My Items

I'm a title. ​Click here to edit me.

Part 2- Origins of Shame

Part 2- Origins of Shame

The Happy Musician Coaching In the last blog (Four types of shame) I discussed the types of shame that musicians deal with and how they may originate. Shame from rejection Shame from Exposure Shame of Failure Shame of Exclusion I want to talk about what feeds toxic shame and what to do about it. Before I dive in, I think it's important to reiterate that shame is never going away, shame is built in. Toxic shame is what we need to work on. First, let's acquaint ourselves with what shame is. Shame is an intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed, and therefore unworthy of love, belonging, and connection. Most shame thrives on silence. Musicians don't talk about shame a lot, some may be completely unaware that the feeling they are grappling with is shame. Funny, we seem to have no problem admitting we're perfectionists. Yet we stay silent about the shame of not being perfect. For many of us musicians, toxic shame is an integral part of our musical upbringing. Musicians don't grow in toxic shame, we either shrink into nothing or implode. "Shame loves secrecy. The most dangerous thing to do after a shaming experience is hide or bury our story. When we bury our story, the shame metastasizes." I dealt with toxic shame and it didn't lose its power over me until I acknowledged it, talked about it, and dug into its origins. Yet, I didn't feel truly free of toxic shame until I talked about it with other musicians. When fellow musicians empathized with me I didn't feel alone, I started to feel like I belonged. Discussing my shame made me realize that hiding did not protect me from feeling that pain, it actually stunted my musical growth and fueled my shame. I use to hide from shame by being super busy, I would be so busy that I couldn't feel or connect with musicians. So, how do musicians recognize and combat toxic shame? Physically and literally recognize shame: actually, give it a name and think deeply about why you feel shame. Try to remember what fear and experience are fueling the shame. Don't try to shake it off and pretend you're not feeling it. Confront it. I suggest journaling about it. Give your shame a reality check. Is what's fueling the shame realistic? This is called Critical awareness is an active, persistent, and careful consideration of a belief or information related to grounds that support it or not. Reach out and talk about it. This can be scary, but it's necessary to combat toxic shame. Communicating with musicians who can empathize is key. Empathy is the opposite of shame. Here are some toxic shame origins rejection from a certain music school taking second or third in competition instead of first. comparing your level of music development to others. not having enough money to buy or maintain an instrument. not having support or family friends think “it's just a hobby” feeling like you let down people close to you holding yourself to an impossible standard or perfectionism. being bullied into being paid less than you should. fear of a bad review another musician shaming you. This list could be longer, but you get the point. Musicians need to be empathetic and seek out musicians that empathize. Toxic shame is social, it's what we think others think about us. Squashing toxic shame requires that we are kind and forgiving to ourselves, so we can be that towards others That is how we squash toxic shame Are you dealing with toxic shame? How do you think it's holding back? Candace Lark Musician, Coach, Educator Learn More Registration for this month's class is open! Topic: Acceptance - how it fuels your growth, and why it doesn't mean settling, ⬅ Join The Group

More
Part 1- Four Types of shame

Part 1- Four Types of shame

The Happy Musician Coaching I believe toxic shame is more debilitating than fear. If you think about it we can even be ashamed of our fear. Unlike fear, shame can hide and become buried so deep we don't realize what we may be feeling is shame. We all experience shame. Shame is biological, it keeps us from straying too far from social norms. We experience shame as a disciplinary tool early in our lives, and it works. When my parents would say to me "I'm not angry, just disappointed" oh my goodness, shame would wrap around me like a sub-zero sleeping bag. I would almost beg for punishment. That type of shame was to help me be a good human being. That shame was fueled by my parent's love. It wasn't toxic, it made me want to be better and do better and not disappoint my parents. Much of the shame that musicians deal with is toxic and even debilitating. We tend to deal with 4 types of shame. These types of shame can direct our choice of music, performance level, and interactions or avoidance of fellow musicians. The first type is Shame from rejection: this type of shame usually happens after a negative experience with a teacher, fellow musician, and/or a musician they idolized. Musicians who felt rejected and/or have had their beliefs feelings and values rejected, tend to carry this shame. Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough The second is Shame from Exposure: If you've been called out for making a mistake in front of a group, asked to perform in front of someone or a group when you're clearly not ready, results in exposure shame. Even finding out that a particular person(s) was listening intently while you were practicing results in this type of shame. The Shame of Failure is the Third: I don't know a musician who hasn't experienced this. Shame from failure shows up when we feel as though we have failed. It might be losing a competition, missed recognition, not being accepted into a music program or school. This type of shame is also fueled by the feeling that we failed our support system. This seems to be the most widespread shame. The Fourth is Shame of Exclusion: This one is pretty simple, but also pretty devastating. it's a feeling that we don't belong or we're not liked. This type of shame may be triggered by being fired or replaced in the place you have made your musical home. Interestingly, shame of exclusion is also fueled by fear. Musicians who may not have had these experiences still deal with this type of shame. Almost all shame is rooted in childhood experiences, yet it can follow us around as if just happened yesterday. Thriving musicians still have bouts of shame but they have learned to deal with and understand it. We cant get rid of shame but we can learn to recognize toxic shame and work through it. In the next blogs, I will share how to recognize toxic shame and give you tools to cope and thrive. Have you experienced any of the 4 types of shame, how has this shame affected your music life? Candace Lark Musician, Coach, Educator Learn More ⬅ Join The Group

More
Are you a Musicians Musician?

Are you a Musicians Musician?

The Happy Musician Coaching 3 ways to be a Musicians Musician Collaborating with other musicians is one of the best ways to grow musically and create momentum in your music career. Simply spending time with like-minded people on the same journey is also refreshing. I went through a period in my music journey when I avoided other musicians like the plague. I would use my harp as an excuse not to "hang out" or participate. (it's too much to move, I can't leave it in the car, etc.) After a while, I noticed musicians didn't make an effort to get to know me (well duh). I was so wrapped up in my own insecurities, and fear of failure, I turned musicians off. I was sending out a vibe, and it wasn't a good one. After realizing this I set out to change it. It wasn't a fast process, but I learned three important ways to get over myself and open up. 1.) Get Out of Your Head: being a musician is about making music, learning something new, being reminded of something old, and being open-minded and accepting of the present. Whether you are playing in an orchestra or an impromptu jam session, don't allow yourself to be consumed by insecurities and baggage. Everyone has the same insecurities, focus on doing your best and enjoying yourself. 2.) Don't be a Debbi Downer: Don't minimize your skills, or degrade yourself. If someone pays you a compliment. Take it. Even if you don't feel you deserve it. Follow the rule If you can't say something nice don't say it at all, not even about yourself. When you speak negatively about yourself it sucks the air out of the space and quickly exhausts fellow musicians. Most musicians enjoy the company of people that love music just like them. Don't allow your insecurities to make you a killjoy. 3.) Curiosity Over Fear: You don't have to play 20 questions. But let your natural curiosity take the front seat. Fear can make you seem unapproachable. Listen to what's going on around you, stay present. If you don't know something, it's ok. It's also ok to say I want to know. Suddenly you've opened yourself up to learn something and connect with other musicians. Being a musician is such a unique undertaking, it triggers an almost immediate comradery, no matter what instrument or level of musician we encounter. Sadly there are musicians that attempt to make others feel small. Know this, those are not Musicians you want to connect with. Musicians that do this (no matter how successful they are) do this because they are grappling with their own insecurities. One of the reasons I love teaching is, I get to learn so much from students and cultivate wonderful connections. Every musician no matter where they are on their musical journey has something to share with another musician. Candace Lark Musician, Coach, Educator Learn More Join The Group

More
Five Ways to Recognize Positive People in Your Life

Five Ways to Recognize Positive People in Your Life

The Happy Musician Coaching Five Ways to Recognize Positive People in Your Life The title of this blog is how to recognize positive people. I really want to say beneficial people, but aren't positive people beneficial? Positive in this blog relative to you. Positive doesn't mean they are always happy go lucky and looking on the bright side. Positive People mean having these people in your life enriches it. These people encourage you to love yourself, yet make you want to be a better you just by their presence. Having the ability to recognize positive people in your life is as important as recognizing negative people in your life. It helps us prioritize how to invest in relationships, and allows us to be proactive in our mental and emotional health. 1.) If you know someone that can compartmentalize well, meaning they have the ability to isolate emotions, think logically and practically. For example; If you just had a heated argument with someone and you have a performance to do together; they have the ability to step on stage, focus on the performance, and work well with you. 2.) Positive people reap the benefits of their gratitude. Look for people in your life who are truly grateful and the universe seems to reward them over and over for it. They don't have conditions for their happiness. They are flexible in their approach to life, yet still, hold themselves to a standard. 3.) Look for people that seem to have no fear. Positive people may be afraid but fear of failure is not a deterrent. They recognize that failure is a chance to learn and do it again better. Look for the people in your life that define resilience. 4.) I know we all have encountered and have the person who seems a breeze to talk to. Positive people are great conversationalists. They are not directed by ego. They thrive on creative informative conversation. Which means they are a good listener. It is also quite difficult to trigger or goad positive people into negative and heated exchanges. 5.) Look for the people in your life that have a small group of close friends. Positive people limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner. They protect themselves from mental exhaustion, they relish their alone time. Many positive people are mistaken as introverts. How about you? How many of these 5 traits of positive people do you personally find in yourself? These are 5 general traits, but there may be traits more personal to you that link you with positive people in your life. Take time to recognize and cultivate the relationship with those people Candace Lark Musician, Coach, Educator Learn More Join The Group

More
Thankful for Music Makers

Thankful for Music Makers

THE STRATEGY Thankful for Music Makers At this time of Thanksgiving, take a moment to be present and relish the ability to play music. Acknowledge how incredible it is to do what you do. THE SCIENCE In positive psychology research, sharing gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships Gratitude requires that we look outside of ourselves and be present. Practicing musical gratitude requires that we acknowledge the work we've and other musicians have accomplished. I've always enjoyed playing with other musicians, but this year I can honestly say the feeling of gratitude I have to perform and play in public is probably more than I have ever felt. This year when attending rehearsals and performances. I'm purposefully moving slower, taking in my surroundings, and allowing myself to enjoy the hustle and bustle of performing. If I find myself complaining or about to complain, I immediately flip the script. "To send light into the darkness of men's hearts - such is the duty of the artist." - Robert Schumann Things that might have bothered me about performing in the past mean so little now. The energy of happiness and excitement that I feel from fellow musicians lifts me up. I look out into the audience and can only focus on my eyes, I see anticipations, joy, and gratitude that they are able to come and listen to music. When they clap for us, I clap for them in gratitude and for what we just shared. As you return to the craziness of holidays performing, work to feel great in every moment. I wish you a happy and safe thanksgiving. - With gratitude, Candace Join The Group

More
Build Your Tribe

Build Your Tribe

Happy Musician Strategy The Strategy Build your Tribe: Psychology today says as social animals, we have a "need to belong." We might not experience this need consciously or even be aware that we have it but it resides deep within us nonetheless Why build a tribe? Being a part of a tribe gives you a sense of purpose, If you already have a strong sense of purpose your tribe will help keep your purpose front and center. When focusing on growth having a tribe to support and grow with you, increases your success exponentially. One thing I find so interesting about musicians is that many belong to more than one tribe. It almost seems necessary. I myself belong to more than one tribe and want to build another, I get something different from each tribe but all the tribes help me thrive. Benefits of a Tribe Belonging to a tribe stimulates your creativity creates a safe place for you to experiment and try things you might not try on your own. The importance of finding your tribe should not be underestimated. Often a tribe can help provide you with insight, support your ideas and shine clarity upon your hopes and dreams. A tribe can make you feel empowered and strong, How to build a tribe 1. Start making a list of goals and build your tribe around your goals 2. In creating a strong tribe, you need to fill it with the right people. Include these people you should Close Friends & Family People on the same journey, people with similar goals A coach A mentor Someone that's where you want to be. 3.) Make a list of people you want that fits your criteria, and contact them or even them over for a casual introduction and share your goals and expectations. Now that you have a tribe, remember, the hard work is up to you. Show up and ask for help and support when you need it. Also if someone in your tribe is not benefiting or worse being counterproductive, communicate with your tribe and figure out the best way to send them on their way. Being a part of a tribe is a process, as you evolve so should your tribe, you may also outgrow your tribe, and that's not a bad thing. A tribe is all about evolving. The happy Musician group is a great place to start building your tribe. Musician Mindset Coaching now accepting clients for 2022

More
Joana Pascale -  Happy Musician Minute

Joana Pascale - Happy Musician Minute

Vocalist: Joanna Pascale shares how to ride the waves of being an artist and come out on top. Follow Joanna Learn from professional musicians sharing their advice, tips, and musical life experiences in just a few minutes. Learn more about me, Candace the happy musician, and how I'm helping musicians cultivate a growth mindset, at www.thehappymusician.com Would you like to share your Happy Musician Minute? Contact me @ thehappymusician2@gmail.com Follow The Happy Musician

More
Happy Holiday Musician

Happy Holiday Musician

Happy Musician Strategy THE STRATEGY Be A Happy Holiday Musician The Holiday season is here and the holiday performance craze has begun. Some performances we will love, some not so much. Here are four gig/performance rules I follow. Know Your Holiday Fee
Do your homework and don't undercharge. Factor in your holiday travel, holiday prep, taxes, holiday lodging, food, and holiday music cost. Many musicians double their rate to offset the cost. (Read: 5 Mistakes Musicians Make) Yes, it is the Holiday and the spirit of giving is all around us. This is not the time to feel guilty or allow anyone to make you feel guilty for your fees. Guilt doesn't pay the bills. Your professional service has great value, remember that as you book gigs/performances for the holidays. The more you value yourself, the more you are valued. Get paid before you play
My contract request balance ten days before the event. But what happens when you get the last-minute call? If Cash is a problem make sure your setup to accept online and mobile payments, Square, Paypal, and Venmo are the most popular. Remember, If there's a discrepancy, you have little to no leverage to fix it once your services have been rendered. So arrive early complete your transaction (before you unload) and play away. (Read Saying No) Use Google Earth
Being a harpist has taught me to check entrances first unload last. The Holiday season means less parking and more loading restrictions. If you're new to a venue, use google earth to pinpoint the best place for parking and loading. Arrive early and make sure the entrance you're directed to will work for you. I have had many people direct me to difficult even dangerous loading locations. Depending on what instrument you play and the gear you need, this is extremely important, you need to reserve your physical and mental energy for your performance. I live by "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission “Too many people, holidays are not voyages of discovery, but a ritual of reassurance.” – Philip Andrew Adams Send a note of Thanks
If I have really enjoyed myself; I send a card right after the holidays are over. The card is short and sweet and includes my business card. I let people know it was a pleasure working with them and please feel free to contact me again next year. Bonus: If you have a group picture include it in the card. (Even if you already posted it on Facebook and tagged everyone.) People will have a visual reference the next time a musician is needed. What are your rules to live by during the holiday performance season? Happy Holidays! #four #holiday #holidays #Google #Paid #Thanks #Fee Musician Mindset Coaching now accepting clients for 2022

More
Just Say No - Reshare

Just Say No - Reshare

Happy Musician Strategy THE STRATEGY Just say No It's that time of year again. Just in case you are suffering from pandemic FOMO, I thought it was time for an updated reshare. Hi “Can you play for free?” Wait! Climb down from the ceiling and step away from your instrument, there's more. “We don't have a budget for music.” (AKA “can you play for free or exposure?”) “We hired someone else for much less before” “Since we are (family, friends, coworkers, etc.) you should give me a deal.” And the other non-paying/discount request we have heard. Giving a respectful and professional response while keeping your feelings in check will help you get the results you want. Here is the response I use when asked to play for free or at a discounted rate. “Thank you very much for your compliments on my [your profession here] I'm flattered by your invitation to [your profession here] But [your profession] is my livelihood, although lucky enough to do what I love, it's how I make my living. I am not able to do it for a free/discounted rate. I am sorry to decline, but thank you again for your kind words about ]your profession]." I have also substituted "my livelihood" and "make my living" with "its a business". Feel free to use this response yourself. The response is brief, professional, and respectful. I'm informing the potential client that this is a business. I'm a professional, nothing personal, but take it or leave it. FYI: Nine times out of ten when using this response people end up hiring me at my rate. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness [high cost] only that gives everything its value. -THOMAS PAINE Now let's talk about that FEAR (I know all about it) The fear of not getting the gig, the fear of missing out on a potential opportunity. Saying NO really means saying YES to something better. Remember; they need you. Oh; and that other person that charged so much less or did it for free; you are not them and that is their prerogative. We all can't be Walmart. my reply to them is "how lovely that they were able to do that for you. If I'm out of your budget, I completely understand." I'm still sticking to my guns and giving both of us an out while being professional. Now let's talk about that ANGER, get rid of it. Go burn it off with some intense practice. Being angry will not help you or the situation. You are running a business if you get angry and offended about every insulting question or statement you are not gonna last very long. I give people the benefit of the doubt that they don't truly know what they are getting when they hire a musician and stay cool as a cucumber. Why get all worked up and let them suck the life out of you? After many years I have been able to recognize a difficult client and a client with a difficulty. I don't hire and have fired the difficult client. These are the clients that will abuse you, not stick to the contract, threaten you with bad reviews, and have a long list of extras that will make you work harder than you ever have. Let, them, go. They are not your responsibility. Clients with a difficulty, aren't looking for an ego trip. They just need a musician. Learn to spot the difference BEFORE you're locked into a contract. Remember, you are allowed to protect your mental and emotional wellbeing. You have options. There are professionals that do offer their services for free; when it's appropriate and on their terms. When I am giving services for free it's under my terms, (meaning it is factored into my budget) and the benefit for both the client and me out way the monetary value. When posed with the request for free/discounted services ask yourself: How will this benefit both parties? Am I doing this out of fear? Can I afford it? Does this align with my purpose? Will this make me happy? Isn't being a Happy musician what it's all about? How do you respond to these requests? Musician Mindset Coaching now accepting clients for 2022

More
Charles Donches -  Happy Musician Minute

Charles Donches - Happy Musician Minute

Pianist, Charles Donches shares his Happy Musician Minute about a touching experience he'll never forget. Follow Charles Get a quick education from professional musicians sharing their advice, tips, and musical life experiences in just a few minutes. Learn more about me, Candace the happy musician, and how I'm helping musicians cultivate a growth mindset, at www.thehappymusician.com Would you like to share your Happy Musician Minute? Contact me @ thehappymusician2@gmail.com Follow The Happy Musician

More
Prioritize What Fuels You

Prioritize What Fuels You

Happy Musician Strategy THE STRATEGY Prioritize What Fuels You Being a musician has so many avenues. It's important to prioritize what you love doing as a musician. In an effort to pay our bills and make connections, we can get pulled in many directions and lose sight of what excites us about being a musician. It's important to prioritize activities and interactions that refresh you and excite you “It is only when we suspend our addiction to motion and quest for achievement that we can rest—and dream, again.” I personally love playing in small ensembles especially with fellow harpists. I have so much fun. I feel excited and refreshed. When I have a chance to play do this, it takes priority over other music activities. I know how much the playing, communing with other musicians and the whole experience fuels me. This lowers my stress and increases my motivation, it also inspires me. When we don't feed our soul, our creativity suffers, and motivation soon follows. The next thing you know you don't want to sing or even look at your instrument. Remind yourself that you're doing your best and you cant do it all. What fuels you may not have anything to do with music and that's fine, just prioritize it. When you feed your soul It will shine through your music. Musician Mindset Coaching now accepting clients for 2022

More
Melinda Rice -  Happy Musician Minute

Melinda Rice - Happy Musician Minute

Violinist, Melinda Rice shares advice about truly seeing yourself in the present. Follow Melinda Get a quick education from professional musicians sharing their advice, tips, and musical life experiences in just a few minutes. Learn more about me, Candace the happy musician, and how I'm helping musicians cultivate a growth mindset, at www.thehappymusician.com Would you like to share your Happy Musician Minute? Contact me @ thehappymusician2@gmail.com Follow The Happy Musician

More