What A Wonderful Year

I have not written all school year.  Either I was much too busy, or too tired.

This year has had it’s challenges, both good and not so good; but I consider it a wonderful year.

For the first time in many  years, I am working in a secular school.  At first, it took some getting use to not teaching Jewish/Hebrew Music for holidays and conversation, but I  adjusted as the year progressed.  I still have the “Jewish Traditions” classes on Friday mornings at this school, and of course Hebrew school and my private students; as well as Life Cycle Events and conducting services every week, so I have the best of all words.

I think I must have needed a change after being at my previous preschool for several years because I have challenged myself to do things I have not done before, which is more curriculum based music.  I get a copy of the grades curriculum and I piggyback.  This has forced me to learn more music.  I even wrote a piece called, “Hello, How Do You Do?”  With the 3s, 4, and PreK Classes, I taught instrument families using books, videos, and of course real instruments.  It was very well received.  I taught the same thing with the toddlers and 2s but of course on a very different level.  I am using so many different tools to teach music now, that it is impossible for me to get bored.

I have a wide variety of private students from mainstreamed to special needs.  I love the challenges, and I love to witness the children’s successes.  One of my autistic students will have his Bar Mitzvah ceremony at Bet Shmuel Cuban Synagogue in Miami next Saturday evening.  I am excited about being on the Bima with him and watching the family and guests gasp at which this young man achieved!

I have become very comfortable leading meditation services which I offer the last Shabbat of every month at TBTST in Tamarac.  Not only is it good for the participants, but for me as well.  We breath, chant, relax, and just let go.  Join us!  The next one is May 30th. They start at 9AM and end around 10.

The Sisterhood of TBTST asked me again to run the program for May this year, but at a club house in Parkland.  It was an awesome experience.  There were thunderstorms prior to the program, which was called “Seasons of the Moon.”  I incorporated the counting of the Omer, Lag baOmer, and Rosh Chodesh, with biblical text, midrashim, and a visualization.  During the program we were in a screen house by a beautiful lake.  It was still thundering and lightening, but the thunder was small rumbles.  When discussing the revalation at Mount Sinai the rumbles of thunder was absolutely perfect and awesome!  The sky was beautiful with red stripes and behind the clouds we could see the lightening.  What a perfect night for the program!  We ended it with Debbie Friedman’s, “Seasons of the Moon.” Several of the participants sang, and it was beautiful.

It has been a challenging year for me health wise  due to migraines, sometimes quite severe.  Teaching music with migraines is quite challenging. I have not taken a lot of extra commitments other than work related because of the unpredictability of these headaches, but I also try not to let them get me down.   I have a wonderful specialist who is working with me to find the right medication to abort them.  I also use essential oils to help give me relief.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not.  I have had to learn to do things a little differently like wearing orange glasses when the sun is bright and for my night driving.  That has been a big help.  Out in the sun, I wear a large brim hat.  That has helped as well.  We will continue to work on this challenging part of my life.

The end of the school year is fast approaching which means High Holiday preparations begin for me in a month or so regarding the writing of Sermons and polishing and learning new music.

I know it will be a great summer!!

Happy Mothers’ Day  and be well.

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About cantorrisa

I am a Cantor, Judaic Studies, and music teacher. I enjoy sharing my knowledge, and help people from young to old love being Jewish. I teach and sing in several synagogues and schools in the area. I officiate all life cycle events and teach students, children and adults, privately for their b'nai mitzvah ceremonies. I also enjoy studying Bible with all faiths either individually or in small groups (chevruta). I conduct Shabbat and High Holiday Services at an Assistant and Independent Living Facility. I have been there for 13 years! In my spare time, I teach key board and guitar. I am married to a wonderful man, have two children and six grandchildren. My hobbies are learning, reading, crocheting and knitting, and of course my music. When we can afford it, I do love to travel.
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