Have you ever felt so frustrated as a musician because you just CAN'T win that job that you think you need oh-so-desperately to be a valid musician?
It's an absolutely horrible feeling, right? I've lived it too, and now I'm here to show you how to have a career you absolutely love and have created for yourself.
Go get in your comfy chair, and grab a snack. My story has more twists and turn in it than an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
It all started in...
... piano lessons when I was 8 years old. I LOVED going to piano lessons and always had a special bond with my private lessons teachers. When middle school band came along, I decided to add the flute to my musical life. I. WAS. TERRIBLE. Last chair. My parents enrolled me in lessons at the local music store with a saxophonist who also played a bit of flute. Before long, I was in that first chair, participated in all the honor bands, youth wind ensembles, and was considering majoring in music in college.
Fast forward to college. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, so I declared music education as my major because I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do in music. 4 years later, I had a degree in music education and didn’t know what to do with myself. I attempted auditioning for grad schools and was completely devastated when I didn’t get into a single program. I was getting in my own way with performance anxiety and didn't know how to deal with my nerves.
I ended up teaching elementary general music for a year. This is where I really learned how to teach and when I began understanding how little humans think. After one year and about 200 cans of Lysol, I decided that while I like kids, I don’t like kids in massive quantities, and I missed playing.
I went back to school. I floundered around and tried to figure out what I wanted.
Finally, it hit me: FLUTE PROFESSOR.
It was everything I wanted. A little teaching, a little playing, a little research, summers off, steady income, health insurance. I was always an excellent student and loved school, so it seemed only natural.
My now husband and I began shopping for doctorate programs. University of Washington was the winner! My now husband was thrilled. He loved Seattle and strongly encouraged me (“can we PLEASE go to Seattle?? Pretty, pretty please?”) to apply.
We began the trek across the country from Atlanta to Seattle with stops at famous historical sites. What's up, Georgie?
I LOVED the doctorate program and the flute studio. I did a lot of things during school. Started a trio, tutored athletes in their non major music courses, worked at the music library, started my second private flute studio, won competitions, didn’t win competitions, figured out to how build websites, co-founded FLUTISSIMO, was a theory TA, gave tons of masterclasses and workshops nationally, participated in international competitions. Oh, and got married.
BUT IT DID.
I had the students performing more recitals in one year than I did in my undergrad. They played for guest artists, went on field trips, performed in competitions. They THRIVED.
I combined all of my super duper flute knowledge that I learned over the years into an easily digestible format for kids. They may only be 12 years old, but they're playing like some college students and LOVING IT!
I still wanted that flute professor job, though.
So, I applied, and applied, and applied. (Over 90 applications, y'all.) I got into finals a lot.
STILL. No job. I thought having that job would validate me as a musician. After going through a super low point and reaching out for A LOT of therapy, I realized I could still do what I love on my own terms and make MORE MONEY doing it. And so that's what I do!
From my own experiences as a youngster as well as everything I've learned on my crazy journey, my focus now is completely on changing the status quo of what private music lessons can look like.
While in Seattle, I was exposed to some KILLER private flute teachers. They had 12 year old students who played better that I did at age 20. They knew theory, history, were competing in competitions, and loved it.
I was in awe that private lesson studios could be like that. So, I tried it on for size.
I was basically teaching everything I would be teaching in a college flute studio in my own studio with kids.
I wasn’t sure if it would work or not…
And now, I'm going to share it with you...
(And thanks for reading my story.)
I realized that many musicians think that private music lessons are considered as a back up plan or something less serious than playing in an orchestra or teaching in higher ed.
I've made it my mission to change that mindset and show the world how owning your own private music studio is JUST AS if not more important as the fancy jobs.
Since we're not taught how to run a business in music school...
or how to market
or how to communicate
or how to organize a business
or how to have a social media presence...
I've gathered everything I've learned through doing it myself and have offered it up on a silver platter. Why reinvent the wheel when it's already been invented, amiright?
I hear from so many studio teachers and young musicians who are terrified of starting their own career or evolving their studio because they simply don't know how. That's my job. Glad you're here!
And now, the important stuff...
Barney. Old English Sheepdog
5 years old
Favorite food: pizza
Talent: sings when we play duets in C major
Learning about dog training and grooming Barney. It's A LOT of hair, y'all.
Met salsa dancing
Loves to cook
Supports me a lot and recognizes that I'm a boss (thus me carrying HIM over the threshold to our new house)
Brown Cow Delight from Mayfield
Introduced to me by my niece, Katelyn
A little chocolate, a little vanilla, a lot of fudge swirls