It Had To Start Somewhere
When I first created AHM nearly three years ago, I wasn't certain of the direction I wanted to go with it.
I figured the website would serve primarily as a detailed portfolio of my work as a musician, which could be linked to whenever I had a supporter interested in purchasing my work, or perhaps a client interested in commissioning my services.
It seemed like a great idea at the time... except that I had a very small body of work—very little of which would have qualified as truly "professional" and none of which did I really know how to make available for sale. And beyond that: what services did I even have to offer?
Onward I Went
Nonetheless, I purchased a domain name and set up my website with what material I had already created.
Before I had much time to contemplate what to build my fancy new website into, I began picking up jobs directing and teaching music in the area and quickly became immersed in the "real world" as I began making a living for myself.
Though no longer a primary focus, AHM never fell out of mind for me. I utilized the website as a means of occasionally sharing new content, promoting my private lesson studio, and providing webpages for various activities that I was directing.
Though my "personal music business" had fallen to the wayside for about two years, I spent that time immersed in new musical activities, honing my craft, researching and practicing new skills, and discovering exactly what it was I would be able to offer through my personal business.
The Art of Experience
As I continued to move through my music career and take advantage of the opportunities provided to me, I still felt something pulling at me through it all. AHM kept lingering there, constantly whispering in my ear: "What you're doing is great—it truly is—but when are you going to start doing something original, too? When are you going to start creating?"
I moved through those two years feeling fairly satisfied with my work, but I would occasionally come across these incredible experiences in my life that would leave me speechless—moments that left me feeling inspired, compelled to do something greater. I learned to admire the beauty of true artistry; I developed a newfound appreciation for creation.
Witnessing the work of a skilled artist is the very pinnacle of experience in my mind: when an artist understands the tools of their craft so well as to be able to express with precision and clarity any emotion they so choose—emotions that may otherwise remain ineffable in the day-to-day world. It's a remarkable feeling to discover for the first time a work of art that is so deeply genuine and moving. And every time I would experience something like this, my only thought would be: "Why aren't I doing this? I need to be doing this—I have to create awe-inspiring art. It is engrained in me to pursue this."
In those moments, I would reflect on what I had to offer.
A New Direction Realized
Over time, I began to realize that I had slowly been developing a set of marketable skills: I was now an experienced performer, conductor, director, and teacher—albeit only a few years experienced...I invested so much time into studying and practicing music production that I could actually produce "studio quality" recordings for myself and for clients...I had honed my music composition and arrangement skills...I even picked up some videography skills along the way—I officially had all the skills necessary to pursue full production of not only my own personal creations, but also the ability to do so for clients.
I had all these skills, yet still no direction—so, what was stopping me?
The answer: Execution
Plain and simple as that: I had acquired all these skills, but I wasn't really doing anything with them—at least, I wasn't using them to their full potential.
That needed to change.
To Consistently Produce Valuable Creative Content
I was already capable of producing valuable and creative art, yet I wasn't finishing projects. The key here was to begin producing my content consistently.
That is to say: Start often and finish always.
No more 60 seconds demos that I will "eventually" finish making into a full song. No more ideas that I will "totally get around to someday." No more commitment without steadfast execution and follow-through.
While I'm still working out the details, I plan to combat this (quite simply, really) by laying out my goals well in advance, and then setting weekly deadlines in order to execute on the achievement of these goals.
Ideally, I'd like to release one new piece of content per week.
As of now, that content will likely consist of one original song, one cover song, one etude (piano, trombone, or vocal), and one blog post each month. That is where I will start, and I will adapt from there as necessary.
To New Beginnings—And Endings
This blog post will be the first step forward in my new mission—I had the idea, and now it is completed and tangible (or at least... digital).
Stay tuned for what's to come as I continue to work through this new adventure...
Follow along on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles if you feel so inclined—just scroll on down to the bottom of this page to find the links to those accounts.
...and away we go!
Until next time,