I’ll be the first to say business in my online store, Mandolin Babe’s Pickin Parlour has been slow lately. I know it’s summer,and most folks are either out & about a lot,doing music fests,on vacation,at he beach,or in the yard. So this means I have to up my MPCs. (multiple profit centers) So I thought about teaching beginning mandolin,banjitar,and baritone ukulele. And it stayed as a thought. WHY????
I opened a Skype account. Picked out what book I’d be using to teach out of. And yet,to do the deed,I just sat for another week. Does this sound familiar? And why do we do it?
My savings has been doing a steady decline since I quit the abusive to me part time job I had nearly a year ago. Signs have been showing for months that I need to do something. Getting another “loser fixed income” job is for me,out of the question. Enough is enough. Why are we,as musical women,so dang chicken to get out there and show what we know???
So I went inward. Meditated. Got messages in my dreams and from my guides & guardian angels. “What’s my problem with this?” I asked.
There’s no one answer,but I’ll share what I discovered so far as to what had held me back.
#1 You don’t feel like you’re a professional. Yet. I’ve played guitar since I was 11. I’m nearly 50 now. Good grief how many years of playing experience do I feel I need???? This is a result of my ego/inner critic at work. It also put in my head that music teachers have always been music teachers. I know that cannot be true and every music book author and player today had probably held jobs they didn’t like in the past.
#2 Other peoples opinions. Shockingly enough,when I announced I wanted to teach,a very close relative poised the question: “are you good enough?” HUH? This was coming from a non musician. He was forced on violin as a child thru high school,and hated it. Hadn’t touched an instrument in decades. Still considers himself to be vastly musically knowledgeable. Yet my ego bought into that one too and it was like a pin going into my balloon and the air just leaked out. That comment made me doubt myself terribly. I backed off. More $ going out than coming in. But I backed off. Inner critic victory again.
#3 I have very little teaching experience. Well,true but all music teachers have very little teaching experience in the beginning. Gotta start somewhere,right? Yet I backed down and didn’t promote the lessons I wanted to offer. Inner Critic strikes yet again.
Okay,now I know what is holding me back. Basically,I need to tell my inner critic to shush and go away. Also need to quit listening to well intended others when what comes out of their mouths makes me doubt myself and my abilities. And get in the swing of using affirmations and positive creative visualization. But it brings another bigger question.
Why Do We Overlook What We Can Offer?
In the present world,needing to make $ is up front in everybody’s mind. But-media pushes you must have a “job” meaning whatever talents you have that you can teach to others is useless. That’s simply not true. If you can dance,sing,sew,knit,paint,whatever it is you do you can teach it,create it,and sell it. Period.
Wayne Erbsen is a fine example. He started teaching after maybe a couple of months of playing banjo. What gumption. What drive. What daring do. And it worked and continues to work for him-he teaches to this day on various instruments.
And don’t forget bartering. If you’re low on cash,would you be willing to barter a guitar lesson for getting your lawn mowed? A lesson or two in dance for getting a room painted? Perhaps someone wants to barter with you. This is another form of bringing prosperity. No money exchanged,but an exchange of talents. Show me how to move my feet and you’ll have a room in the color you want. (but be sure to agree on paper on a time constraint on this!)
Never let the so called “modern world” tell you your clawhammer talent on banjo isn’t worth something. Or that musicians are always broke. (worse is when they tell you that musicians must always be poor. Geez!)
So if you’re going thru this,meditate on it and see if the answers that rang out for me do for you too. And there may be different answers for you specifically-different insights.
So get out there and busk,teach,show,and reap the rewards that await you.