe that my purpose is to not sit on the wisdom that has changed my life. Rather, it’s my job to share it. In this sharing I pay it forward to others.
Every challenge and experience that presents itself in my life is an opportunity to learn and expand. To each I ask, “What are you here to teach me?”
Well, the class of life was certainly in session for me the past few months.
I gained the quarantine ten.
Then, I lost it.
Let me tell you, this process of weight gain and weight loss pushed me to the edges of my mindfulness practice.
As a woman, my body image has very strong conditioning attached to it. This was triggered in a big way for me.
Honestly, the idea of moving through it without my tools gives me a shiver.
Sans tools I may have not moved at all.
One of the beautiful things about mindfulness and conscious living is that it’s a lifestyle. It’s a way of being.
I can’t tell you how many succulents I’ve killed in the past year. The number that have perished in my residence is astounding.
The farm girl from Michigan and the easiest plant to care for. It’s been a blood bath.
I saw so many gorgeous setups with people and their plants during quarantine. It looked so fun and earthy! I thought, “I want to do that. I want to be like that. I will become a plant person during COVID!”
So I bought succulents, brought them home and was so excited to have them. Then, that was the end of it. My life stayed the same.
I set timers to water them and pressed snooze. I forgot they were sitting there on the ledge. Even when I put them purposely in my path, I walked around them.
In my neglect, they died. Upon the deaths I would tell myself, “This time will be different”. I would go buy more succulents, not water them and they would die. The cycle continued.
A similar thing...
Upon releasing my first ever blog for Mindful Music and sharing more about my story, I called my sibling to talk about it. A lot of my story overlaps with theirs. In fact, before planning and writing this blog series, I called again and asked permission.
The answer I received was a resounding “yes”. They said, “People need to know.”, “People need to know that it’s ok to talk about it” and “Someone like me might need to hear this.” They expressed, “People need to know about music as an outlet and that there’s nothing wrong with them.”
People need to know.
I get goosebumps just recalling their words.
With that intention, I share an important part of what I do through Mindful Music in this third and final installment of my blog series, “Teaching is Art”.
Just like a lot of what I do, it really has very little to do with the...
Last week in “Shoes” (if you missed it, read it here), the first installment of my blog series “Teaching is Art” I dove into the idea of shoes and what it represents in my teaching. This idea of shoes reverberates through what I do at the piano with my students and it doesn’t stop there.
It is my deepest intention that what I do with my students at the piano will echo out into all parts of their lives. As I say, impact beyond the notes.
This reverberation echoes to me just as much. Each young person is a soul on their journey and I am entrusted with key moments in their lives. It’s a big deal.
In holding sacred space for them to be and expand, it helps me be a better person. It calls me to my highest self each and every day. This ripples out into every nook and cranny of my life.
Throughout these ripples in my time as a teacher I have observed, grown, and experienced so much. Mindful Music was born organically. It was...
I’m obsessed with shoes.
Not in the Carrie Bradshaw heels way - in the fresh sneakers way. Few things make me happier and put a literal pep in my step as clean Nikes do.
As a Chicagoan that generally avoids downtown and tourism central, I somehow never mind a trip to Nike-town.
Why? They make me feel like a boss. They make me feel like I can do anything. With jeans or a dress, they simply rock and then I rock right along with them.
My style is what I would call sporty chic. It oscillates between sneaker-tastic and straight up mermaid.
It’s me. It’s fun and free. It’s Adrienne!
Not only am I obsessed with shoes literally, I’m obsessed with shoes in my life as an artist and teacher - two seemingly different roles that turn out to be one in the same.
Every day as I teach, I create something called “The Land of Shoes”.
Once upon a time in grad school my roommate introduced me to the show, Parks and Rec. It ended up being one of the shows we watched on repeat.
It was joyous and silly. We howled with laughter in our small two bed apartment at the end of very long days in conservatory and all that comes with it.
One of the tag lines of the show is famously “Treat Yo’ Self”. The idea being that once a year, or every once in a while, they would have an entire day devoted to treating themselves to luxury and pampering. It’s a day all about lowering stress, relaxation and pure enjoyment.
For my generation (millennials), this has become a turn of a phrase that has permeated our existence. When you say “Treat Yo’ Self” everyone knows what you mean. You are gifting a day, a moment, purchase, a deluxe delight to you.
As I’ve witnessed “Treat Yo’ Self” in myself and the world around me...