As the end of summer approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, we start imagining how our daily lives will soon change. Vacation time will shift into the more structured time of a new concert season, a busier teaching schedule, and a new school year.

This summer has been vitally important for me – I needed a lot of time to reflect on all the changes that have occurred in my life in the past year.

Happy changes and painful changes.

Life is so unpredictable.

I know that September will bring a whole world of new changes, and I feel both excited and a bit nervous.

I have to remind myself that that’s how life is. We just can’t know what’s coming next.

So as your summer begins to wind to a close, how are you feeling? Can you use the days that are left to help you prepare for what fall might bring?

Are you looking forward to getting back in gear with performing, school, or fuller teaching days?

Are you aware of how you’ve changed in the last year and of what you dream of for the coming year?

When I think about these questions, I feel the power of life’s energy and unpredictability. I want to use this life power that’s in me to create new forms of self-expression in the world.

For me, that’s all about how I relate to my family and friends, and what I can offer to my students.

I ask myself these questions:

Can I keep using the wisdom I gained during the spaciousness of summer to create better communication with the people I love?

How can I best keep growing my work so that more musicians can keep growing from working with me?

It’s similar to facing a performance. We can’t know what will happen as the curtain goes up on a new season of performing, teaching, living.

It’s humbling and awe-inspiring. It’s scary.

So let’s you and I make a deal with ourselves. Let’s recognize all the feelings we have as the season begins to change.

And let’s appreciate ourselves for our bravery as we step into the wide unknown.