of a former child prodigy

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Is it recess yet?

Maybe you started down a path, early in your life, and you thought you were following your bliss. But then found yourself wondering…“is this it?”

I started my career at age 13 when I made my orchestral debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Since then, I’ve travelled the world performing with countless orchestras and with some of the world’s greatest classical musicians.

I wouldn’t trade those experiences for the world. But, the thing about performing professionally at such a young age is that you have to give up a lot of things. You spend a lot of time in the practice room, alone. You travel, alone. You spend less time with your peers and more time with adults. You grow up fast and learn to carry the weight of the expectations of others, making them a priority over your own needs.

And you miss all the normal parts of childhood. Parts that are important. Like playing with your friends at recess.

Creativity doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

I started to feel stuck and uncreative. And I started to wonder, what happened to the kid who used to played hopscotch and swung on the monkey bars? The kid who was free and creative, who dared to dream big and hope? The kid who had an individual voice and didn’t worry about what other people thought of her, even when she skinned her knees from falling off her bike for the umpteenth time?

You can’t shut out the world if you hope to stay fresh and innovate and think of new ideas. We need to follow our follies and interests in all areas of the world. We need to explore and grow and ask questions.

We need to play.

Maybe you always wanted to make pottery. Or learn how to speak Finnish. Or make your own furniture.

I can’t promise that I will do any of those things here. But I can promise that I will share my trials and errors as I learn to get unstuck and rediscover my own sense of play by exploring different areas of creativity. I’ll share tips, strategies and resources that have worked (as well as things that haven’t).

You’ll also get an insider’s look at what the classical music world is like. I’ll share with you my experiences and the lessons I’ve learned from being a part of an intensely competitive and insular community. As well as the pitfalls and benefits of finding success in that world at an early age.

So, let’s go! I think I hear the recess bell ☺.

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