Those That Inspire, Pecha Kucha and GoodReads Giveaway


Hi! Thanks so much for visiting! This week, I wanted to revisit a topic I wrote about in the past year; those that inspire us. One of those people that we all have had experience with are teachers. No matter what they teach, these can be some of the most influential people who enter our lives. A perfect example of this would be my kids music teachers from Hix Brothers and their piano teacher, Mr. David Kellen from Studio K.

David Kellen has known our family for 10 years. He’s seen my kids grow into the musicians they are and it was by his talented teaching skills that they have developed a love for music to the point that they have ALL taken up 1-2 other instruments in addition to piano. We have always said that piano was the “gateway” instrument to our kinds love for music. He has been a mentor, a cheerleader, the voice of reason when my kids got (and get) frustrated with a more challenging piece of music, and a friend. David has helped inspire our kids to preserver through the tough times, helped open their minds to create their own music, develop patience, and self-confidence. What better person can you ask for in a teacher than that. He has helped bring out and develop those qualities they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Others that have inspired our kids are the teachers at Hix Brothers. This is a family owned music store where my kids take their drums, guitar, voice and band lessons. Working with a smaller, family owned business brings with it a sense of being more than just a customer or student. For example, Andrew Hix, my daughter’s drum teacher, stopped by this week to tune my daughter’s drums. He even went so far as to rearrange the drums so they were better positioned for her to play. This was done on his own time, at no charge. Andrew teaches Masters Classes in drumming and has helped our daughter Emily reach a level of playing that I think even she wasn’t expecting. Andrew is as kind as he is humble, and his love for teaching comes across as natural as breathing. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but after every drum lesson, Emily comes out energized. He has instilled a “can do” attitude in her and with that kind of support, how can she be anything but successful in her life. Another teacher is Ken Mandat. He teaches our boys guitar. I was shocked when I heard that Ken is a retired rock star. He is still in a rock band called Damien Thorn and does quite a lot of gigs. He just recently returned from his annual European tour. His support, encouragement, patience and expertise in playing guitar as well as seeing him play, has inspired my own kids and once again, helped support and develop qualities in my boys that will be carried far beyond the music they play.

I don’t think any of these teachers have any idea the impact they have on these young musicians. They are the reason kids love for music grows which will inevitably, pour over into their personal and professional lives as they grow up. It’s these very special teachers who inspire our younger generation to use their abilities to the fullest so that maybe someday, these kids will turn around and impact someone as much as they were impacted by their teachers. I can only hope to have a fraction of an impact on our younger generations as I visit schools and talk with students. Having the honor of touching another’s life in such a positive manner as these teachers have, is what we should all aspire to do with one another. Thank you to ALL teachers who inspire our youth to reach beyond their perceived capabilities.

On a final note, I’ve been invited to pecha kucha in Batavia for August. I’ll be presenting ‘My journey of how I got to where I am today.’ I’ll give more information on that as we draw closer. Also, don’t forget, there is a GoodReads giveaway going on for the next few weeks. The winner will be drawn at random for a chance to win a personalized, autographed copy of The Wish.

Til next week…be someone’s inspiration!
E.V. Jones.

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