Showing posts from July, 2014

Be a Purposeful Artist

I'm sure we all make a point to check out the excellent bog posts over at Inside the Arts - which means, if you haven' need to now.  Just in case you have been too busy playing Pops Concerts and the 1812 Overture, let me direct you to one I found to be quite excellent: Impressions and Appreciations on Holly Mulcahy's blog.  This post wraps up her series in which she reflects and shares wisdom that young musicians need to know and experienced musicians wish they had ingrained sooner.  In her post, Mulcahy poses the question of why we have chosen our careers in the arts - specifically music.  I want to take a few minutes to actually answer those questions: Why does my involvement in music mean anything? My involvement in music means that I am part of the continuation of a valued and integral aspect of my society's, and generation's, cultural fabric.  I am both preserving and creating within an art form that informs and responds to the dynamic nat

Always the Teacher, Now the Parent

This post is a close follow-on to the thoughts I shared about Recognizing Your Worth as an Artist .  Private teaching the past two years has been a frustrating aspect of my work in Montana.  I have pondered many different aspects of being a teacher as I have progressed to understand better how teaching in GTF is going to work for me.  In the midst of this, my son - better late than never - decided he wanted to play cello!  This meant entering a new world: paying for private lessons. I have been a private instructor for 20 years!   I began teaching beginner piano lessons when I was 14 years old in order to pay for my lessons and transportation to the Hochstein School of Music in Rochester, New York.  As a 14 year old piano teacher, I wrote and paid for my own advertising, established a studio policy, created my first artist biography, managed a teaching schedule, set lesson fees, designed curriculum, communicated with parents, assessed progress, and finished each year with a s

Recognizing Your Worth as an Artist

I have been traveling out of town for work a lot recently.  It's something that I really love about my work here in Montana.  Symphonies in Montana have organized themselves into a collective called the Montana Association of Symphony Orchestras.  There are 8 ensembles included in the association.  There are aspects of this association that seem to function rather well such as sharing music amongst members - which I know saves $$$ for each organization.  Also, I'm rather fond of the MASO license plate which I have availed myself of this year: Part of working in Montana includes "importing" to these member organizations as they have need for a bassoonist.  I contract with these orchestras individually and to date have performed with 4 of them.  Outside of my salaried work, though I enjoy playing with MASO member orchestras, I don't make a lot of money playing for these orchestras.  Typically, half of my pay is made in per diem and mileage.  While it's a