Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Thank You Notes—Bringing Classy Back!

By Christi Amonson

When was the last time you received a handwritten thank you note? Better yet, when was the last time you wrote one, put a stamp on it, and mailed it? This social media driven world of ours has put the time-honored art form of handwritten communication out of business. There are times that a quick text or Facebook message is an appropriate thank you and there is nothing wrong with that. A handwritten thank you note is ALWAYS the classy way to go. Here are some tips for showing your appreciation:

1. Invest in personalized stationery. It is so inexpensive these days to order quality, personalized notes online or even to pick up a beautiful pack of cards on clearance at Target. Take the time to check out a few websites and/or stock up when you see a nice thank you card on sale in a store. I like to keep a few note cards in my purse because you never know when you might want to leave a note!

2. If a company grants you a live audition or a job interview, it is considerate and classy to send a thank you note. Companies pay for travel, renting spaces, pianists, etc. Your handwritten thank you for their time is a classy courtesy and another chance to communicate with a general director/future employer.

3. At holiday and recital time, remember your teachers, pianists, and coaches that you work with on a regular basis. Remember, ‘tis better to give than to receive! Gifts for teachers are akin to a year-end bonus. Teachers and coaches have endless expenses and a gift shows your loyalty in the most fashionable way! If you are not sure what to buy, you cannot go wrong with a Starbucks gift card, a unique coffee mug or a small, blooming plant! If you know your people enjoy tea or wine, pick something nice that they will enjoy. Don’t feel like you have to spend more than you can afford, but it is always classy to be the student that is generous with gratitude rather than the student that just pays the bills. If you are completely broke, well…aren’t you glad you have that personalized stationary so you can simply write a gracious note?! If you are giving a major recital or book a great gig, thank your teacher. You did the onstage work; your teacher has done as much or more work offstage. Don’t forget to write down your appreciation and put a stamp on it!

4. Received a gift? Attended a dinner party? Just finished a gig? Stayed in someone’s home? Did friends help you move? …Write a thank you note!

5. Most of us use Facebook and get birthday alerts. Take a moment to type more than simply “happy birthday” to your colleagues, directors, coaches and teachers. Download a digital image that will make the birthday boy/girl smile or write a fond memory. Give a few minutes of your time to the people you work with—it costs you nothing and sets you apart from one hundred other generic messages.

Dear Sexi Soprano Reader,

Thank you for your commitment to your art. Remember, it is classy to be personal! Use your time as a resource to write a note or communicate in a memorable way. Please take the time to spell names correctly and use proper grammar. Our instant messaging world is convenient and inboxes are deleted daily. Handwritten notes with a matching envelope will be read and possibly added to a file! Go above and beyond your fellow texting colleagues--be generous, be classy and be remembered.

Sincerely Yours,
Sexi Soprano