How My Musical Journey Started – Part 5

So, now that it’s been more than a year since my last post here, I’m finally making time for this.

After we survived my folly of a college education, I was just a little bit lost.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I have a very high respect for a college education.  My mom graduated from two colleges and taught public school for 40 years.  One of my aunts is an adviser in the MBA program for the University of Southern California, and Lisa holds two bachelor degrees and a masters and has worked in higher education since 1998, as both staff and faculty.  It was folly for me because I was not pursuing something that would bring me closer to my long-term goals.  I was basically just fulfilling a personal need to get a sense of completion.  I ended up with two associate degrees, but they were in computer information systems, not music.  I learned a lot about business practices that I wish I had known about when we had the store, and I can use that with my future business efforts.  But it didn’t get me a raise at work, it didn’t contribute to my musical skills, and it made me realize that, no matter how much I liked doing my job, I really didn’t like being at work when there were other people there.  I found my own productivity increased a lot when I wasn’t distracted by the sights and sounds of my co-workers around me.  This did not make me feel better about all the time I spent away from my family.

During this time, however, I discovered a website unlike any other guitar website I had ever come across before.  The website was run by Jamie Andreas, and it was primarily for supporting Jamie’s book, “The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar,”  I highly recommend Jamie’s book if you are struggling with excess tension in your guitar playing.  The GP forums turned out to be a great place to share ideas about guitar playing, learn new stuff, and meet other guitar players with similar tastes, goals and experiences.  Just some of the people I first “met” online at the GP Forums include Karla Fisher, Donna Zitzelberger, Sharon Netzley, Trevor Darmody, Brent VanFossen, Antony Reynaert, Leanne Regalla, and Mike Philippov.

After a couple of years on those forums, Karla arranged for Donna and Sharon to visit her for a long weekend during an annual hand-made instrument trade show in Protland, OR.  The three had such a great time playing guitar and learning new things, that they decided to make it an annual event.  Karla’s guitar teacher, Scott Kritzer, had the brilliant idea for his Classical Guitar Immersion (CGI) event, in 2006.

By this time, Karla and Sharon had talked Scott into teaching students via the internet, and I was proud to be one of the first few distance students Scott had.  I attended CGI 2007, and I got to meet so many online friends in person; especially Karla, Donna, Brent, and other long distance students of Scott’s; as well as some of his more local students; and Perfecto DeCastro.  But, what changed my life the most during that week was rooming with Trevor.  Trevor and I really seemed to have so much in common on so many different levels.  The workshop that he and Donna did on teaching kids was invaluable to me, and when the two of them ganged up on me to convince me to just start teaching already, I finally decided I had done enough research and I needed to just get going with it.

Thus, Kolob Music Instruction was born!  I came back from Portland energized like I had not been in years, and ready to take on the world.  I started advertising for students, but didn’t get any for a while.

Trevor had told me about his electric guitar teacher, Tom Hess, and I checked out his website, but I just wasn’t looking for what Tom offered yet.  Trevor was enrolled in Tom’s Music Careers Mentoring Program (MCMP), and Trevor sent me a link to a page advertising a new program Tom was starting.  The Elite Guitar Teachers Inner Circle was, Tom promised, a place where he would share all the secrets about how he built his guitar teaching business into a six-figure income for himself.

I enrolled in Tom’s correspondence lessons and in the MCMP to be sure that I was on the “inside” when the EGTIC launched so I wouldn’t miss any of it.  I sold a bunch of stuff on eBay to pay for Tom’s programs, and I was instantly addicted to the forums at Tom’s site.

The first year that I taught was an extremely rough year.  I managed to kick myself in the ass and get something done.  My MCMP group produced a compilation CD, and this became my first published recording!  The CD is called “Under The Same Sky” and if you send me your mailing address, I’ll send you a copy! 😀

Although I’m proud of that accomplishment, I’m not terribly happy with some of the more technical aspects of my track on the disc.  So, I am looking forward to doing a better job the next time around!

Currently, I’m teaching students in Iron county and Kanab, and I’m always looking for new students.  If you’ve read my story so far, thanks for taking an interest!  Keep reading here to follow me as I move forward and continue to work at building a business that will sustain itself and provide for my family!

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