Tanya, It is so fantastic to speak with you today and hear a little bit more about your lovely business, Mindful Music Coach. Can you share a little bit about your background and your journey to where you are today?
Thank you so much for having me! I've loved reading all the other ladies stories over the past two years and feel thrilled to be part of your lovely 'Be Inspired' features. As you know, I've been singing and writing my own songs since I was 7 years old! Music has always been my happy place. I think my experience of composing pop music and then studying classical music theory has really sculpted me into the kind of music teacher I am today.
Today, I am thrilled to work in a career that I love as a music teacher. I teache piano, keyboard, vocal and music theory classes and this year I added in the wonderful Mindfulness as an option to go with these too. Having suffered from anxiety in the past and discovering the benefits of these simple, yet powerful tools, I am extremely passionate about both music and mental wellbeing
My main goal is for each student to enjoy my classes and teach them in a way that they could possibly fall in love with their instrument and gain a lifelong skill and hobby and also become aware of their own wellbeing as well along the way.
Why Music with Mindfulness combined?
Music has always been a huge part of my life and an escape for me when I needed it - through composing, playing and recording. Learning all the tools for mindfulness, the breathing, the focus, ability to control our thoughts and reactions ..... really works well with the practice of music. Each practice enhances the other.
It's always been a dream to set up a music school and after exploring the addition of mindfulness, I discovered very quickly through my students that they really enjoyed this extra element.
With anxiety disorders significantly on the rise, it's actually a wonderful time to introduce people of all ages to this combination.
Of course, I also offer a music or mindfulness class alone but I have found most students are interested in both, in particular parents with young children who are struggling to cope.
What do you love most about running your own business?
What I love most about running my own business is the fact that I am lucky enough to have turned my passion into my fulltime job. The amazing people I have met along the way have also taught me a lot and I feel very lucky to have amazing students of all ages.
I've had several parents take up piano after expressing a long held desire and regret at not having learnt it as a child. Coaching them from those early first lessons and seeing them blossom and the joy this brings them, really inspires me hugely to continue. There is no such things as 'too late' to learn, anyone can take up music at any age - it's is all part of the fun.
What keeps you energised during the difficult periods?
I think if you are starting a business that you are passionate about then it is easier to keep the motivation but of course there will be days where it can get on top you. I would say to plan your schedule weekly down the every last detail, for example even the smallest things as these are all time consuming. It is also important to plan days off and to try to stick to these as you will need a time to switch off from business to recharge and I have found that this is what recharges me to work more effectively when I return to my work.
If you could go back and give advice to your past self at the beginning of this journey - what would it be?
I wish I had been more organized in planning my schedule in the beginning of this journey as I had a lot of moments where I let the stress of perfecting my websites, student timetables, marketing etc get on top of me. I was trying to get everything done at once which isn’t the best idea as I found that I had to go back and spend a lot more time in the long run trying to redo a lot of stuff. If I was to start my business all over again, I would work smarter, not harder.
I find inspiration in a lot of people and things. I think the main thing that inspires me is seeing the progression of my students.
I always tell my students to record themselves playing every 3 to 6 months to see their own progression but seeing it myself makes me feel very accomplished and inspires me to give 100% in all of my lessons.
Do you have a favourite quote that helps to motivate or inspire you?
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it” by Maya Angelou.
This quote resonates with me, as it is something I always strive for and encourages me to be my best authentic self.