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Top 5 Thankful List 2013 Blogpost 11-27-13

“My Top 5 THANKFUL List 2013” (Blogpost) 11-27-13

Narrowing down top reasons to be thankful into 5 things was nearly impossible for me, so I took the angle of musician.  As a wife and mom, my top 5 list would look a bit different from this one.  But in a year of so much excitement for me as a songwriter, it seemed fitting to give thanks from a musical perspective to those who have either inspired me or have been in my corner through it all.  These are in no particular order.

#1. Mark Cawley, my songwriting coach since April of 2011 has guided me into all sorts of territory I never dreamed of, including opportunities I’ve had and people I’ve met.  The difference he made in how I craft my lyrics was noticed immediately by those who work with me professionally ever since he came on board.  The best of my recent songs were written with his guidance.   

#2. Carolyn Gill.  I would not have even thought to work with Mark if it hadn’t been for Carolyn, my life coach 2007-2012 and now my good friend.  Carolyn got the ball rolling for me in every area of my life and was huge in spurring me on in my pursuance of a songwriting career – all while keeping my head on.






 #3. My heritage.  Pictured here is my Grandmother with my mother and my sons.  The roots of my musical heritage run really deep.  You can see at the top of the picture, a piano reflected in the mirror.  My Grandma Ardeth is the pianist who “birthed” an enormous amount of pianists, musicians and songwriters. My mom is one of them — her talent on the keys, her musical ear, her gift for bringing out musical expression from her students, her singing voice – she started me on the path to where I am today along with my Dad, also a songwriter.  Growing up in a family who sang together is the greatest gift I could have asked for.  My sons are now the future of this heritage – both pianists, singers and solid musicians in other areas as well.  I’m so proud of them.  And I can’t forget my sisters.  We grew up singing harmony together and today, I’m blessed to perform quite frequently with my younger sister, Tiffany, at my side, holding her guitar.

 #4. West Coast Songwriters.  This organization has introduced me to so many people and opportunities in the last couple of years, including my songwriting coach.  I was so honored that WCS awarded me song of the year in August with “I Know It’s You” and invited me to the great conference where I met fantastic musicians and industry professionals.  I am so grateful for people like Ian Crombie, director of WCS, who invest so much time and effort into helping aspiring songwriters like myself.  The picture is of me this September with some of the musician friends I made and Ian Crombie.

 #5. The songwriters I was raised on.  Artists like Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith.  It’s not possible to leave them out of this.  Amy inspired me to be a songwriter from the time I was a little girl.  The picture is of this last July when I got to give her a gift I made, which included a song I wrote for her (see more about that at this link: My Gift For Amy).  When I was 12, an age when I wanted to quit taking piano lessons, I attended my first concert of Amy’s. Michael W. Smith was opening for her.  I was instantly mesmerized by this handsome, 29 year old man, playing the keyboard as if it was “cool”.  He didn’t just create fun pop music on the keyboard, he was a true pianist with talent and he loved Jesus…I was hooked.  He inspired me to keep learning to play and to start writing piano compositions.  The first Christmas album he made (1989) blew me away.  I still have those piano solos memorized and have to play them every Christmas season.  Today, as newer artists and songwriters inspire me, like Jon Foreman of Switchfoot or Katie Herzig, I know that I can dare to aspire to their level of creativity because long ago, I was given the foundation that I needed to bring into reality whatever my heart hears and my head imagines.  Their talents are unique and even though I may never possess those exactly, I’ve been given the tools to grow as a musician.

I can only be grateful to God for these good things and the great people He’s brought into my life – forever I’m thankful.

What sorts of things are on your top 5 list as you reflect this Thanksgiving season?

-Nicole 11/27/13

Nicole Wells is a singer-songwriter, soccer mom and story teller who enjoys encouraging and entertaining others through music and testimony.  She can be booked for performances, worship leading, and speaking engagements.

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