Fabiana Claure
Pianist - Business Coach for Musicians
How I lost a key part of my identity (and then finally rediscovered it)
by Fabiana Claure on February 15th, 2020

Have you ever felt that something that was an integral part of your life and identity no longer is?

Have you wondered if it would ever be a part of you again?

I did, and for the longest time I felt too overwhelmed to do something about it.

In this post, I’m going to share my personal story as it relates to overcoming obstacles and pursuing what matters to you.

Growing up, the piano was much more than a fun activity, it became a refuge and a source of connection and emotional release.

Some of the most important events in my life came as a result of my relationship with the piano. Among them, meeting my husband, William Villaverde, also a pianist, while we were teenagers, living in Cuba.

After coming to the US and pursuing multiple music degrees together, towards the ends of our doctorates, we decided we wanted to start a business.

Fortunately, as part of my doctoral degree, I also had the opportunity to study music business and entrepreneurship.

This led us to create a business plan to launch Superior Academy of Music.

After winning several business plan competition awards, we opened our doors a few months after graduating, and became full-time entrepreneurs.

By creating and running a business, we stepped into completely uncharted territory and learned many lessons along the way.

Soon the business took a central role in our lives.

Several years went by and even though I stayed involved with the piano as an educator, my performing side had become dormant, and I missed it.

Then, after three years in business, I became a mom.

While I was grateful for this exciting yet exhausting new chapter in my life, I also felt that as a mom, it would be even harder to return to performing regularly.

I remember one night listening to my Debut Album and crying because I missed playing so much.

Yet, no matter how much I “said” I wanted to get back to performing, I couldn’t make the space in my life for developing creative projects in a way that would make sense both artistically and financially.

I wanted to return to performing only when I was able to create artistic projects that would complement my professional activities and interests.  

Meanwhile, after five years of running my Academy, I reached a plateau in my business and was ready to embrace new challenges.

This is when I accepted a position to work at the University of North Texas (UNT) to lead a major initiative designed to equip musicians with key music business and entrepreneurship skills.

Leaving our business in Miami was no easy undertaking, but fortunately, my husband and I were able to restructure our Academy so that it would continue successfully running without us there.

In preparation for my new role at UNT, I gathered many resources, and began designing systems and educational principles resulting from my business studies and experience creating and running my Academy.

After reflecting on the things that caused the biggest effect on my own education, I realized that the best way for musicians to learn about music entrepreneurship is by doing.

Therefore, over the course of almost four years, I created several initiatives that put musicians into direct action, helping them experience entrepreneurship and become transformed in the process.

I worked with hundreds of musicians and helped them raise money, launch music businesses, and also find employment opportunities.

It was incredibly fulfilling to be able to help musicians embrace an entrepreneurial mindset towards life, a perspective of empowerment, possibility, and determination.

While developing this new music entrepreneurship program at UNT, something unexpected and profound happened.

As I encouraged musicians to take action on their dreams and goals, I too decided to take action on the missing things in my life.

By teaching others about empowerment, I too became empowered.

I came to the realization that no matter how busy I was, the time had finally come for me to take action on my desire to start performing professionally again.

I felt ready to create the space for this to happen not only for my own artistic outlet, but also to serve as a role model for my students.

This time, I had more reasons and inspiration to reach for my goals and not settle for the busy-ness of life.

I also wanted to set an example for my kids, not only by modeling the discipline and benefits of practicing on a regular basis, but also by showing them that they can accomplish anything they want in life, no matter how difficult it may seem.

Along with my husband, we created a piano recital program called “A Piano Journey Through Latin America” and performed it in different areas of the country.

It felt so good to be able to formulate a creative project that was a reflection of our unique backgrounds and interests, and to successfully generate external interest to start presenting it in public.

Even though I enjoyed returning to performing, things felt quite different and more challenging, now that we were parents.

I started to wonder how performing musicians, and especially mothers, were able to juggle both family and professional responsibilities.

Then, about a year ago, I began researching the lives of entrepreneurial women concert pianists and composers.

I realized that not only their music was incredibly beautiful, but also their stories could be so inspiring, especially to fellow musician mothers.

I was amazed at what I learned and in the process and discovered a newfound interest for bringing to life the stories of the many remarkable musician mothers who’ve remained in obscurity for most of history.

This led me to create a multimedia lecture-recital program that would showcase the music and lives of entrepreneurial women musicians, in collaboration with the award-winning documentary filmmaker, Tania Khalaf.

While I was in this research process, I had my second son.

I was incredibly happy to be able to experience motherhood all over again, but having a second child proved to be even more challenging than the first time around.
 
Not only do you have to take care of the baby, but your older child, too, needs your time and attention.
 
Even though I was in one of the most sleep deprived, time constrained, and exhausted moments in my life, I felt a strong determination not to let my personal circumstances deter me from reaching for my professional, artistic, and financial goals.

I had been there and done that before and knew that this time around I was going to make it happen.

I applied the same systems and principles of entrepreneurial mindset that I had developed, as well as the information that I was using in my teaching, into my own life.

In a way, having little time can be the best thing that can happen to you. It forces you to become much more efficient.

By combining my performing skills with my interests in music entrepreneurship and life as a musician mother, I was able to create a multidimensional solo program that would tie together several facets of my personal and professional identity.

Today, more than ever before, I truly believe that we can achieve anything in life. We just need to have a vision, the right support system, and an unwavering belief in ourselves.

In my journey becoming a musician and entrepreneur, I’ve been very fortunate to be able to work with incredible music teachers and business coaches.

These mentors have become great role models and inspiration for my work now as a business coach for musicians.

Having been on both sides of the equation, I know how powerful of an experience coaching can be for both the mentor and mentee.

This is why, in addition to my current work at UNT, I’m now launching an international musician entrepreneur business coaching practice that will enable me to coach musicians all around the world. My signature blueprint will be a six-month experience called The Musician's Profit Umbrella, that helps musicians clarify their vision, unify their strengths, and increase their income so that they can live a financially empowered and artistically fulfilled life.

I want to use my experiences to empower musicians, and especially fellow musician mothers, to design their lives and realize their full potential in a way that positively impacts them, their families, and the communities they serve.

As I reflect on all these experiences, I realize that some of my greatest growth moments have happened when I’ve had to overcome obstacles.

No matter how full our lives can be in any given moment, in the end, it’s about creating the space to think, space to be there for yourself and for your family, and space to be in alignment with your priorities.

Can you look back at your life and think about the moments when you overcame obstacles?

How have these moments helped shape who you are now?

What professional, artistic, or financial opportunities do you want to create for yourself?

What deep transformation do you wish to achieve in your life and in the lives of others?

If any of this resonates with you, then I invite you to leave me a comment below or send me a message via my contact page. 

And if you’d like to learn more about working with me, feel free to book a call by clicking here.

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney.


Posted in not categorized    Tagged with women musicians, musician entrepreneur, concert pianist, female musicians, fabiana claure, music business, music entrepreneurship


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