Getting Back To It

My freshman year of college, during the first day of my communications class, I was asked to bring an item to the next class that represents me. My item: An index card. I made lists for everything. I had a to-do list for every day of the week and every week as a whole. I had index cards posted in my dorm room above my desk of my schedule each day of the week. As a music major, it was always a fight for practice rooms. Especially being a percussionist, I had to fight for practice time on some of the bigger instruments. My solution? Get up at 6, be in the band room by 7, practice until the first class in the room at 8. I was an early riser, determined to get my work done in a timely matter. In high school and in to college, I was a type-A perfectionist. I remember my cousin, Jenni, saying to me before my graduation open house, that she did NOT want to see what I’d be like on my wedding day.

And then the MS in my body started slowly progressing. I learned that door holding was something I could do, while moving percussion equipment was something I could not. I learned that by asking someone else for help, I was giving them an opportunity to be a blessing. I had conversations with God that would ask him for something small (like somebody to show up right when I needed them) and thank him the instant somebody saw me and asked if they could help. I could not control my body, so I eventually gave up trying to control everything else. And me, on my wedding day? I had “love brain” so bad, that I didn’t care what was happening, because I was getting married. I was asked how I wanted the church decorated a few days before. “I don’t care, ask Laura.” My sister was a rock’n awesome MOH, by the way. She said that she’ll give me so many decisions and responsibilities as her wedding. I just laugh, because I can see her micromanaging her big day in the best possible way. She is the best, after all. 😉

When I was in labor for my daughter (the only for now), a nurse panicked and ran for the doctor. My husband, a 3rd year med student at the time, got nervous. They put me on oxygen to help Lydia breathe better. He looked at me all concerned and asked if I was all right. Me, having received an epidural a few hours previous, smiled and told him that I was great, actually. I was going to have a baby! I have been, and still am, very involved with MOPS (mothers of pre-schoolers).

Fast-forward to now. I know I can’t control my body. I don’t even try to control things. My husband, the doctor-in-training, has enough worry and stress for the both of us. Why bother? But something needs to change. Last year, I decided in February that I was going to read 100 books, and I did. But this year, I am going to write. I got out my index cards again (because yes, I still have TONS) and made a few goals. But a SMART goal. One that is specific, manageable, attainable, realistic, and timely. And then we start with baby steps. First off the bat, is writing for 25 minutes a day minimum. About anything. Everything. My first day? Rambled on and on and on and…you get the point. But I decided that I want to start blogging again.

My 30th birthday was over Thanksgiving weekend, and my husband presented me with a box from “ALL your friends and family.” I was super confused until I opened the box. Almost 150 people sent me a birthday card! It took me a few days to read them all. Now, I don’t cry during sappy movies or when something is touching. I don’t even necessarily tear up. But as I was reading some of those cards, I was definitely misting. A few people told me how much they enjoyed my blog. All this to say, I’m back, everyone!

As I move forward, I will lay off the reading a bit. Maybe cancel my Kindle Unlimited subscription. (But there are a few Indie Authors that haven’t finished writing their series yet. I def have to finish those!) I will start writing again, and I will find my voice that has been somewhere inside me looking for a platform. I haven’t even been journaling lately. But that will be a few days’ worth of these 25-minute-segments, I’m sure.

What about you? Have you set a goal, or as some people call it, “A New Year’s Resolution?” Try breaking it down into little steps. It’s not near as daunting, and it is so worth it!

Be blessed, everyone!


That’s Not My Intro

I sometimes laugh when I write because I think it’s funny stuff.  Sometimes when I write, well, okay, I’ve just been in a silly kind of mood lately.  The piece I thought to compose has rhythms that spell “epic” in Morse Code.  I think of different lyrics for songs I hear and I like to transform the pre-existing to apply to whatever I’m doing of thinking of.  Which is fun.  Until you are assigned to write a paper for school.  A real paper.  My attempts at starting my paper where not a college-level quality, so I scratched them.  “Come on, Anna, you’ve been doing these for three years now!”  Maybe, but I’ve had a summer packed full of more writing than that, my style.  You’re curious now, aren’t you?  Yeah, I’ll share my attempts with you.  I feel like a lot of my inner (nerd) self was revealed here, and I’m okay with that, for now, after getting that out of my system, I can write a real paper!


Anna Olson

Synopsis of Music Education History

Voice. Percussion. Brass. Woodwind.  Long ago, the four families lived together in harmony as each evolved to be like the instruments we see today.  Then, everything changed when the Americas were discovered and the United States became settled.  Music altogether was forgotten about as the people of the new nation had other things to worry about.  Only the Avatar, teacher and master of all four instrument groups, could stop this indifference.  But when a newly settled country needed him most, he vanished.  Though music found its way into churches, its use was limited, and the Voice Group began to rise.  Out of the Voice Group came attempts of teaching by Fransiscan Friars who began teaching noted music.  Hundreds of years later, a new teacher was born, a non-instrumentalist named John Heinrich Pestalazzi who brought the Rote Method to teach singing.  And although the method was good, it didn’t use the affective domain.  Sometime later, Lowell Mason came and brought with him the Note Method, which used all three domains, the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective.  He brought with him the Utilitarian Philosophy, which serves a function of teaching and believes that performance comes from teaching.  Music Education has a long ways to go before it is of a perfected philosophy.  But I believe, Music Ed can change the world.




Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start!  When you read you begin with A, B, C, John Tufts began the rule of do, re mi.  Moved around by Charles Aiken, do, re, mi.




Once upon a time there was music being birthed by composers who became great such as Josquin, Palestrina, and Byrd.  Meanwhile, America was in the process of being discovered, settled, and explored.  Music in America did not have the new birthing that it did in Europe, but was limited in its use, except in churches.




A long time ago in a galaxy we call home…

Synopsis of Music Education History

Anna Olson

            It is a period of limited music use, except in churches.  The Franciscan Friars have struck the first note in 1603 by coming up with the first noted use of teaching music against the evil Music Indifference.  As a result of a few being taught music in church, the Bay Psalm Book was published, the second book published in the United States.  Years later the first Singing School began, followed soon after by Singing Societies.  During these developments, two dissident musician teachers brought forth their PHILOSOPHIES AND METHODS, armed with enough vision to teach an entire nation.  Pursued by the function of performing, Lowell Mason develops a philosophy in which the performance comes from teaching; the utilitarian philosophy emphasizes teaching as it raises money through performances to save music departments everywhere.




It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of discovery, it was the age of loss, it was the melodious epoch, it was the tuneless epoch, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the harmonious spring, it was the off-key winter, they had everything before them, they had nothing before them.  There were the Singing Schools to teach people how to sing; there were the Singing Societies to perform and show off people’s singing.  In both cases it was clearer than crystal to the singers and the listeners, that things in general weren’t going as they should.  John Heinrich Pestalozzik introduced a key philosophy and method called the Rote Method; Lowell Mason later introduced a key philosophy and method called the Note Method.


Ahh!  Well, there you go.  It is a far, far better thing that I do to write and submit a real paper; it is a far, far better feeling inside of accomplishment instead of just giggles, I’m sure.


It still makes me smile, Anna 🙂