4 things my non-musician dad taught me about music

A father's influence on an artist doesn't require sharing the same profession

I'm Allen, author of God and Gigs. I'm passionate about helping everyday artists excel in everyday life, by helping them strengthen their faith, improve their careers and deepen their relationships. You're invited to join this community of faith-focused creatives, musicians and artists by signing up for my newsletter at godandgigs.com/signup.

“Dad, you’re out of tune.”

I never had the guts to say these words out loud, but I was tempted when I heard my dad whistling. He has a funny habit of whistling along to tunes that he has never heard, totally missing the melody, and then claiming that the songwriter / singer has it wrong. It used to bother me to death. Now, I don’t mind so much.

My father has supported my music career from the very beginning. But I think he’d be the first to admit he’s not a musician in any sense of the word. That doesn’t mean, however, that he hasn’t had a profound influence on how I live out my chosen profession.

Here’s 4 things my non-musician dad taught me about music.

You don’t have to be a musician to be good at music.

While my dad might whistle out of tune, he has no problem holding down a note. He’ll even take a solo with the Men’s Chorus at my hometown church now and again. I’m sure, as my mom and I taught music professionally, that he often laughed at our attempts to get choirs to sing correctly and instrumentalists to play the right notes. He never struggled with finding a bass line or finding a harmony. This reminds me that music isn’t all about showcasing my training or relying on my knowledge. I just need to be good at what I do and let my talent speak for itself.

The Annoying Artist: How to stay cool when relationships don’t click

The best way to avoid creative conflict is to be proactive and prepared

You feel it coming.

The rise in your heartbeat. The clenching of your fist. The tensing of the muscles in your neck.

And all because you aren’t comfortable working with a fellow artist.

How can you keep your cool when creative personalities clash?  

Pawns or Partners: How being selfish hurts your career

Creatives must honestly assess their motives when making connections

It’s true. We all want to know the ‘right people’.

If you talk to a fellow creative and they are being honest, they’ll admit some of their relationships are based on the opportunity the other party represents. While we may not mean to use people selfishly, we usually slide toward making connections that we think will benefit us in the long run. There’s nothing inherently wrong with mutually beneficial relationships where both parties are interested in greater influence and career growth.

There is something wrong, however, in viewing partners as pawns and not as people.

The saying is true – no man is an island.

However, being a creative professional can sometimes make you feel as if you are stranded and alone in the midst of an ocean.

The artist’s lifestyle requires an unique blend of creative energy and entrepreneurship that is not easy to understand. To be successful at it, most artists have to do something that creative people often struggle with- that is, getting support from others.

We as artists usually find that kind of support from different sources. In this week’s poll question, we’re asking for the primary source of your support. Who do you feel you rely on the most for spiritual, emotional and financial support in your field?

Vote, share your thoughts, and compare your responses with other artists.

Coffee and Creatives: A look back at our local hangout

A day of artists sharing and connecting in a relaxed, welcoming environment

In February 2017 we had the opportunity to gather local artists, creative entrepreneurs and freelancers at our Con/Ex event at the Warsaw Coffee Company in Fort Lauderdale. We enjoyed lively discussions, made new friends and shared our perspectives on the creative lifestyle.  Here’s a little recap of our afternoon. For more info on when we’re holding these artist connection events, check the events page