(This is from the 2018 Year-in-Review email I sent to my fans, family and friends.)
Things went well this year. I played 20 shows, which is the most I’ve ever played in one year. 10 were with my acoustic band, Scupanon, 9 with my new rock band, Electric Poetry, one with both bands, and one solo show– at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival. I reached a lot of new people with my music, and increased my fan base significantly. (My email lists grew 27% this year.)
For the first time, instead of being a songwriting student, I taught a songwriting class at the Rocky Mountain Song School. That went very well, and convinced me that I need to make music teaching a central part of my life.
You may remember that, in the Spring of 2014 I volunteered for a layoff from my non-music day job, in order to live off my savings for 2 years and focus on music. I was able to stretch that 2 years into 3 3/4 years. I went back to school and studied music theory, and took other music classes for two years. In January of 2018, I took another day job and have been working that all year. Because of that, I haven’t had as much time to devote to my songwriting, composing, and instrument practice that I would like. However, I did finish three new songs, “The Way,” “The Last Generation” and “You Don’t Know What You’re Missing.”
The time limitations imposed by my non-music day job, combined with the positive experience of teaching songwriting, has convinced me that I should transition from a non-music day job to a music day job; that is, teaching. In 2019 I plan apply for jobs as a guitar teacher at music schools and stores, and also teach songwriting.
In 2018, for the first year ever, I did not lose money at music. I made a slight profit– $275 over expenses. That may not seem like a big deal, but it is. For the past 11 years, I have lost money at music– thousands of dollars a year. A friend told me that I shouldn’t say I lost money; I should call it “investing” in my music. Well, I’ve “invested” $110,000 over the past 11 years, and I decided that it’s time for a little ROI– Return on Investment. In 2019, as I transition into teaching, this trend will continue to the point where I am making a living from music and can truly call myself a music professional.
I have written many new songs since my last songwriter CD was released in 2012. I have plans for 3 new EPs. One will consist of the new acoustic songs I’ve been playing with Scupanon, another of the new rock songs I’ve been playing with Electric Poetry, and one of the more out-in-leftfield rock music that I put under the Total Flower Chaos label. The main problem, of course, is funding. A couple years ago, I started The Misfit Club, so that fans can contribute to my recording projects. I hope to grow the Misfit Club in 2019 so I can get one of these projects going. Misfit Club members get access to demos of my new songs, such as the ones I listed above.
When I’m not doing music, I’m reading– novels, poetry, history and musician biographies and autobiographies. Also hanging out with friends, and taking care of my flower garden– although that has been sadly neglected the past year due to the day job and all the music work. I managed to ski and hike a handful of times last year.
Please reply if you want details on any of this stuff. I always love hearing from my friends and fans. I’m very excited about 2019, and I hope you all have a great 2019, too.
Happy New Year!
(If you’d like to join my email list and stay up-to-date on all my musical endeavors, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Rob Roper, December 31, 2018