Today we’d like to introduce you to Dana Rice.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Dana. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My desire to help people – especially kids and teens – chase their Big Dreams of becoming musicians started when I was a teenager myself. I’d always known, I wanted to be a singer since I was only 2 years old but there were so many obstacles to me getting the training that I needed. First of all, no one would teach me singing lessons that young so, by the time I was 5, my mom got me piano lessons. That started my journey in arts education as I became not only interested in music but in all the performing arts. All along the way, though there seemed to be so many barriers to accessing the training and opportunities I was looking for. Many times, it was that people didn’t take a kid who wanted to be a performer seriously and other times it was struggling through programs that didn’t value the type of music or performance that I was interested in. Still other times, it was missing that educational piece about the business side of a life in the arts.
All these things created a fire inside me to create a different experience for other young people who have dreams of being in the arts. Through Dana Rice Music, I’ve been able to bring students alongside my journey to a life in the arts. As a result I’ve had the privilege of introducing countless students to the world of music, songwriting and stage performance. I’ve been blessed to help singers and piano players get gigs on local stages all the way to Broadway as well as record with Grammy nominated musicians.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Lol! It has been anything but a smooth road. One of my favorite songs is “No Pain, No Gain” by Betty Wright. During rough patches the words and the message in that song help me keep going.
My very first music job was as the Children’s Choir director at my church when I was only 12 years old. I was responsible for choosing the songs, conducting rehearsals and accompanying the choir twice a month. There were 2 really big challenges to this – I didn’t even have a piano and I was only 12 years old in a leadership position without any leadership skills! To get around these challenges, I started hanging out with anybody who had a keyboard or piano and even going to public places that had a piano so I could practice. Also, there was a wonderful woman in my church who was the pastor’s wife. She started helping me with the rehearsals. I would teach her the songs and she would teach them to the choir and direct during the services. It worked beautifully! Lesson learned – where there’s a will there’s a way. You just have to look for it.
Another obstacle – moving to a new state where you have no connections and finding spaces to teach and people who want to learn what you have to offer. In 1996, my husband and I were newly married (about a year) and moved to GA with his job. I had started working for a fortune 500 company here but had to leave the job due to a work injury after a couple of years. I was also pregnant with our first child – and showing. That made it pretty difficult to get a job. It seemed like the perfect time to get more involved with music. So one day, I walked into a local arts center and announced that I was a songwriter and music teacher. The lady that I spoke to immediately offered me a gig writing original songs for her upcoming concert. She hadn’t even heard any of my music! We did that concert and it was great. I also started teaching my first students in the Atlanta area at that arts center. Lesson learned – start conversations and let people know how you can help them.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Dana Rice Music – what should we know?
I am a singer/songwriter and I also provide arts education opportunities for all skill levels from beginner to advanced in both private and group settings with a specific focus on piano, vocal training and public performance.
As a singer/songwriter I perform multiple genres but tend to live in the soul and jazz genres. One thing that is unique about the way I teach is that, I not only help people develop the technical skills necessary to be performers but I also help them develop the mindset of being a creative entrepreneur. With this in mind a key component of what I do is to provide opportunities for students to perform and attain the tools and the know-how to make money with their art. In an effort to affect the most students, I also consult with and train other teachers how to bring innovative thinking to their private teaching studios.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
The quality I feel is most important to my success is creativity. I always try to bring something different to whatever situation I’m in. Why do the same thing the same old way? This is my thought process in everything I do including dealing with students and clients, performing and putting on shows and events. Creativity highlights uniqueness because when you’re creating something you’re literally bringing something new or at least never before seen. In dealing with students and clients, I look for what is special and unique about each person’s learning style and interests and try to help them build upon that. Usually the most important thing is helping them realize the value in their uniqueness. The joy for me – the success – is getting them to know and accept that they don’t have to do it (whatever “it” is) the same way someone else did. That is something, I’m especially good at since, I have struggled so much in recognizing the value of my own uniqueness.
- Half Hour Voice/Piano Lessons $35
- Full Hour Voice/Piano Lessons $65
- Audition Prep for musical theatre, music competitions and singing roles for film and television $65/hour
- Website: www.DanaRiceMusic.com
- Phone: 678-750-3263
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.Instagram.com/DanaRiceMusic
- Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DanaRiceMusic
- Twitter: www.Twitter.com/DanaRiceMusic
- Yelp: www.YouTube.com/DanaRiceMusic
Right Libro Musica, Right Brian Page, Lou Raimondi Photography