Honesty time: 2020 did not allow me much time or space to make much music. I started out all guns blazing in January with the debut of a new song cycle called The Motherhood Project and then POOF – it was gone.
To be honest, my creative life has not been very consistent since my son was born 8 and a half years ago. I have kept my musical life kicking in fits and starts – doing shows, touring, releasing a couple of albums, etc, but it just hasn’t been a regular process. Most of my time has been focused on mothering, running my private teaching studio and in the last couple of years, I have added an online course business – Piano and Voice with Brenda – to the mix. While it has all been exciting and creative, I still miss the focus I once had for actual music making.
In November of 2019, I did an 8-day residency at the Banff Centre for Fine Arts, which is located in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Banff, Alberta, Canada. My creativity and inspiration were ignited once again, as I spent 10-12 hours a day in my own private studio practicing, writing songs and being engrossed in intensive music making again. I wrote 10 songs over that short period of time for a song cycle called The Motherhood Project, which documented my journey as a mother in the 21st Century. The project had its debut performance in January 2020 and my plan was to record and tour that project. I could feel that my musical life was returning to me once more….
Of course, we all know what happened next. Like pretty much everyone else on earth, I found myself in a tailspin that derailed every plan I had made. Suddenly my son was home 24/7, and I was scrambling to teach my private students, run my online course business and keep my son occupied all at once.
Since then, I have been focusing on homeschooling my son and providing a loving and engaging home life for him. I have also devoted a lot of my energy to making online lessons work so that my students can continue to grow and learn over Zoom (It ain’t easy!). Plus, the demand for online education has dramatically increased and I have worked hard to release three new courses through my Teachable platform.
As rewarding as all of this has been, I realize that there is a level of frustration rising in my soul. Something is clearly missing. So, as I’m often saying to my students, “sometimes you have to dig deep to be an artist.”
So, for 2021, I am going to get back to what made me a musician in the first place. I want to get back to the root of what I love and honestly, I just want to have more fun making music. Since there won’t be many (or any) in person gigs this year, I have decided that I’m going to do the best that I can under the circumstances. To keep myself accountable, my plan is to record one song a week for the duration of the year. Nothing is going to be terribly produced or elaborate – just something simple from my home studio. I have no idea what I’m going to record. I’m going to keep it loose and work on material that feels fun and engaging for me.
If you have been thinking about doing something for yourself this year, I’d like to invite you to join me. I know we’re all bogged down like mad and the last thing any of us has the energy for is ANOTHER PROJECT, but I do believe that a creative undertaking is usually something that brings more energy into your life. Like you, I am stretched pretty darn thin, but I feel like I need to do this to get back to myself again.
So, who’s with me?!? What creative project are you going to tackle this year?