Thursday, February 5, 2009

Economic musings

Every time try to I type “musings” I end up typing “music” first! :) Anyway, something that I’ve been thinking a lot about today and yesterday is money…and our economy…and how horrific it is. Something like 200,000 employees have been released just since the beginning of this year! For me in a non-traditional income job, it still impacts me significantly because when people get a salary cut (or worse, their job is cut) they start to reconsider so-called “luxury” items, and in even more negatively connotative terms “frivolous extras”. I am willing to discuss why music is essential, and certainly not an optional luxury item if anyone is interested, but for the sake of sticking to the point, let’s just say that it is normal for music to be the first thing to go in tough times. (Just look at arts funding in schools with budget problems!) I have had several adult students discontinue violin lessons when their jobs were on the line. I understand their reasoning, and I really don’t blame them at all, but it’s so frustrating to me to know that they are enjoying the violin and would have wanted to continue but are scared of the future as so many of us are. Also in the performance side of things, people are starting to pay attention to a $10 ticket price or a $15 CD. If someone is looking to cut expenses, a new band’s CD is probably one of the easiest things to do without. This of course makes our lives as artists much harder as we rely on live shows and merchandise sales to help us out. And I think I’m a little scared because I am pretty certain that the economy is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. I don’t say that in a pessimistic way, it’s just most likely, especially having talked to many people far more knowlegable than myself.

However, I am not going to panic. I said I was a Christian, and God has been taking care of me and my family my whole life. He’s not going to stop providing now. There have been so many instances of my family always having *just* enough growing up. We were on the mission field for 13 years as a child (more on that later) and money was always provided by God. I don’t want to be unrealistic here; it’s not like I’m sitting around home all day and not trying to work. But as a violinist, I do all of my jobs to the best of my ability and trust that I will have enough performances and students to live on. At this time I can’t get a morning job in the city due to how much I am traveling with the band I play with. I might need to in the future, but for now I really feel like the band and my students (and occasional classical performances) are what I’m supposed to be doing. We’ll see. It’s frustrating I’ve had some very large expenses. A belt in my car was loose and needed to be fixed and my heating bill was skyrocketing due to the freezing cold weeks we had in January. Plus I’m buying a new violin which is several hundred dollars (it’s my back up, not anywhere close to replacing my good one). I’m not worried; like I said, it’s strange, but I’ mhonestly filled with a peace and a calm about it. In fact, it’s a great time to say, “OK God, how are you going to be amazing and provide this time?” I hope it doesn’t sound crazy to you. Growing up, my mom always trusted and ALWAYS had enough. And I saw her faith be pure and true so many times that it’s impossible to NOT believe. That being said, I do need a few more students or gigs or some form of flexible work that I can do when I’m not traveling or on the road. I will update you on how God provides.

Well, I’m off to get a deep tissue massage which I find so incredibly helpful as my upper back, shoulders, and neck are always sore from both the violin and computer work. It is probably an expense I should cut but I’ve had some overuse injuries in the past (from violin) and they help prevent those. Afterwards I will go to the gym which is right up there and later today I’m teaching a student at a new studio (which will hopefully grow!)

I read other blogs pretty regularly and I have wanted to start my own for a while now. I feel like it’s a fun way to write about things that are important to me. I will probably most often blog about music and violin, health/food/nutrition, everyday life, Christianity, goals/dreams, travel, friendships, books, and family. I love my life and I tend to find every day new and exciting. I would love to have some readers, but I also want to use this blog for my own accountability in work and relationships (to be defined later). And as such, I will update it as I want to, which when I’m in town (not traveling) will probably be quite frequently.

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