Here's what I've been up to lately, and what I'm doing in 2023

Here's what I've been up to lately, and what I'm doing in 2023
The VMFA King Neptune sculpture stares into the distance, thinking about 2023.

Tooting My Own Horn

At the end of 2021, I left my full-time job and launched a consulting company called Fanfare Studio. My goal with Fanfare is to help organzations of all sizes get the right messages in front of the right audiences, whether that's through communications strategy, branding, public relations, copywriting, print design, web design and development, and even mobile app development. While I love to get up to my elbows in all of those areas, I also look to partner with agencies and freelancers around Richmond and even around the world.

My other goal with Fanfare, and the area I hope to make progress with in 2023, is to help musicians with their branding and communications, from consulting on their communications efforts to helping create websites, logos, bios... anything that's needed, at rates that are affordable to working musicians. Often these musicians have the skills to create all the communications they need, but could use someone to bounce ideas off of or provide a little experienced guidance. If you know someone who needs that, get in touch! (My main focus is on classical and jazz musicians, but that's not to say I wouldn't work with rock bands.)

Another Fanfare goal for 2023 is to finally create a full website. I hit the ground running with projects and need to carve out the time to create a website with more details and work examples.

Teaching (and Learning)

Another big focus in 2022 has been teaching. I've been teaching at a local music store for a few years, but in 2022 I have taken on a few more students, an opportunity afforded me by stepping away from my full-time job. Helping a student to disembark from the struggle bus and start making music is one of the most fullfilling things I do. I always learn something from teaching as well, but I also had the opportunity in 2022 to continue to learn from trumpet players and musicians I admire to improve my own playing and teaching.

I've also been learning even more about web and mobile development for the last few years. In 2021 I started learning iOS development with SwiftUI and around this time last year released a small beta app on TestFlight (click to sign up to test!). The app is still in beta, because I've got some ideas for what I'd like to do with it before releasing it on the App Store, but I have some more to learn. I also contributed to a couple of open source iOS apps as part of a group of developers from around the world, including Elsewhen, which is available now for iOS and Mac in the App Store. (I did not contribute much in the way of code to Elsewhen, but helped with testing and design input, and created the icon.)

I also now have two Django-based web apps in production. One of those is the Gold Method, a music practice program website created in collaboration with my friend Ryan Beach, and based on his approach to instrumental music practice. The Gold Method launched originally in 2021, but we made numerous improvements and rolled out several new features in 2022.

I also started a microblog where I'm documenting little bits of information or solutions to problems that I run into along the course of my day, from programming to audio editing. I could have posted that content here, but that's mostly pretty bitesized and a little niche.

Looking Forward

I'm not a huge fan of goal-setting in the SMART goals sense of making specific plans that you later can feel bad about not achieving, so instead, I leave you with my areas of focus for 2023:

  • Organization: both at "home" and at "work" (even though these are physically the same space) and digital and physical spaces
  • Growth: both in the sense of growing my business, but also personal growth from learning new skills or challenging myself musically
  • Family: my kids keep getting older, and soon will be off on their own adventures without me; I also haven't seen my extended family as much as I'd like over the last few years (for reasons)