The biggest challenge of being a stay-at-home parent while striving for artistic pursuits is managing time. Even with the kids in school during the day, there are chores to be done. In the afternoons, evenings, and on Saturdays, there are meals to be made and the kids have activities and homework. There is always something to do. It is necessary to force yourself to stop and spend some time working on your own projects. That is my challenge for 2019. So far, so good.
Over the past year, I have carved out some time to help independent musicians produce recording in my work with KentuckyJam.org. Right now, we are finishing up what is going to be a beautiful album by a duo called Bookends. I am proud to be a small part of their project and I’m looking forward to hearing the finished product soon. However, listening to their great music has me wanting to make music, too!
For the past couple of years, I have had to curtail my performance schedule in order to accommodate my family’s busy schedule. I am determined this year to play out more. The complication here is finding an ensemble that fits my limited availability. I am beginning to think I need to form my own group.
I have experience playing a variety of styles of music. I play a few different instruments, some better than others. However, my gift (that sometimes feels like a curse) is playing the tuba. Playing the tuba regularly makes me want to play it more and more, and I don’t have that relationship with any other instrument. So, I’m thinking about forming a tuba quartet. If you’ve never heard a tuba quartet, it might surprise you. There are some really good ones out there. They play a variety of styles from classical to jazz to pop arrangements. Some are serious concert groups, others are fun show performers. I’m imagining something in between. Now all I have to do is find three other players with similar schedules and similar interests to mine. I’m afraid that sounds easier than it’s going to be.
In the meantime, my job is to practice, practice, practice. It’s daily tuba for me. (I need to play the bass guitar and piano regularly, too, to keep my chops up.) One thing that I found to be true is that practicing your art regularly creates opportunities. It’s an almost magical phenomenon. Working on your art in your studio somehow creates an environment where prospects present themselves and you find yourself ready to meet them. In 2019, I’ll be ready!