I’ve been thinking about ways to help you with your music development and the thought occurred to me, how do I know if you are standing still, going backwards or moving forwards with your music?
I thought about this because many people look at me and think I have it made, or that I don’t have a clue about what-what’s because I was born that way. But, I can tell you that although I’m moving forward there were times when my music stood still and when it went a way back!
In my 20s, I was gigging a lot, mainly in the Gospel circuit. I was well known in my circuit and then I fell in love, got married and moved to the North of England.
Now, in those days there was no internet or mobile phones, just letters, landlines and call boxes on the streets. Lol! The Gospel music circuit in the North was not as developed as the Midlands or South, so I had to travel back often. I didn’t have role models who commuted, also work and family commitments increased, so eventually, I gave up travelling. Sometimes the Sax came out on a Sunday morning for Church service, but returned to its case for the rest of the time. I focused more on Choirs, worship teams and the piano. My Sax playing and opportunities went backwards
My husband’s job took us to London. I thought ‘Yes, things will happen now!’ but actually, they didn’t. Why? because then I lacked the skills to make it happen (I'll say more about this another time).
Eventually, we returned to the Midlands, my home town of Birmingham. There were new kids on the block playing the Sax and I was so behind with things! However, I still nursed a flame to do something with my Sax. But what? How? Although I wanted to move forward I was at a standstill.
It wasn’t until I was 39 that I decided it was time for a change. I was not getting any younger. It took me 3 more years to pluck up courage and decide this was what I wanted to do and to do something about it. I decided to move forward. It’s been 16 years and I’ve achieved a lot, with still more mountains to climb.
Lockdown also halted my music. I was depressed for the first two weeks of the March 2020 announcement from Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister. All my Gigs, teaching everything stopped. How was I going to make ends meet? After two weeks I found a way to move forward, online and survived.
This is the key. The decision. A decision to move forward.
If you have a flame for your music your decision will fan it. It can increase. For me, I always say that the world is massive and there are people and places who want your music…not mine, but yours! There is plenty to go around so move forward!
Not withstanding there are somethings to do to make it happen, and next time, I will share one of the things that helped me to go forward and increase my flame. I did this when I was 42 and I still do now, and it keeps me moving and growing.
So, are you standing still, going backwards or moving forwards? I’d love to know.
P.S. By the way, if you haven’t checked out the latest episode of my Podcast ‘How do you balance family and work as a musician?’ interviews with Tony Bean (Producer and Artiste developer), Anna Brooks (International Saxophonist), Louise Dengate (Music Agent and Choir Director) and Ruby Turner (US R&B No1 Singer Songwriter) it's out now you can watch on YouTube or listen on iTunes, Libsyn, Google, etc. audio. Links are here.