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These Are The People Who Make Me Brave

Every hero of yours has a list of people who empowered them to be brave. This is mostly because our bravery is built one day at a time, so the people who surround us make us brave, with or without our consent. Bravery is contagious after all!

As we grow up, our family and friends teach us to engage with the world by example and by daily attention. I saw this to be true every year I watched my former cello students grow into the humans mirrored after their family and their daily cello...

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I Know Now - Lyrics & Leadsheet

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I grew up in Georgia with my three rosy maple birds 
under sweet magnolia 
with cotton and a cinnamon fern 
okra and collard greens 
spoonfuls of black-eyed peas 
Polly made em for me... 

If only I had known it then 
sweetness I might comprehend, like how the 

pawpaw makes the chalk maple grow 
painted buckeye makes my momma so 
‘merican holly makes a Christmas fern 
butterfly weed makes sourwood burn 
I know, now I know 

Texas holds...

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4 Lessons From Tom Waits on Finding Your Voice

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I was as ambitious as hell. I wasn’t any good, but I was ambitious, and I thought I was better than anybody, and I sucked raw eggs. But you have to think that way. To let an audience intimidate you is musical suicide.”
— Tom Waits, on his teenage troubadour life

Good grief. As a songwriter, it’s scary to explore huge concepts like “finding your voice” in public on a stage, especially with the permanence of audio recordings and the internet.

I'm a total...

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Seasons of Bravery: When It's the LAST Thing You Want to Do

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Here's the email I just sent to my list: 

(If you're not on my email list, but want to be, click here.)


Someone from back home (Washington state) asked me the last week, "How's the book tour going?" my response was, "I'm on a book tour?!?!" Even though I've been doing really wonderful things like book readings and debut corporate speaking events while here in Atlanta, I've spent the majority of the last 6 weeks caring for my elderly grandfather -- the same grandfather I lived with for...

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On Running a Business: Why I Abandoned a Tuition Payment Plan Forever

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I abandoned accepting regular monthly payments from my music students. I had all of them sending me a medium-sized check once each month for my tuition payment plan. Super simple concept, right?

Well, not really. There was a lot of emailing, texting and calling about scheduling and collecting payment. It seemed like I had a part-time job as bill collector. Yuck.

As teachers, we ask our students to practice (hopefully daily) so the notion of external and internal motivators should be a...

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6 Reasons Why a Song is The Greatest Gift You'll Ever Give

One of my favorite parts of my job as a musician is writing songs for people. No, not for the greater public to enjoy via Spotify or at a house concert of mine, although I love that too.

My favorite part of being a songwriter is held in the remainder of this post. But for those of you anxious for me to get to the point, it's this: a commissioned song will be the greatest gift you'll ever give (unconditional love not withstanding.) 

Anniversaries, birthdays, career milestones,...

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Masterclass in Minimalism & Songwriting

I've pulled the trigger on some rather large lifestyle changes. Without divulging too many details (ones not yet ready to be revealed) I can say that KonMari and minimalism have been heavy on my mind. Minimalist living has always interested me and I'm really looking forward to getting hip-deep in re-homing the things I no longer need.
 
First step of that today, was making a stop to Half Price books. Did you know Half Price books has no chairs?! I'm sure it's because they want people...

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I Don't Drink Caffeine & Here's Why...

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This hipster shot of a previously enjoyed mocha of mine exists to tell you that the other day I broke my caffeination fast with a soy latte. 

I cut caffeine out about 4 weeks ago because I started noticing my essential tremor in MY OTHER HAND. flushed It's not very noticeable. But *I* notice. I notice very much. The degenerative nature of my neurology is breathing down my neck. and officially down both shoulders.

[Swear word redacted.]

I thought it'd be good to help mask the tremor's...

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"Don't Ruin Your Career Before It Starts."

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This is @lecalethicia. She's a phenomenal harpist here this week at #Marrowstone2016. High schoolers and college students from all around the world audition to become students and symphony members under the tutelage of world-renowned faculty who also come from long distances to be here!

Every day for 14 days, the Western Washington University's performing arts building is soaked in Brahms, Bach, Tchaikovsky, and more. There are more kids than practice rooms. and the music and rehearsal...

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A Coloring Book?! Why The Hell Not?!

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This has been the general sentiment while preparing the Bare Naked Bravery podcast launch over the last couple weeks: "Why The Hell Not?!"

I mean, yes, there are always great reasons to not do anything, but when it comes to making the birth of this weekly show as big a deal as possible, I'll gladly crank it hard to the right and yell, "Why The HELL Not?!"

Part of this leads me to something which I'm floored to announce. As I was telling Siolo Thompson (one of our soon-to-be...

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