4 Lessons From Tom Waits on Finding Your Voice

Lessons From Tom Waits on Finding Your Voice
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 scaredy-cat masquerading as an anal…

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

On Running a Business

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 familiar…

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I Burned My Journals.

I Burned My Journals

Over the years...

I’ve adopted the daily practice of expressing myself. 

It simply sustains. 


It started as innocently as my 13-year-old self, with a daily “Dear Diary.” 

I tore through blank notebooks and journals like a hungry omnivore at a Korean BBQ restaurant. 

Alongside this teenage daily writing, I also practiced music daily. 


When my proficiency began to allow it...

...this expression became the outlet for that which I was not allowed to say out loud. 

There were opinions, …

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