Sunday, May 8, 2016

Embracing a Freelance Career

Frank Ishman, photographer
Recently, I stepped down from my full-time position at Roosevelt University. I’ll serve as part-time artist faculty next year, teaching studio composition lessons, while the university holds a formal job search to find my replacement.

Why did I do this? The answer is simple – I want/need/desire more time to compose. It has taken a very long time to arrive at this juncture. I have taught at Roosevelt since 2000, and over the past sixteen years, the university has been a wonderful and supportive home for me. My work at Roosevelt has been fulfilling—I greatly enjoy teaching students and helping them develop their minds and musical skills. I’ve also enjoyed working with my talented colleagues in our common goal to strengthen the university and to provide our students with a wealth of knowledge and opportunities.

For many years, I successfully kept a balance between teaching/collegiate responsibilities and composing. But this balance has been getting harder and harder to maintain as my composing career moves in new and exciting directions. Now, I want to explore new paths, to collaborate with musicians, singers, ensembles, organizations, dancers, and opera companies. I wish to explore getting into film music, as well as to delve deeper into developing music entrepreneurship for myself and for others. In short, I want to explore my fullest potential. If I don’t do this now, when will I ever stop to do so?

I will always love teaching, and plan to do so in one capacity or another throughout my life. There are many avenues for this—Skype composition lessons with people around the world, guest residencies in colleges and universities with a focus on both entrepreneurship and composition activities, educational outreach activities with music organizations, and my continuing role with Fresh Inc Festival, where I’m on faculty. But as much as I love teaching, it is time to move composing to the forefront and take my first steps on a new path as a freelance composer. I’ll be blogging more about this transition and my new adventures as I do!