Hi, all. I am looking for support or suggestions to deal with my upcoming “situation.”
I have been playing for almost 4 years, and have had gigs every month since last fall. Gigs in which I am performing with an orchestra or solo at church I find very stressful as it takes extra time and effort on my part to get the music ready for performance. I have therefore been going non-stop for months. Good, right?
Well, I got pregnant (first kid) right before my last gig and I had a very difficult time finding the focus and energy to prepare. The performance went fine, as all of mine have (I have been fortunate to not have a disaster performance yet), but now I suffer from burn-out. I turned down another gig and had to cancel my Christmas one (due date early December).
Here lies my problem…I still suffer from burn-out. It has been months, and practicing (maybe down to 45 minutes every other day instead of 1.5-2 hours a day) has become lazy – I just play through stuff, rarely focusing enough to even get out the metronome and do some serious work. My teacher has been wonderful and understanding, and has tried to give me deadlines to work on some new easy pieces. I guess I’m not as scared of her disappointment as I am of hundreds of people at a performance and the deadlines don’t have the invigorating effect I was hoping for. 🙂
Compounding this problem is I will soon be a stay-at-home mom, without an income. I still have harp payments. I don’t want to sell my instrument, but down to a one-income family, I won’t be able to afford the harp without some income from the instrument itself. There is always the possibility of going back to work, but then I doubt I’d want to spend the few precious hours of the evening away from my brand-new baby.
In a perfect world, I would like to make some part-time income with the harp after (although before would be nice, too) my child is born. I am afraid if this burn-out continues and the weight I’m putting on my shoulders about it is going to impede my ability to take gigs. Background music would be great, since it is more low-key than solo performance or orchestral work, but I spent the other weekend handing out cards to restaurants, etc. and got no business.
I know I’m not the first person to have a child force a change in life-plans, and making money with the harp would be a fine alternative to going back to full-time work. I just can’t find the courage to move forward.
Any advice about children and harps, balancing family and music, burn-out, starting a harp “career”… anything is so much appreciated… Thanks