The New

Ava Harmon Student Blog

The New

It’s my favorite time of year, a time that’s traditionally overlooked. Only last year did I settle on an honest name to the period of time I’ve loved since before I can remember. So, I’d like to introduce you to a season I call The New.

The New lies between summer and fall and, in it’s twenty or so days, everything changes seemingly in a turn of a page. It can be exciting and nerve-wracking, but for me, it is always filled with joy. It may be moving across the country and meeting new people, or perhaps it’s leaning into the unknown. But, certainly, it’s knowing that what you’re experiencing is something you’ll look back on and call incredible.

I can’t tell you what The New will be, or what it will bring, but what I can say is this:

Be in the moment.
We hope. We plan. We practice— over and over again. As musicians, and certainly as people, we are often asked to look forward: to hope for an audition, to plan for a concert, and to practice over and over again. We are asked to do this, so that tomorrow we have the chance to over and over again, again.

Every morning, I take ten minutes to drink coffee by my window overlooking the city. I watch the clouds move, or the rainfall, or the people saying hello to friends at a bus stop. For those ten minutes, I breathe, I savor, I watch, and I stop to live in the now. I stop, so I can live for an even better tomorrow and for an even more beautiful over and over again.

Whether it's drinking coffee, going on a walk, or sitting in a part of the city enjoying the world move around you, you'll find that being in the moment a bit each day, will give you a soft awareness that you didn't have before— a kind of awareness you didn't know you needed.

Say yes— Explore with new people.
There are some outstanding people in this world and trust me, you'll meet them in The New. Take a risk. Say hello. Say yes to go get boba, or to join a group going hiking, or to simply wander around a new neighborhood with a studio mate. Do it— explore this new chapter with these new people in this new place.

Looking back it was within the times I explored, within yeses, that I made the friends I now hold close—the friends that bring me joy, and who keep me smiling even if I haven't had my coffee yet.

Take risks, because every outcome sparks growth.
Growing up, my mother always said, “If you've done your best, what more can you do?” I never really thought twice about always doing my best, but I did always question if it was ever enough.

During my first few weeks in San Francisco, I learned that it was okay to not sound my best in my first lesson, despite my best effort. It was okay that I was nervous beyond words before my first studio class performance. It was okay to be a bit tentative meeting new people. So, if you feel the way I did, or if you do in the future, know that it's okay. Your colleagues, professors, and coaches will know how hard you are working, and at this point, doing your best is what really matters— that doing your best is enough.

So, with all that, who knows what The New will be, or what it will bring, but remember this:

Be in the moment. Say yes. Explore with new people. Smile. Spend time with yourself. Take risks, because every outcome sparks growth. Dig deep and dive as far into what you love as you can. Remember that doing your best work is enough. Most importantly, however, give yourself the freedom to find your own honest definition of joy, because it is out there in The New.

So, welcome, welcome to The New. If our paths cross, say hello— I’d love to meet you. But, in the meantime, I wish you all the best within another beautiful twenty days of joy, whatever you do— wherever it may take you.