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In early 2009, I decided that I wanted to take organ lessons. You can read about how I reached that decision here. After a couple of months of thinking about it, I decided to take action and find a teacher. In this post, I will share how my life has been impacted and lessons I’ve learned since deciding to take organ lessons.
In June 2009, I started looking on the Internet for an organ teacher in my area. I checked church websites looking for organists and eventually discovered that Adrian College had an organist. On June 9, with my husband encouraging me to “Just Do It”, I took the risk and emailed Michael Gartz, who was the Adrian College organist at that time.
I was VERY nervous. My fear of rejection was quite high even knowing that the worst possible outcome was that he would say “No” or never reply. I even offered an out in the email asking “Do you offer private lessons in the Adrian area or do you only teach the college courses?”
I do not recall approaching a stranger for anything like this before in my entire life. Michael was not soliciting for students. This was a random email from a random adult with no organ experience.
Within 30 minutes I received a response from Michael stating that he would be happy to give me lessons! I had to wait for the fall semester for my lessons to begin. That summer I ordered the Method of Organ Playing (8th Edition) by Harold Gleason and a pair of OrganMaster organ shoes. And then waited for September to come. If you didn’t know that most organists wear special organ shoes check out this post that explains organ shoes.
Because the fear is gone now, sending an email with such a request seems like such an easy thing to do. At the time it felt like a huge barrier to overcome. Writing that email proved that I can be bold and have the courage to do things despite having fear.
An organ will fit behind my couch! When I first started taking lessons, I practiced on the neglected pipe organ at my church. After a month or so, it began to cipher. My church didn’t mind me playing the organ but they were not going to fund any repair work. Michael arranged for me to have an old electronic Saville organ that had been donated to Adrian College. They were not using it and it would soon be in the way of some renovation work. On November 30, 2009 the organ was moved from Adrian College to my living room. My house is not big so we made room for the organ and the large speakers behind the couch.
I don’t know where my expectations came from but this was a wake up call. I started thinking about how I would need to do something else along with being an organist. I read Quitter. I went to the Quitter Conference (and I was bold enough to go alone!). I started reading blogs and listening to podcasts. What else could I do that would would give me the flexibility to have more practice time. My post college jobs have had a one hour commute each way. How much different would my life be if I could eliminate the commute time?
I learned about online business and people making money form their blogs. I found myself inspired by Pat Flynn’s story at www.smartpassiveincome.com. He was let go from his job as an architect and now makes thousands online each month. If I could start an online business, then I could work from home, drive much less, practice more, and write more. In November of 2013 I joined the Internet Business Mastery Academy (affiliate link) to learn how to get started. I have started another website about writing thank you notes – www.tonsofthanks.com. Building online income takes hard work and time. Just like learning to play the organ, it doesn’t happen overnight!
We can make choices and that includes our mindset. We can decide to do something different and to try something new. Lose weight, eat only real food, take up a musical instrument, you name it you can try it! As Henry Ford said “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”
If there is something you’ve always wanted to try, do it and see how it impacts your life. Even if it doesn’t work out, at least you will be able to check it off your bucket list!