Dear Parents, Students, Family, And Friends...
My wife is sitting across from me, lying on a hospital bed and set up on a machine that monitors our babies' heart beats. We are three weeks away from bringing twin baby girls into the world. At this stage in the process, Kristen is monitored up to three times a week to make sure everything looks good. This is a normal routine for our type of twins. The room is filled with the sound of their heart beats and my fingers typing away on a laptop. We’re excited, scared, and anxious all at the same time. For seven and a half months, these girls have been preparing to take the world’s stage, and we’ve been preparing to welcome them with open arms.
Both Kristen and I are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support we have received from the SoundLife community. When we began this adventure at the beginning of year, we had no idea how to navigate the waters ahead. As silly as it may sound, we didn’t know what we didn’t know. As the weeks and months went by, we became more comfortable with sharing our news and eventually letting everyone in on our little secret. Since then we have received so much wonderful advice, help, and good wishes. Every week parents are asking me how Kristen is feeling, how I am doing, whether we have this or that, and sharing the experiences that helped them the most in their own journey into parenthood. Before we knew it, what we didn’t know turned into what we needed to know, and we were on our way.
When my partner Mike and I started this music program, we wanted to build a community—a family, so to speak. We wanted to go beyond teaching music lessons and create a support system for music students and parents of music students so that the benefits of learning an instrument could be truly realized. For us, this meant concerts, newsletters, bands, progress reports, and so many other tools that we are still working toward. When we sit down to think about how to continually refine our program and what we can offer families, it always comes back to this sense of community. We knew that to become successful musicians and successful adults, it really does take a village. We did not get to our dreams alone. It was our teachers, our friends, and our family that provided us with the support and encouragement that would eventually carry us to our where we are. The most important thing they taught us was how to be a student, how to know that which we did not know.
I have been teaching music to students of all ages since the age of fifteen in both group and private settings. I have taught in the home, at music studios, and at schools. Now at thirty-three, I have eighteen years of experience as a teacher, ten years of experience touring and recording as a professional musician, and just over five years of experience running a business. When I think of this, it helps put things into perspective. This helps me understand that I need to always be learning and that no amount of learning can replace experience. To this day I attend classes and seminars on business. I play my instrument every day. I read daily, listen to podcasts, and am an avid user of “Audible.” We also have so many successful business leaders in our community that I am always learning from our students' parents as well. When I think of the future, I feel two distinct emotions: Gratitude and Hope.
From both Kristen and me and the entire SoundLife team, thank you. Thank you for teaching us. Just as we do our best to support the growth of our students, you have all supported our growth as teachers and as a business. Kristen and I are able, in part, to enter into this next chapter of life because of your support. Thank you for showing so much compassion, for joining us in the adventure, and for supporting myself, my team, and our mission. My personal promise is to always be a student and to cultivate a community of leaders who are themselves lifelong students.
Christopher James Vazquez
Director, SoundLife Music Academy