For the last 30 years, Beth and I have been pursuing a career as children’s musicians. Here in the New York area, we’re well-known as Teaching Artists, folks who come to schools, libraries and summer camps to sing fun songs and, more importantly, share music on themes relevant to the academic and social-emotional curriculums. (That was a mouthful.)
In addition, Beth and I have enjoyed writing songs as a couple and with children. Our “Sing About Learning” workshops and “The John Lennon Real Love Project for Public Schools” and “Creating a New School Song” are examples of programs that have made a demonstrable difference in our lives and the lives of children.
I’m very proud of this career. It is the kingdom we built from scratch and it allowed us to move from a small apartment on 101st Street in NYC to a co-op in Yonkers overlooking the Hudson River and, finally, to our home on an acre of land in Yorktown Heights, NY. We raised two daughters, stayed close to my mother and stepfather and built a wonderful community of friends and musicians. A good life.
In the recession (2009 for us), the arts-in-education business took a big hit. We quickly lost 30% of our business. But we hung on. In 2020, however, the final blow was the pandemic that reduced our business to a shell of its former self. At the peak of our abilities, our career was on life support. SAD.
So, what’s next? What is the universe suggesting we do with this next (last?) chapter in our lives?
Beth and Scott’s Adventure is about seeing places, meeting new folks and having fun. It’s also about Beth expanding her yoga business, virtually and physically. For me, the trip is also an opportunity for me to consider “what career, me?”
If I were to tell you the absolute truth, the career I would like best is to write songs, to record them and MAYBE to play them out somewhere. I also still love teaching others how to write songs. If I could make a career out of being creative and helping others to find that in themselves, I’d be a very happy man.
So, why am I marketing Beth & Scott like crazy instead of focusing on the above? Why am I not finishing my CD (95% done) and sharing it all over the place? Because I’m scared, afraid to fully embrace my worth as a songwriter for adults and share it. I’ve hidden behind the children’s musician persona or the “Scott as a jukebox of 1960s and 70s songs” for a long time and been successful doing so. The thought of putting that guy aside feels like a crapshoot to me, a risk that may end in horrible disappointment and, perhaps, embarrassment. That’s my inner critic at full volume.
So, now you know. The adventure is jumping off a cliff and hoping like hell a net will appear for us. Will we have the courage to do so? Time will tell. It’s the reason my CD is called “Create Without Caution.” Listen to it and you’ll hear the loving, strong part of me reaching out to the scared little kid.
May I find that kid inside of me and embrace him.