A year ago I had grand dreams. I was going to start a chime choir at the elementary school. Something unique, different, and wonderful. I was sure kids and parents would JUMP at the chance to enroll their children in such a great program, and I was sure that I would be able to get funding in the form of a grant to be able to buy a four octave set of chimes, maybe even a bigger set, for our school. How hard could it be, right?
I had no idea.
I DID get a chime grant and got to use a loaner set of chimes for the school year, so that was fantastic. But then the beginning of the school year started and the band teacher shot down my plans, and I couldn’t get a grant, and I only had two kids show up, and we had no place to set things up, and I had no idea what to do if kids showed up anyway….that was discouraging. In fact, I just went back and read a bit about what I was going through last fall with this choir, I felt like crying again for that girl last year and all she was going through and trying so hard to get this choir off the ground. But then I read this…
Dreams take time. Yes, it seems like I’ve been working on this project forever, and it feels like it’s never going to get off the ground, but in reality, it’s only been since May that I’ve been trying to get this thing going. I have these chimes for a year, and hopefully by the end of this year, I can get funding to buy another set for next year. And hopefully I can get 20 kids interested enough in joining a chime choir that I can run this program. If I don’t? Well, maybe I can make it work with less kids. I don’t know.
Impatient much, are we?
And you know what? I did it! It was hard. I really didn’t know how hard it was going to be.
I had to do two different groups, one before school, and one after school. Together there were enough kids to play a song. Alone, they could play about 1/2 to 2/3 of a song. But we did it.
And after Christmas, we even took the choir to two different locations to play, and I did my OWN fundraiser to raise the money to purchase a three octave set of chimes, even though more than one person told me it couldn’t be done. And at the end of the year, the principal told me that he appreciated all the work I had put into this, and offered to buy a fourth octave set for the school. He wants me to stay and teach, and not give up just because things are hard.
This year, I have my own 3 Octave set of chimes, the school purchased the 4th Octave for us, and I already have 20 kids signed up! 20 kids was the requirement needed to PAY ME the whole year, so this year I should be able to be paid for all my time, not just half, like last year. I don’t get paid a ton, but it does work out to about $100 a week, which is better than nothing. I don’t know how it works, if there’s money left after they pay me, if I can use that to buy music or things. I hope so. So far any music or supplies I have bought have pretty much come out of that paycheck.
But more importantly, with 10-14 kids in each group, they can play all the notes, so each group can learn and play a song, without being frustrated that it doesn’t sound right, and not knowing how the song is supposed to sound until we get all the kids together for a concert. I’m SO excited about that!!
I’m still inspired by this statement that I read on my friend Tess’s blog. She is a writer and is just in the process of publishing her second book. She’s really quite amazing. She said,
“I am so glad I didn’t give up! For all the times this story was rejected … for all the times my earlier work was rejected … for all the times I wondered if I could really have a book published on a national level — I am so glad I didn’t quit. Dreams take time. But here’s the thing, If you keep trying and learning and believing, they will come true.”
So, a big thank you to my friends who inspire me to keep trying, even when it’s hard. I wish I could take this lesson and apply it to every aspect of my life where things are hard. But silly me, I kind of have to learn the same lesson over and over again.