THE ALTERNATIVE BIO
(A STORY I WANT TO TELL)
(For a more conventional BIO, go here)
For music business purposes, I used to write a different kind of BIO. One that made me sound professional and successful. This is the story I’d rather tell…
Long ago (while still in high school) my life presented me with two different paths to walk upon; a musical path and an educational path. I fell in love with two things; creating music and working with young children. Early Childhood Education became my livelihood, (what I was paid to do) and music became my vocation, (what I was called to do.) I have walked both of these paths to the best of my ability ever since.
Along the way I’ve had the usual doubts. Would I be a better teacher if I chose only teaching? If I gave it my sole, undivided attention? If I had focused only upon music, could I have made it my livelihood? Would I be writing better songs now? When I quiet these gremlins, I remind myself that these are foolish questions. Sometimes you choose your dreams. Sometimes your dreams choose you.
Even though I’ve been traveling these two roads for a long time, the progress made wasn’t always equal along the way. Working with young children was something that I was naturally good at. It seems to have been a talent I was born with. Music, on the other hand, had a much steeper learning curve. The ability to write a good song developed more slowly. And I was distracted by other big ticket items. I became a husband and a father along the way. Even though I’d been dutifully writing songs since my teens, my musical “breakthrough” didn’t occur until I was already 40 years old.
“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” At 40 I started attending the Rocky Mountain Song School. I met many teachers there, but one in particular was the right fit for me. He taught me about craft and brilliantly illustrated to me what I did not know. As a result, I deepened my commitment to my creative pursuits. I became more faithful to my muse. My songs got better. I was finally ready to call myself a songwriter without feeling like I was some kind of poser. I started to own it.
Being a late bloomer is not really a great path when it comes to music business. It is not likely to be a profitable story. But it has been rewarding on a whole different level. Of course, making music made me a better teacher. But teaching has also made me a better songwriter. Some of the playfulness that makes my writing unique comes directly from the kindergarten classroom. I try to write songs that reflect the old soul of a 5 year old.
Now I’m entering that phase in life where there won’t be an awful lot of story left to tell. And I’m profoundly aware that I want my third act to end well. Consequently, I am less interested in pretending to be in the music business, and more interested in embracing the magic of being called to write songs for “love of the game”. I want to be a poster child for music as a vocation, creativity as a lifestyle. I believe I am writing songs worthy of your listening. My commitment to my muse requires that I share these songs in performance and recording. If you, dear reader, happen to listen to any of these tunes, I want you to know how grateful I am. Your investment in careful listening means more to me than 99 cents ever could.