It is Christmas Eve in Bulgaria. I am asked what are the Christmas traditions in the states for Christmas Eve and I think of my Christmas Eves with my family. Our big dinner was always on Christmas Day with my family. we would have ham and potatos and salads. Here in Bulgaria Christmas Eve is the special night. Typically it is a dinner of an odd number of dishes without meat. This is my second Christmas here in Gabrovo, Bulgaria. It is absolutley beautiful and the snow covers everything.
Yesterday I went to visit a friend in Kazanluk and to get there from Gabrovo you have to drive through a mountain pass called Shipka. It was the most beautiful mountain pass with the snow. The trees were covered on every limb. Everything is silent with the snow. I don't know what causes the phenomenon but it is almost reverence for nature. The cars are quiter, the dogs are quieter. Everything seems more peaceful. Right now the family I am with is preparing the Christmas eve dinner and Christmas day will be spent with friends.
Everyone has a special Christmas memory. The one that is in my heart and always will be is the Christmas I spent with my Polish friends when I was at the University. I was finishing my violin performance degree and my friend was finishing her visual arts degree. She was married with two children. We had a beautiful dinner again without meat and everyone opened one gift next to the Christmas tree. It was so different from any Christmas I spent before where you open many Christmas gifts Christmas morning. It was absolutely magical that Christmas eve and then for Christmas day we had ham and fresh horseradish for breakfast.
Whatever your Christmas traditions are and wherever you may be - I wish everyone love, light and happiness. This season is just about that - not the gifts but being with friends and family and sharing love.
Always know that the path that you may be on will open up and be the path for you. Listen.... Listen to the sounds of nature, listen to your inner voice, observe your surroundings and the message that it brings. Be sensitive to the vibrations around you through music, energy and love.
This would be the gift I would give to everyone - to experience this peace.......... and it can be found in music and in nature.
Enjoy the videos and Happy Holidays to all wherever you may be.
I have taught privately for twenty years and never did I ever think that my studio would be online. I never even imagined skype lessons. When the idea was presented to me I thought how effective could it really be. I travel quite a bit with performing the violin and one summer before going overseas a student of mine (from a military family and very comfortable with skype) requested skype lessons. I said ok we can give it a try but I never found the time to make it possible. The following year she asked again and I thought OK - I will seriously give it a try. That summer I taught three students by skype and was terribly surprised by how effective it was. The same summer I was encouraged by another person to make youtube teaching videos. Again I ventured out of my comfort zone and was very surprised, yet again, how effective this is for a teaching tool and it goes hand in hand with the skype violin lessons. I am a die hard traditionalist and am nowhere near what I would call a techie but in many ways I have ventured outside of my comfort zone. Since then I have read multiple articles on the new age of education for children. Children's brains are "turned on" while being taught through social networking sites for example youtube and skype. I have seen this for myself when with one student of mine who struggled learning a scale after having conventional private lessons with me finally learned it perfectly via a skype lesson and one youtube video.
Everything could not have been orchestrated better because now I am living in Gabrovo, Bulgaria playing with the Gabrovo Chamber Orchestra and I am still able to teach my violin students in the states and add students from around the world to my newly located online violin studio. Currently, I have a student that is a high school senior preparing for university auditions and because of skype violin lessons I can still work with her in her preparation process. We indeed do live in an exciting day and age with endless possibilities.
Now when I tell people I teach on skype they look at me and say how is that possible and I smile and say I once thought the same.....
More entries: November 2012
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