Songs for my Son #1

Excuse the quality of this one!
This is a song that I sing to my wee one a lot. I love singing it. It’s a sweet one, it’s short and it’s NOT a nursery rhyme!


A But of a Ketchup

Say the above and you instantly have a NZ accent. Congratulations 🙂

I’m off sick today, so the couch, my PJ’s and I are getting acquainted.

Things have been really quite splendid lately. We have had a few good times here lately, and I am feeling very loved, very blessed, and very happy. Isn’t that a great feeling! Life is good right at this moment and things are only going to get better.

Things that make me happy right now

Booking accommodation for after our wedding – waiting for important things in the mail – dress fittings and drinking tea with my Grandmother – researching hairstyles – making secret anniversary plans – lovely e mails from friends – talking to my sisters and the building excitement of seeing them soon – finding shoes at discount prices (thank you sale!) – trying out and buying epic toning shoes – getting stuck in to running and whatever other exercise I can get my hands on – making plans for epic travel adventure (canada? UK? Ireland? Iceland!!) – cuddling the horse (dog)…and SO many other things.

Enjoy a beautiful video and song!


xx Em.

Friday Soundtrack

A huge conversation today over music at my future wedding and then listening to some MEAN tracks really got me going this evening.

God I love music. I am so thankful to be in the career that I am in!!

Here are my pics for this rainy friday evening.

a mashup. I am not usually a fan, but feck this is good.

Esperanza Jones. AMAZING. Why did it take angry beiber fans to make me hear her music? That just doesn’t seem right.

Liking the 70’s vibe of this wee Feist song. Retrolicious.

I have always loved Bjork. But you guys probably already know that. I also love percussion. Evelyn Glennie is the percussionist in this song. And she is amazing, and just happens to be profoundly Deaf.

Enjoy your weekend.

xx Em.

and in my spare time, I write songs about cheese.

Last night a friend reminded me I had to write her daughter a song about cheese.

Bell is my friends daughter in Nelson, and I had told her that she can’t eat cheese before you go to bed because it gives you nightmares.

Everyone that I know thinks this is true. I don’t know why, but it does. Cheese will make you have bad dreams.

This is something that Bell liked to remind us of to. It progressed it to “you can’t even THINK about cheese before you go to bed, or you will get nightmares!”

That  is what I did with my afternoon. Writing a song, about cheese, for Bell.

And now, I am going to eat some cheese ball. Because it’s the afternoon, and I still have time to digest.



Behind the Times…

Did you know in January, when all the craziness was happening, I was featured on the lovely Sarah’s blog Yes and Yes?

Well I just found out today. And I am so humbled.

I wanted to say a HUGE thank you to the beautiful comments that I received. I realise that a lot of other people were in the same position I have been, and just how scary it can be.

As an abridged version to the interview, I wanted to let you guys know I have moved to another job of the same career, but in a different city. That is a long-winded way of saying “hey, I’ve moved!”

I thought I might post some tips and tricks about how to make these decisions and my guide for a life-changing job choice on here soon. If there are any questions any of you out there might like to ask me, go ahead. I will have a think for the next couple of days, and post here soon after.

Here is a copy of the interview. Thank you Sarah, and thank you Guys!!!

This is one of many True Story interviews in which we talk to people who have experienced interesting/amazing/challenging things. This is the story of Emma and how she left a job she hated for one that she totally, totally loves. How fantastic, right?
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi there. I’m Emma, 29 and I am from New Zealand. I grew up in what the Rolling Stones described as the ‘asshole of the world’ – Invercargill. I now live in Nelson, via Wellington and Dunedin. In my spare time I love to hula hoop and go for long walks. I spend lots of time looking for houses I would like to live in (we are trying to buy our first home), plan my impending nuptials, look after our two kitties, play Lady Gaga on my cello, pretend to play the banjo, and hassle my fiance about getting a puppy.

What did you study at university? What were your first jobs out of school like?
I always loved playing music, and really just wanted to do that all the time, so when I finally got to the University of Otago (after failing high school and taking a year off), I had decided on doing a bachelor of music, endorsed in contemporary music.

My confidence was really shot after failing school, so Uni was a big risk for me. Once I had passed my first 6 months, my confidence went up and I decided to do a second degree in Film and Media Studies.

How much did you hate your previous jobs? What did you hate about them?
Well, some days were better than others. Pay day was always a highlight! I worked mainly in hospitality, going from working in a trendy bar which I hated, to a completely kitsch restaurant that I loved. It was never meant to be long-term however. At uni, the goal was to work in order to have money to be social, and that’s about it.

After I graduated, I took a job working in an office. Things got pretty boring. Gone were the days of partying, and I was stuck in a job that had loads of responsibility that I just didn’t want.

I justified taking the job so that I could still work on my song writing and perform live gigs, as I had been doing throughout my studies, but god, the daily grind was a bit monotonous. Overall I hated my previous jobs because I was just floating on by, being a robot, and waiting for 5pm to come around.

Did hating your job affect other aspects of your life?
I found that after 8 hours in front of a computer I didn’t have the energy to go out afterward, and became a social hermit pretty early on in the game. All I did was work-gym-home-sleep on weekdays, and I didn’t feel like the intellectual part of me was getting fulfilled at all. Work was also frustrating. There would be massive deadlines to meet each month, and I was working with numbers all day and inputting data – NOT my favorite thing in the world.

What made you decide to quit your job and go back to school?
I had heard about music therapy through my sister, who is a clinical psychologist in Ireland. It sounded amazing, and my sister said she could absolutely imagine me doing it. I always had a bit of a sore spot about spending four years at university, and not doing anything with my qualifications, and this looked like a good opportunity to get back in to it.

I had a look around to see where music therapy was offered, and the only place in New Zealand where you can train as a music therapist is at the New Zealand School of Music, in Wellington. I had to audition for the course – there are only about 8 spaces a year – and I got put on to the waiting list. Resigned in the fact that I had not been accepted, I decided to buy a ticket to the UK. About a month later I got a letter in the mail telling me I had been accepted. So, I went to the park and wrote a list of pros and cons, and then called my Mum. By the end of the week, I had canceled my trip, and written a letter of resignation to my boss. I remember being so scared about leaving Dunedin and my pay check behind, but determined to use my brain again!

How did the people in your life react to your decision?
They were amazingly supportive. Mum and Dad offered to help me financially, as Wellington is a lot more expensive to live in than Dunedin. Their contribution meant I could just concentrate on completing my Masters. A lot of my friends were planning to leave Dunedin to move to Auckland, so we were all in the same boat. I really had no one holding me back, so I sold all my belongings, found a flat, took my cat to my friends’ house, and drove to Wellington all by myself. (The cat flew up later 🙂

While you were in graduate school, did you ever question your decision to leave your job?
I absolutely did. At the beginning it was amazing learning all these new skills, meet new people, be in the big city and be on placement. But, as the year went on and the assignments got harder and harder (and I got poorer and poorer), it became really difficult and stressful.

In that same year, Mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer. I absolutely did not want to be in Wellington any longer, I wanted to be close to my Mum in Invercargill. I organized to be transferred for my second year to Dunedin (a 2 hour drive from Invercargill), but Mum insisted I stay in Wellington to get the best out of my course, and did not want to be the reason why I sacrificed all the work I had done. We made a compromise that I would be able to fly home whenever I wanted, which ended up being every 3 weeks or so. It was an incredibly hard time. She is really the one that got me through my studies, and I really wanted to make her proud. I was so thankful that I got to fulfil my promise to her and be with her throughout her illness until the end. Mum passed away in September 2008.

How do you feel now that you’ve landed your dream job?
Relieved? Shocked? Work as a music therapist is quite hard to find in NZ, and you really have to be motivated to find employment and make yourself known in the community. The fact that I had a job ready and waiting for me in Nelson was such a bonus. It was absolutely meant to be, and it is absolutely astounding I get to work with amazing kids and muck around all day playing music. I just can’t quite believe I made it through my masters and can call myself a New Zealand Registered Music Therapist.

What advice would you give to someone who hates their job but feels stuck? Are there any resources that were really useful for you?
Firstly, excuses are sometimes easier to make than actually taking a big gulp and jumping. Remember, you have only ONE life. If you are currently disappointed at the career path you are on, then think how disappointed you will be 20 years from now and you have not done anything to fix it.

Secondly, I found doing some work experience on my lunch breaks and realizing I had “the knack” for working with people helped set my mind at ease, and talking to practicing music therapists really got me saying yes, I want to be this! I am going to do it! Hurrah!!!!

How do you feel about your job? Have any of you taken a big leap into a career change?



Em xx

New Home, New Work

Image very heavy. The following photos show our ever evolving house. It’s even looking better than when I took the photos in the past few days. The first ones are from before our houseware arrived, and the rest are pretty self-explanatory.

And yes, the instruments are ALL in my classroom. YES, I have my own massive classroom.