September Quotes

Here are some quotes that I like and that I have recently seen.

You have to be the kind of person who can make the best out of a Tuesday. You know those people who live for the weekends? They’re wishing their life away. You have to find something worth living for or else you’ll look back and realize you’ve wasted your life away.

-Drew Marvin

Many times when God isn’t changing your circumstance it’s because He’s mostly concerned with changing YOU within the circumstance. Your inner character, your inner strength, your integrity matters to Him because they are everlasting qualities. The wisdom, the strength and the maturity that grows within you are all things you’re going to need to sustain the calling God has on your life. Know that there is a purpose in your pain.

-Brittney Moses

I will choose to find joy in the journey that God has set before me.


Difficulties in our lives gives us the opportunity to experience the faithfulness of God.


We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

-Abraham Lincoln

The only way to figure out if something is really what it appears to be is to simply put it to the test. Unless it’s been tested and proven, you cant trust it. It is the same with faith; a faith that hasn’t been tested simply can’t be trusted. And unfortunately our faith won’t be tested when we are comfortable, cruising and stable… it is when out world gets rocked, turned upside down where our faith gets tested; where our faith gets bigger and stronger, allowing us through him to deal with whatever.

-Ruben P Vandorp

Keep you faith in God no matter how dark it gets. All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish Light.


New Perspectives

This past weekend the Regina Symphony Orchestra had their opening night for the 2017-2018 season. For their opening night they had a percussion soloist. Her name is Dame Evelyn Glennie. She is the first person in the world to make a career from being a solo percussionist. On top of being a solo percussionist, she is also deaf. She lost her hearing when she was 12 years old. On Friday the University of Regina had the opportunity to have her speak and share about music. I feel like I have a whole new way of looking at music after hearing Evelyn. She started out by saying that when she went for her first percussion lesson her teacher just gave her a snare drum and said see you next week. There were no sticks, nor a stand for the drum, just the drum. During the week she made different motions/sounds on the drum. Her next lesson her teacher told her to play the snare drum as if it was a tractor. Since she grew up on a farm she wondered  what kind of tractor; a tractor that was stopped, a slow tractor, a bumpy tractor, etc.. The decision was up to her. And from the decision she could experiment with music. She said her teacher could have just told her, stand this way, this is the posture, hold the sticks this way, and so on. But by giving Evelyn a choice of what tractor she wanted the drum to sound like, she was able to experiment with music. Evelyn said she found that very valuable. One of the questions that was asked was how does her hearing work? She said that when she started playing percussion her teacher tuned 3 or 4 timpani to different intervals and she would hit the timpani with the mallet and her teacher asked her where she felt the vibrations in her body. For example she could maybe feel the note “C” in her fingers and the note “F” in her arm. The teacher kept tuning the timpani to smaller and smaller intervals apart and maybe now she could feel a “C” in the top of her fingers and maybe a “C#” in the middle of her fingers. As someone who has hearing that was a new way for me to look at music. I’m all about hearing the music and hearing if there is something wrong, but Evelyn has to rely on the vibrations she feels in her body. She has to rely on her other senses. She also said she treats every piece at every concert like it is a world premiere. If you don’t treat the piece like it is a world premiere eventually you will not be excited to play it anymore and it becomes a chore and not an enjoyment. I know for me some days I just don’t want to play certain piece because I’ve felt like I’ve played it enough times, but I never know who is listening and maybe they have never heard the piece that I am playing before. But even if you don’t want to rehearse/practice that day you still need to have a goal to accomplish. At concerts she plays without shoes so that her feet can feel the vibrations of the music on the floor. Every stage she performs on is different. It could be a wooden stage or a metal stage, etc.. So the vibrations she feels will not always be felt in the same spot. On Saturday when I went to the Symphony to hear Evelyn perform, she was amazing. Even when I saw her on Friday you wouldn’t have been able to tell that she was deaf. I was just so amazed watching her play. Dame Evelyn Glennie gave me a whole new way and a whole new perspective of looking at music.

First Week, Second Year, Third Semester

Last Wednesday I started my second year of University studying music education. Many people ask what I can do with that degree. Ideally, I would like to teach music in high school. Now, saying that, teaching music in high school might not happen right away. I could end up teaching music in an elementary school. Or I could even be teaching general subjects in a high school or elementary school and not music at all. I am now a full week into my second year. Lately people have been asking how school is going. I have 7 classes this semester, which I know many of you would say how can you be taking so many classes? The answer is I’m a music student. The other answer is during my first semester of my first year I had 11 classes, so even though many people think I have lots of classes, to me it feels like I don’t have very many, even though I really do. These 7 classes add up to 15 credit hours.  (Most University students take between 3-5 classes.) One of the classes I have is Music Technology in the Classroom. This class teaches you the practical things that you will be doing in the classroom when you become a teacher. On Tuesday we did inventory on some instruments, to see what instruments we had, which is something you will be doing when you are a music teacher. Another class I have is Education Core Studies which focuses on Self and Other. Some of the topics we will be covering are race, gender, residential schools, poverty and many more. I am also taking music theory and one part of music theory is analysing pieces of music, such as a piece written by Mendelsohn which means identifying the chords in the piece and looking to see if the phrase of music is similar to the phrase before. Another part is identifying chords in a piece of music that have the same notes in two different keys. I am also taking Vocal Technique which is learning basic and healthy techniques to having a strong voice. As well, we will be learning how to teach the techniques to someone who wants to learn to sing the very basics, as well we would be able to teach a school choir. On Friday the 8th, I attended a performance that our prof performed in, so that we, the class, could see and hear what a professional voice sounded like. Since I am a music student I have to be in two ensembles. The two ensembles that I am are Concert Choir and Concert Band. In band I am playing the trombone. In Choir I am singing the alto part which is the lower part in the treble clef. This past summer the University went on a Choirs (Concert Choir and Chamber Choir) trip to Cuba and I had the opportunity to go along, and it was an amazing experience. Everyone that went learned so much and we all had a great time. None of us that went on this trip knew each other, and if we did it was very little, and we all came away as friends. There were 22 of us that went to Cuba. As well as being a music student you have an instrument major and my instrument major is piano, which means I have piano lessons once a week. Right now I have decided to play pieces by Mozart and Debussy. As piano majors we are required/expected to practice about/at least 10 hours a week. There are five 2nd year piano majors and there are two 1st year piano majors. There is also a 1st year organ major. One of the 1st year piano majors is from British Columbia and I met her the other day in Choir. The other 1st year piano major is from China, but I have not met/seen her yet and I don’t think anyone else has seen her either. The 2nd year piano majors are all from Saskatchewan and only one is from outside of Regina. I am now finished my first full week of classes and I am excited for this semester of University.


December 30, 2016. That was the day my aunt and I made a $50.00 bet that I would not get my license before I turned 20. Well, today I got my license and I’m still 19. So I guess I owe my aunt $50.00. But honestly I thought I would never get my license and I would be taking the bus or getting other people to drive me around for the rest of my life. How did I get my license? This summer I had a summer job working in one of my friend’s home. Near the beginning of the summer she asked if I would be willing to let her help me get my license, and I said something to the effect of sure if you want to, and so we left it at that. Fast forward to mid-July Charlene asked me again, and I said the same thing, and Charlene said something to the effect of this isn’t something that if I want, it is something that if you want, and she said she understood if I just wasn’t ready, but I told her sure that she could help me get my license. So in the beginning of August we went out driving about once a week, and the second time we went out she told me that her husband, Sheldon thought I should book my road test. I thought for a few seconds and asked her if she thought I would be ready, and she told me that she thought I would be ready, and then I thought for a few more seconds, and told her that I hadn’t parallel parked in 4 years, and Charlene said that if we need to we could practice parallel parking for 3 hours a day if we need to. I think the most we ever practiced parallel parking for was maybe half an hour. So a few days later I booked my road test for September 8, 2017 at 8am (today). And by the way my parents did not know I was going for my license. I think maybe only 11 people knew that I was going for my license, and 10 of those people were related to Charlene, and the other one was a good friend. Charlene kept telling me that she was glad we were not in charge of the fine details, like the driver examiner, and that we just need to trust God. Now that is good advice, and trusting God is something I always am doing no matter how hard it is, but the advice of trusting God just wasn’t putting me at ease. About a week and a half before Charlene gave me some of the best advice I have ever heard. She told me that she knew I was good under-pressure, and I asked her how she knew that, and she said by all the piano exams I have done. And I actually found that so true because I have never once failed a piano exam, I may have been close, but I have never failed. That was some advice I held onto for the next week. But honestly I think it was God’s timing that I got my license, and I could not have got it at a better time, because pretty soon both of my parents will not be able to drive. It took me 4 years to get my license, but I finally did it!


I Started A Blog

Starting a blog was always an idea I had in the back of my mind and for the longest time I had no idea where to start. This summer one of my friends mentioned to me that I should start a blog. I ended up getting another one of my friends to help me set it up and that’s how I was able to start this blog. My name is Alicia and I am 19 years old. I am going into my 2nd year of Music Education at the University of Regina. I follow Jesus Christ and I am excited to live the life that He has planned out for me! I decided to call my blog Notes of Joy because I wanted something that was music and faith related, but even if you take music and faith out the name it still makes sense. I chose the word notes, because of music notes. If you don’t think of music notes, it could also mean notes that you are writing. I chose the word joy, because as Christians we should have an unending joy. As Debbie Bennett said “There is a huge difference between joy and happiness. I hope you know the difference in your own life. Joy comes from God, in knowing the peace that passes all understanding no matter the situation. Happiness is dependant on circumstances, and comes and goes … I am grateful beyond any measure that I have a deep, abiding joy.” I enjoy travelling and one of my goals is to travel the world. I also enjoy music. I play many instruments but my principal instrumemt is piano which I have been playing for 16 years.