Spiritual, Work, Career, Finances

Making It Happen in music – Our Denice, Neecy Allen

When I was 13 years old, I had finally decided what I wanted to do in life; career wise anyway. I was going to be a music teacher in a secondary school.  At my options evening at school, year 9, I worked out the path I was going to take.  I was going to do Music and Drama GCSEs at school, Music A level at college, a Music degree at university and then my one year teaching training course.  I had it all set up in my mind.  Perfect? Well… not really. 

I moved to London towards the end of year 9 and my school wouldn’t let me do Music and Drama (good for performance skills) so I chose Music alone of course.  Then when I arrived at college to study Music A level, most of the class had changed their minds and decided not to come anymore so the course was cancelled!  A door opened to do an A level in Music Technology that a great Music Theory balance as well as teaching me some great skills that I call upon almost every day; professionally and otherwise.  I also managed to do a Music AS level in my second year.  The trombone was the main instrument I was associated with.  One particular, dreary day, I managed to lose my trombone (a painful and costly story that involves a very angry mum!).  I couldn’t afford to replace it.  I borrowed one from the local music authority, but I had to give it back once I started university because it was a college lend.  If that wasn’t enough, due to circumstances (that may come up in another article!) I ended up leaving university after 2 years and working in bank, frustrated and so far from my plan.  I really wanted to work in a school, but I wasn’t qualified to teach.  Even to help in a class it seemed agencies didn’t want anything to do with me as I didn’t have “enough experience.” I felt lost, disappointed with myself and at a loss.   

However, here is the interesting thing.  Throughout all of these years I started to learn about the power of faith and to put my trust in God and the belief that He wants nothing but the best for me.  I attended services of faith for financial prosperity that taught me never to give up, aim for the best and always to invest in me and my skills.  I also became a member of the Victory Youth Group in which I was involved in many activities that emphasised this message.  I wasn’t able to study Drama as I planned, but I was constantly creating plays for competitions and events to convey important messages.  I discovered and trained my love for creative writing.  Without my trombone I was thrown into singing tasks and competitions.  I developed a confidence to sing in front of audiences and train my voice until it became my main instrument.  I used my piano skills to train myself in keyboard playing.  I helped to organise events, wrote plays, musicals and directed young people. After a time, I realised that in spite of not being where I thought I should be I wasn’t in a bad place as I had skills and loves that I never planned on having!  I hadn’t failed. I was taking a different route. 

Through the power of faith, decision and sacrifice, I had the strength to leave a job that was taking me nowhere but to the land of frustration.  A door was opened for me to work in my first school as a teaching assistant.  I was a million times happier here and growing in skills every day.  I moved to another school in a similar but more demanding role in the SEN (special educational needs) department.  This was a new and exciting role that I had no clue about when I was 13 and a very key element to teaching that many qualified teachers find very hard.  I developed from there to managing and running classes, something that I always wanted to do, but without the planning and preparation burdens.  I soaked up every bit of experience and training to find out that actually, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be tied down to a classroom in a school permanently.  I had developed a wealth of skills that I wanted to be free to use.   

I bit the bullet last year and went back to study and working full time (not for the faint hearted!!).  I am now a qualified music tutor and qualified to teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (LLS).  I teach singing, keyboard and other various aspects of music.  On top of this I get to teach it my way, incorporating certain moral issues that are essential for it to have positive effect.  It has business potential and I love where I’m heading for the future.  Everything has worked together for my good.  It’s great! 

I’m not ready to stop yet, but I wanted to share this in ‘Making it Happen’ because many times we set off with a dream and then “life” happens.  For some people, this is the end.  It’s hard to deal with disappointment (from yourself and others), especially when it is your fault.  It’s easy to get stuck in a dead end joband give up.  Things can get tough when they don’t always go the way you planned, but the alternative can be an adventure.  I am absolutely sure that my adventure would not have been this rewarding without God.  His reward of my faithfulness is what has made many “gambles” into a sure thing. 

You can’t give up on your dreams.  The way to make them happen is through faith and perseverance.  A person without a dream is an empty shell; a puppet in society to whom life happens.  Re-ignite your dream and make it happen!! 

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