1990, at the beginning of my performing and conducting career.
This month marks 30 years of professional music-teaching and music-making.
Following a successful run as Uncle Max in The Sound of Music at Blue Springs City Theatre in December 1987, several people asked me for voice lessons.
I was working at the time for a McDonald’s franchise owner, in public relations.
The first one to ask about instruction was Janon Cairns, the costumer for the theatre. Her 7th-grade son, Brad, was interested in theatre, and she wanted him to have lessons.
I said yes.
The first lesson occurred in January 1988.
I had no idea what I was doing.
But somehow, I was good at it, or at least people thought so, and more people wanted lessons. Later that year, when it was time to leave the food-service world, I ‘hung out a shingle’ that effectively said “Jeffrey Carter, voice teacher,” and soon enough had sufficient private students to make a living.
Not long after, I bought the Kawai grand piano.
And not long after that, the local community college called, looking for someone new to lead the Jacomo Chorale and teach music appreciation.
The rest is history.
And it all started in earnest 30 years this month.
As I am yet again at the annual meeting of the Missouri Music Educators Association, I’m reminded of a blog entry from several years ago. These sentiments are still true and honest.
Yesterday I visited with colleagues of many years, children of former teachers, professors who taught me nearly 30 years ago, former students, Webster alumni, and dear friends from today and yesterday.