This time around I knew that preparation would be absolutely crucial in implementing a course of action. In Angela Myles Beeching’s second chapter of “Beyond Talent” she quotes, “Musicians… mistakenly believe that it’s all about self-interest: the “What can you do for me?'” That quote hit me hard because I knew that so whimsical yet, inaccurately generalized musicians of today’s day. With that quote in mind I thought about ways I could SERVE my community and network rather than network simply to seek opportunities for hand outs and contacts.
So I thought of my church. I needed to talk to folks that were closer to me. People who I’d consider my “inner-circle” crew to help me extend and expand my influence abroad (intermediate-outermost). While at church I had the opportunity to speak with Mrs Jen a member of the Ville church and community service coordinator in the Inner City Duval mission. I told her that I was looking to give music to the community and expand my network of people that new my name simply to have contacts and folks who support what I do as an artist. She told me that Shands Proton therapy center would be a great place to start.
To the left is a picture of one of my favorite family’s from the UK. Dan (left) and wife (Celeste) have three beautiful daughters. The youngest was battling a very rare bone cancer. They moved to Jacksonville because the Proton therapy institute is among the best places for children to receive care in the world. They loved to play and listen to piano music. In the photo to the right is myself with Ms Pam. Ms Pam is the coordinator of arts at the Proton center.
Dan and I began talking after a short introduction. He was impressed at my skill but more so about my commitment to play for the center. He told me that the girls were all receiving lessons at a local school in Mandarin. Dan also told me that he had over heard the principal of the school talking about needing more teachers for the academy. I later called the school and spoke with the principal of that school. I told her that I was studying at Jacksonville University and was interested in employment opportunities in my field. Over the phone I got an interview the same day, the principle needed to hear me play and talk to me personally. Two weeks later I received my first paid internship as a classical piano teacher!
Through this opportunity and after many sessions and hours reading ‘Beyond Talent’ and ‘New Music Business’ I learned that goals and intensions are just as important as the end result. Had I not been willing to simply lower myself and serve my community my mind wouldn’t have been in the right schema to be genuine. Also desiring to serve the community with music is honestly who I am and how I’d like to be seen as a professional whether I’m being paid or not. Something that seemed to spark an interest in people I spoke to is the concept of Faith, a belief in God. These are people battling sometimes incurable diseases and they know when people are being fake or self seeking. I now know that I feel more suited towards networking places where I’m serving others. I enjoy connecting deeply with others and have found that our stories are very much codependent. A humbling and riveting experience I’ll have with me forever, not to mention the friends I make along the way are always in my corner. A big thanks to Prof M Snyder for helping me to think outside of the box.