From the President

by Jake Harkins

November 2023

Dear SongWorks Educators, 

Happy Fall! In addition to the cozy sweatshirts, colorful festivals, and heartwarming aromas of cinnamon, pumpkin, and clove, this beautiful season of transition is also a necessary cycle in nature’s journey.

As the leaves begin to dance away from their trees in the changing weather, we are reminded that the reciprocal nature of their relationship no longer serves the tree itself. In essence, the tree is letting go in an effort of self-care and preservation for the coming challenges that Winter entails. 

Now that you have settled back into school, I invite you to consider what aspect of your teaching you might consider letting go of in an effort of self-care. SongWorks teachers value relationships between sound and notation, community and play, and learners and teachers, to name a few. And the beauty of our pedagogy is that the pathways to grow these relationships are flexible. Are there certain expectations, opinions, goals, or activities that may have served you well in the past, that no longer serve you at this time? 

Further, what might you consider letting go of in your life outside of teaching? What habits, behaviors, expectations, or even objects could you choose to let go of? How might letting go of something open a new way to find joy in your life? Time, a non-renewable resource, is often the one thing we feel is spending us, instead of the other way around. In the spirit of letting go to make room for something new, what might you decide to devote your time to this Fall?

How might you reach out to your SongWorks community to support one another professionally and personally, to nourish the playful teaching and vibrant learning we all seek in and outside of the classroom? As lifelong learners, we’re connected by this desire to continuously grow. Luckily for us, this edition of our newsletter features some exciting learning opportunities, including connections between SongWorks Principles and brain research, Summer 2024 SongWorks Certification dates, details related to our 2024 Virtual Conference Series, and playful ideas for lessons in the classroom.

With nature’s inspiration surrounding us, I hope during the coming months we will all find opportunities to let go, so that our time and energy is spent with love and care for the things and people most important to us.


Jake Harkins
President, SongWorks Educators Association 

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