WhyWeWork BrianVee
WhyWeWork BrianVee

Episode 2 · 2 years ago

#2 Laura The Musician

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Laura The Musician talks about her profession as a talented musician and her view of the value of hard work.

Welcome to why we work, with your host, Brian V as. He speaks to people like you from all over the world as we together dive deeper into our motivations, struggles, joys, seemingly missteps, hopes, warnings and advice which will be an encouragement to us all to get up, get going and keep on working. Working is tough, but working is good. Now here's your host to why we work, Brian V. This is Brian V at why we work, and today we are joined by Laura Grantier. How are you doing today, Laura? I'm great. How are you, Brian? I'm doing wonderfully well and I do appreciate you taking the time from your busy life to speak with me today about why we work and, in particular, why you work. Would you I I will link in the bottom of the youtube page or anywhere else. Maybe a little bio about you? You have an extensive, extensive list of things that it would take many lifetimes for people to experience. So could you give us a little bout who you are and in terms of work, and just a little introduction about yourself? Yes, well, I'm a professional clarinetist and for the last twenty five years I have been a clarinetist in the navy band in Washington DC, and the navy band and is made up of five different units. We have a hundred and seventy four sailors total in our command. So we have a concert band, a chorus, a jazz band, a rock band, in a country band and we have thousands of requests every year. We can only we can never meet the demand of the request that we received. But I I've participated in five inaugirals, naugural parades. I have participated. So sorry for those lacking and sorry for those lacking in history. So in your inaugurals, who? who were they? For? So we're talking the most recent so let's see President Clinton, his second term. President Bush, I did one of his terms. I was pregnant daughter when Bush, forty three, was elected the first time. Then President Obama, both of his terms, and president trump, and it will be real interesting to see, with the presidential election coming up, what that inaugural will look like. You know, with all of the I have no idea what that's going to look like. Normally we have a big per rate of bands and you know, music and it'll be very interesting to see how that unfolds. So I've seen, just knowing you virtually because we've done something together, some of the videos of your band. You guys are pretty lively. Thank you. Guys are what is I think you mentioned to me one other time, but your your your mission, statement, your purpose. What is the goal of the Navy band? Well, the the goal is to provide, first and foremost, music for the United States Navy, and the Navy is of course steeped in tradition, like any military service, and along with that tradition comes music, in this case ceremonial music. So we may provide ceremonial music for the Secretary of the Navy or the Secretary of defense or are chief of naval operations, which he would be like the CEO of the big company. But every military service is steeped in a tradition. Each one has their own unique tradition that pertains to their service. So we have differentfferent songs that we play that are very important to the navy, like Navy blue and gold is a very important song that we play.

Eternal father strong to say that's a very important navy song that we play. So that's our that's the first priority. is to meet the musical needs for the navy. After that we have we provide music for our sailors and citizens as a morale booster. So we will perform life concerts, either in the local area or outdoor. In the summers. Normally we would be performing outdoor concerts a couple times a week in the summertime. Typically you could go here military band every day of the week in the summer and it's free. So but we're not doing that right now, which is sad, because I do I missed doing that. Every year we tour a different region of the United States for about thirty days, twenty five to thirty days, and this year we happened to be in the southeastern part of the United States and we were performing. We we went on a tour of concerts and we took our chorus with us, which was really fun because when we take the chorus with us were able to play a bigger variety of music. So we had all of these great medley's. We did an earth, wind and fire metally. We did a disco medley. I mean just really good, feel good music that makes you want to clap your hands and dance and singing and lots of patriotic music and our singers are just world class. They're so amazing. As a matter of fact, our rock band just did a collaboration with Dolly Pardon. If you go to the navy bands facebook page, they just did a recording individually. They also recorded their parts and send them in Dolly Parton's nine hundred and twenty five and she introduced the song, which I think is so cool. It's like it's I just thought it was amazing. Yeah, but it's just how we and next week is the fourth of July and so I had to record some music for the fourth of the July to send into our sound engineers, because is right now. We can't perform together, but we can send in our parts and then they put them all together. So public concerts is next on the list of our mission statement. And then we have education outreach, where we provide educational knowledge to every kind of school, whether it be an elementary, middle school, high school, university level. We Are we are very, very passionate about education outreach. And finally, of course, touring. I talked about touring, and then we do recording projects. So usually every year one of our performing units will record a CD of music that are commanding officer, our conductor. He will select and it might have a theme. A lot of times me music schools at different universities they look to these military wind ensembles for the latest recordings, maybe new music or maybe traditional band music that they want to hear a good recording of it and they will look to these bands for guidance. And so we put out these CDs and you can't buy them. There are you can get them at your you can check them out at your library or they will be distributed to music educators, but they're not. You can't buy them, but we do did that as part of our education outreach, recording music and then putting it out to music educators or to the general public through our public libraries. Laura, what first got you into music? So you obviously are very successful in what you do, but how did you make that first step? I know when I was younger, soone handed me a saxophone. My mom bought one and I think I had it for two weeks and give up from there. How did you pick up your first instrument or seeing your first note? Well, it's really funny. When I was in the fifth grade I took a listening test. They put us all on the cafeteria in elementary school. We all took a listening test and then the sixth grade band director came in and he said, you know, I want you to fill out this little card with your name and what what grade are in and your first preference of our instrument in your second. So I was sitting next to the this is in Texas.

So we had a football team in elementary school and we had cheerleaders. So I was sitting next to the most popular cheerleader and she wrote down flute as her primary instrument. So I wrote down flute and then she erased it and she wrote down clarinet. So then I raised mine and I put found clarinet. So you followed a law test and I thought I was a follower. And so we took the listening test and my parents got a phone call, call from the band director and he said your daughter scored really high on this music test. Is just listening for, you know, pitches, whether they were high or low. And the bank and director said we think you're just sitting clarinet or a saxophone, and my dad said, Oh, no way, she played the saxophone. Is Too loud, too loud. But little did he know that the clarinet can make all times since the vising. Oh Yeah, he used to complain that it sounded like geese flying over our house. So and then when we would go visit my aunt and uncle in Mississippi, they had a bar and behind the house and my uncle would make me go practice in the bottom. So certainly doesn't sound like he's now. Yeah, thanks, but you know, Brian, it wasn't something that I planned to do. I think I started playing clarinet and I was I was pretty good at it and I just I just kept working ahead in my music book. No one told me. If the teacher said okay, stop on page six, well I went to page seven because I was curious about what was on the next page and if I didn't understand it, I would just kind of play around with it until I could ask the teacher, you know, the next week or whatever. And then we always had weekly tryouts for chairs. And so when I tried out and I made first chair, they gave you a little metal, which I still have, and you had weekly tryouts, but if you didn't get first share you had to give the metal up, and I didn't want to give the metal up. So that was my motivation for practicing, because I didn't want to lose my metal, and so I only lost it one week. I lost one week challenges and I got challenge. I still remember. It was only week I ever lost my chair and so I got it back and I kept it for the rest of the year and I still have that metal. But it was you know, I'm an only child and I rode courses for a long time before that until I developed an allergy to courses and then I couldn't ride anymore because it just you know, have to pack allergy medicine. So music seemed like a it just I happened upon it by accident. I mean funny. Laura, you're sorry you mentioning this and you and I had a brief discussion. I got to talk with your daughter and I'm just thinking when you say you started taking lessons and the instructor would give you up to a certain page and you would keep going. was there any pressure at all on your parents say, Oh, you know, we're paying for this, you better do this, or or was it totally your motivation and you couldn't maybe even explain it or even know why, but it was solely on you to follow through with this, no matter where it would have gone. My parents had to stop me from practice thing. I mean they literally and this was my band director. I wasn't taking private lesson. I didn't start taking private lessons probably until eighth grade. I started playing when I was eleven and I'm forty nine, so that's what thirty eight years and so I started playing in sixth grade, but my grandma took me to my first clarinet lesson, I think when I was in the eighth grade, and I think it was like fifteen dollars for a forty minute lesson. But no one had to tell me to practice. As a matter of fact, my parents would have to stop me from practicing. I would be I would go in the bathroom to practice because acoustically it sounded the best in the bathroom and I would get frustrated if I couldn't do something right. So they would hear me kind of yelling at myself for you know, saying why can I get this right, and they would come knock on the door and say, don't you think it's time for a break? But they never they never said, you know, Oh we're paying for this, you need to do more. If anything, they were always I was so focused. I mean I was just yeah, I mean when I we were living in...

Texas at the time, when I started playing clarinets, when we moved, when I was in seventh grade, to South Louisiana, and that was a little hard because I came in and the band director put me in the advanced band. There were two bands, and so I was in the advanced band with all the eighth graders and I was already playing at a higher skill level than the eighth graders and I think that created a little bit of tension. And so when I got ready for High School, which was ninth grade, I decided I want to audition for the Louisiana all state band and the high school band director took one look at me and said you're not going to make it to the Louisiana all state band. You're just a freshman in high school. Well, that was like saying, okay, I'll show you. So I so our district auditions were held at Lsu. So it was quite competitive. They only took five high schoolers out of the Baton Rouge district. So New Orleans and Baton Rouge and tree court were kind of the really higher competitive areas. So I made it to the state level. I didn't make all state band that year, but the next year I made first chair all State Orchestra for three years. So I was like take that band director, I want to get started to something else. But what did you do in that year where you didn't make it and then the following year you made it? What do you know of something that you did in particular or is just well, there was there was a woman there who heard me play and her daughter played clarinet and her daughter was made the all state band and when we were in the when we were at the district tryouts, her daughter was seated first and I was like second, but her mom came to me and said, you know, you really should take she's like, do you take clarinet lessons and I said not really, just a when in the summer when I'm at my grandma's house, and she said I'm going to give you the name of my daughter's clarinet teacher and she said if your parents won't take you to these clarinet lessons, I will, and so I came home with the man's name and phone number and he was a graduate student at Lsu and so my mom or dad drive me every Saturday day over to Lsu. I think the lessons for like thirty bucks for an hour and I studied with a graduate student at Lsu and that's when I really learned to develop my basic condimentals of playing and so and I audition for everything. I just auditioned for all state band or different honor bands, so on. Ensemble. You know, every time you audition and you put yourself out there, you know the more you do it, the better you get. It's, you know, practicing. You every time you have to go play for somebody, it's nerve racking and think you have anxiety. But the more you do it, eventually you'll you'll get more comfortable with it. And I enjoyed it. I still you know, I enjoy opening up an a too book and just playing through an ATU to did that last night just it's I don't know, I still like it. I still love to play. I miss playing with my colleagues and I miss making musick with them. I don't miss all the traffic and I don't miss all the rules. In the fear of being late or my uniform not looking good, but I miss playing with my colleagues and friends, but I can still play eight at home and I find enjoyment in that and sometimes I'll play with my friends, will record on some recording apps on our phones and send it to each other and then we make music together that way. You know, there's still isn't a platform, you know, Zoom. There's always a delay, so you can't play together live on zoom or facetime or there's just always a delay and until somebody comes up with a way to improve that, there's just no way you can make I mean, yeah, I mean you can, but there's just always a delay and that would that's frustrating. But you...

...know, there's Times where I get tired of it and you have to I have to put the clarinet down sometimes, you know, in the summer we take a vacation and I put the clarinet down for a couple weeks, but then I always come back to it. You then you feel a new desire to pick it up with vigor. Or this is just that. Yeah, I need to. It's usually that or fear of a concert coming up and I have to learn my part. We were speaking with as I mentioned your daughter a moment ago and her going to be starting her new job, her first job. Yep, yeah, and we were talking about her desires and motivations of doing things in tech and social media and she seems, from your perspective, to have this motivation almost similar to you with your instrument when you were younger. Can you see any correlation and how your versus that? You were mentioning that there was the idea of her just getting into computers, but she really seems to be going down a certain path. Can you see some characteristics in how you were when you were younger with music for what she's doing now and social media? Yeah, she's not as focused as I was. I mean I ate and breathed and slept the clarinet, okay, when I was in high school and college. I mean I just in middle school. She's it's not like that. But when there was something she's passionate about, she'll get focused. She was very focused about finding well, I actually hounded her. She got the internship and it didn't pay anything. She kept whining that I don't have a job that pays anything. So I I we were on a walk. It's funny that you as this. We are on a walk one day and she was a little bit down because she didn't know what she was going to do this summer and I said, well, I think you need to set a short term goal and a long term goal. I said, in the short term goal, I want you to apply for three jobs, just to ply any Greek, just sending your resume and see what happens. If nothing happens, apply for three more. But meet that short term goal. Don't let that go. That's a realistic goal. That might take you a couple days, maybe three or four days. And I said then let's look at a long term goal. Maybe there's a video or documentary or something you want to produce, edit, design, and maybe that's something that you see yourself doing working on for the next four or five months. That's a long term goal. Or we were talking about, you know, this digital media degree. It's only a couple of years. So she's got the time and her schedule to do a double major in the languages, and I mean Brian, I'm not kidding. She speaks Norwegian, she speaks Japanese, she speaks you know, she's learning Korean. I mean an interview and okay, and you know, I think if she combines those digital media skills that she's net truly talented at and she enjoys, she can also incorporate those languages. I mean, these are things that she's very passionate about and I think when she's passionate about something then she becomes focused. There were days that I wasn't passionate about clarinet, but I just wanted to continually get better, you know, and as a musician you're constantly working on your skill. You'll never reach the point where you're like, Oh, I made it, I'm done. You'll the minute you do that, it's time to put the instrument away. I will never reach the I have done it, I am I have mastered my instrument. That will never happen because it's just a lifelong journey of learning, really learning. You know, the Mozart Clarinet Concerto is, in my opinion, the most difficult piece of music for clarinet, and not because it's technically challenging, but it's so transparent. There is no room for a mistake. The music is so perfectly written and it's so transparent. It's just perfectly written and any any bobble in the music is noticeable. You cannot hide anywhere. Every phrase must be perfectly made. Before I get into one,...

I'm wondering some of you, yeah, some of your challenges in stresses. What was your first job? Because your daughter and I think a free plug for your daughters, she created what was the name of the website? Five dolls star, five doll stars plural. She has youtube channel and its stopped motion movies of American girl dolls. So she has many American girl dolls. She has a doll apartment in her room where she creates her storylines. She creates her own music. She used to be able to use commercial music but she can't now. So she comes up with her own music and she develops the storyline. She has characters. They all have different persons us. Really, it has like eighty million views or something like that. That's correct. So she's fiftyzero subscribers. She received her first job and will start soon. What was your first job? My first job was working at a department stores, a family owned department store, and upstate New York. It was called Pennosians and they sold shoes and men and women and children's clothing and I made for seventy five an hour and I started out like in the children's sections and I worked there every summer when I wasn't and well, I work there actually. Yeah, three summers I work there. There was one summer I actually stayed at school and had a job where I was in college. So, but my first job was at a department store and honestly, I love them all. All I love department stores. I enjoy customer service, I enjoy helping people find what they're looking for, whether it's not or need. I love helping people achieve a goal or figure out something that they're looking for. One thing you may not know about me as I've been a freelance makeup artist for twenty two I saw that on your Bobby Brown. Is that Bobby Brown makeup? Is that my I used to add work for Bobby Brown for eighteen years and the last three years I've worked for Georgio Armani, okay, and so I've had many idear life. I love you. Well, you know I as you can see, I'm not wearing any makeup, but I believe in self care, taking care of oneself, whether that's through physical activity or eating healthy or, you know, making yourself feel better by putting a little moisturizer or a little look color or something that just enhances your natural beauty. I Love I have had clients they come to see me and they are just down, depressed and and I'll you know, a little make over. Why don't you sit down? Well, I'll I'll say, why don't you sit down and we'll just play. Let's just that's that's my favorite phase. Let's just play, you know. And so then I listen to their needs and like, like if they want to try something and I always say well, you know, makeup's not rocket science, which you always take it off and and put something else on it. It doesn't work. So, you know, it's yeah, I'm in an interview. You can go. I close. Thank you, just go, go away. So anyway, I can never be by myself if it's impossible in the Elf. But I love that connection and when you when you're working with and it's the same thing with music. A lot of times after concerts I might have to stand out in front of the auditorium after the show and meet and Greek patrons as they come in, and every one of them has a story and they want to tell you their story. My Dad served in the navy or my brother was in the navy, my my GRANDPA was in World War Two. They have a story and you know, everybody has a story, right, and you take the time. You take the time and you listen and that the funny thing is is I have many acquaintances in my life, but I can count my dearest friends on one hand. I love my makeup clients, I love my...

...clarinet students, but you know, with my makeup clients, I some of them have developed into nice friendships. But the thing about when you're working with number one, when you're working with makeup, it's it's like music. It's very personal. But you give that person what they want, you become best buddies and half an hour and an hour you give them what they want. They go away happy. I'm happy and in the relationship. It's all in that. It's all in a little compartment right moment. Him In the moment, yes, kind of in the moment. I'm not an impulsive or in kind of person, but I like being in the moment. I think that's a good way of saying it. Did you have a number of jobs in between joining the navy, and how did that come about? From now. I to the Navy, the NYBE if my first professional job. So I graduated from college in Nineteen Nine three. No, I take that back on nineteen ninety three. I work. I took a year off. I was trying to decide whether to go to Gret right out of school to go to graduate school, but I decided to work for a year and I worked for an ophthalmologist and eye doctor. I was kind of his office assistant, but I would also he worked mainly with older patients that needed cataract surgery or mainly just to help correct their visionist their aging, and so that's another kind of customer service. Like I would greet them, I would help them fill out their paperwork, I would help them back to get them seated in the exam room. I would, you know, make sure they had the doctor had the correct chart. So it was organizational skills that it was also a lot of personal oneonone good morning, how are you, how are you doing today? What brings you in today? You know, those kinds of things. So I think every job had has been kind of like some kind of customer service oriented, you know, dealing with people. I don't mind mind dealing with people. You see the best and worst of people when they're dealing in a customer service kind of related skill set. And I've had I've had people yell at me and be unfriendly to me and you know, the first thing I think is, why are they things to me? The thing, you know, what they may be dealing with something that I have no idea what they're doing. And so you know, the best way to disarmor person like that is to say, you know, I'm really sorry you're feeling this way. I may not be able to help you get through it, but I'm here today and you'll be with me for ten or fifteen minutes. Maybe that'll be the best part of your day. You know, you have to turn it around. I think when people lash out, they lash out because they're they're unhappy and they need to lash out at something, someone right or something is someone something, and it I've seen it happen when I'm doing makeup. You know they'll have a client that I did a lot of weddings for a while, but my brides would they came progressively more. The Nice hord is, I'll say, is demanding and I fought also is, as you just said, brides are under a lot of pressure. They are right. I remember calming one bride down before she went to walk out. She was almost in tears, and I'm saying they were the tissue trying to blot or you knows, Yara, just trying to help her calm down. But I stopped doing weddings because I didn't want to be that, I won't say like a punching bag, but I didn't want to be the one that was always like, okay, everybody, keep calm. You know so. And I do that my own family. I'm like when my husband or son or daughters having a moment or function, when my son broke his arm, who takes into the hospital? Mommy, right, mom, because they're only times for mom will do so. You know what made you decide to get into the navy? How did someone approach you? Someone's in your family, said this is how I want to spend the next twenty five years. No, that is not what I thought. So I was in graduate school. After I work...

...for a year with the eye doctor, I auditioned at the Eastman School of music in Rochester, New York, and I was accepted and I started in the fall and one thousand nine hundred and ninety four and I had a great teacher and in I guess it was December, he had a flyer in his hand for an audition for the navy band and I said, no, I'm not auditioning for a band, I want of being an orchestra said. He said, well, you're broke and you're graduate student and you need a job. He said you need to go take this audition, and so we we spent a good month working on the music and then I auditioned on January thirteen, one thousand nine hundred and ninety five, which is a Friday. Is Friday the thirteen, and they had they hired two people that day. They hired me and they hired another woman who is now probably one of my well, she is my best friend in the whole world. I have to college, my college roommate and then one of my college friends from marching band, though the three of them are like my best friends in the whole world. But I met her on audition day at the navy band. So very interesting how things work out. Yep, she she left after about six years. Five years she had a like a she developed a shoulder injury and playing became very challenging for her so that she's a very intelligent, intelligent king being. So she went and became a brewmaster and she's a brewmaster for Sam Adams in Boston. So she, I mean, super talented. You know all my best this girlfriends, they're just like lawyers and Brew Masters and Business Ladies and they're they're so smart and talented. Last year camera area. You're good. Yeah, it says my batteries, little need for my charger and and I'm a musician. So that's okay. So you passed the addition and then you said, okay, this is this is how it goes. Well, I passed the audition. You see me plug in my charger. All right, so I auditioned and then and then you have to go to boot camp. So I in. Sorry you're not differentiate it, because what I know is you you get to stay state side unless you guys are touring. Correct right. So my question is, are you treated just the same, though, as other soldiers in boot camp, or is there some yet? Oh yeah, no, it was a same. So I when I I accepted the position in January, but I didn't Inter boot camp until July because I I asked if I could finish out my spring semester at the University of Rochester and they said yes, so I was able to do a little more school work and study with my teacher and play my graduate recital and then I went into boot Camp July thirty one, one thousand nine hundred and ninety five and which was awesome, my grandma's birthday, and so that lasted about nine weeks and it was like a heat wave in Chicago. So the BOOT campus in north of Chicago, Twelve Great Lakes and went through nine weeks of basic training. So in basic training you do a lot of physical activity. The main thing is they they instruct you how to work as a team. So you'll have to remember I was twenty four when I joined the navy and I, you know, most of the women in my group were eighteen, nineteen years old, and so getting everyone to work together could be a challenge at times. So that was the primary goal. But we moved in formation from where our barracks were to our classrooms, to physical training, to the dining hall. We always moved information together and you know, when someone made a mistake, then the whole group of course, had to be we usually had to do push ups or whatever. But you know, it teaches you discipline, it...

...teaches you structure and and I I honestly have to say in my early S I needed structure. So it wasn't a bad thing. And if I I'll say this, if I can survive basic training, anyone can survive basic training. I got stronger and it's you know, I wasn't an athlete by any stretch growing up, but the lifestyle of the navy, its physical activity, became a lifestyle change for me. So that was good. was little overweight when I before I went into the navy, so I had to lose a little weight and of course there's a weight standard, so you have to maintain a healthy lifestyle. And so those were all good motivators. What now? If this was regular time, what would your day consist of, or you know, a week consist of? For you in your broth, today's Monday, so we would today. It's Monday in June. So we would have a concert at capital, the West steps of the capital, eight o'clock concert, and then tomorrow night we would have a concert as the navy memorial, which is our pops concert, and then Wednesday, Thursday Friday would be rehearsals followed by whatever meetings like. Right now I'm in the process of writing an award for an individual that I've been assigned to a writing award for. So I've been working on that and I enjoy that because we have so many amazing people in our command that when they receive recognition, you take all of their information, everything I've done in that time period, and then you have to, you know, extrapolate all of that data and then put it into, you know, a maybe template for the award, and so you just can't write whatever you want. Kind of have to write it and maybe speak, but I really make sure I take the time because these people work so hard that you want to make sure they're getting the recognition that they deserve. So you really want to write the award to the best of your ability and that takes years of practice. So that's what I'm working on. Actually right now I'm also on our our cloud team, or it cloud team, so I'm a testing manager for our cloud team. So I test software development. For example, we just digitized our music library, so I had to test certain aspects of it to make sure that the musical titles matched with the call members and that's the librarian can have the correct access to the data and that's a new skill and learning. That's a Brit the IT computer skill is outside of my comfort zone. Let me tell you how, even with the teach now, all of the the flip grid, picto chart, all that stuff, we first started teach. Teach now the graduate program that you and I've been doing, which officially ends this week. Yes, that's to be a sort of I was, I was really on a steep learning curve because I knew nothing about the grid, I knew nothing about these. What is it? Near Pot, I love near Pod and e maize, you know, all these different teaching tools and Google drive. So Google drive. Before teach, now I had a small working knowledge of Google drive, but I'm I'm an expert a lot of stuff. Google has a lot of stuff that's free and, yeah, relatively easy to use when you start practicing. Yeah, well, you know, I had to this last project was developing a PBL and my pvl is learning to thrive and I borrowed it from PBO. Yeah, I borrowed it from the PBL works. So it's already a topic. But basically teaching the students, you know, to look at themselves and how do you build a healthy meal? How do you you know what is enough nutrition for their growing bodies at their age or in their gender? You know what is seventh grade boy need to eat in a day versus a seventh grade female? And you know, can you get them if they're do they understand what a protein in a carbohydrate is and if you eat a bag of potato chips,...

...if you could replace that bag of potato chips or something a little bit healthier, you know. So I you're trying to teach the student. This is would be of course, and help science, but I think it's applicable to any grade band right, just general wellness. The one thing that in this pandemic that I've been watching is it a lot of students get their main meals from school because maybe they're, you know, they don't have enough food at home, so they either get a reduced breakfast or reduce lunch and they they're used to getting a lot of their nutrition from school. And so I this the game sorting thing that we had been talking about. Well, it's a it's a food group sort of. So you just take different foods and you sort them out into their their rightful food groups and then you learned how to build a healthy meal, which I've been teaching my kids for years how to build a healthy meal and just, you know, selfcare. I think I really feel bad for students right now because, you know, school is structured. It's a place of social and emotional learning. It's just like with my job. You can't I can't make music with my colleagues. It's just social and emotional aspect that it's missing, and I think a lot of students are feeling that way. I know my daughter's missing her friends, my son is missing his friends. They get together but cut, you know, physically distance. Of course, I know I'm getting off truck a little. No, it's good. That anyway, very hard it. I mean it creates an anxiety within people to be locked up and cooped away and separated from people, even if it's just your normal routine, as I think you did earliers. Just go for a bike ride, right, something or someone says, well, you got to do this, restrictions on it, and that's hard on people. Yeah, well, and I always tell my kids, my kids, go outside, take your sanitizer in your mask and go outside and be just even for an hour. My daughter's out on a walk right now and fortunately we live in an area where there's some nice bike path or walking path and you can just go walk. When I walk I'd put on a podcast and I just listen to a podcast. There's not that many people out and if there is, I wear a net gator so I can just bring it up over my nose. And now I don't feel like wearing a mask is a restriction. I'm doing it to be health conscious, not for myself but of course for others. But I do I think there's going to be a lot of mental health issues that come out of this and you know, when I become a teacher, I think you know, I probably won't start teaching until two thousand and twenty one. Fall of two thousand and twenty one, but I think mental health is going to be a huge issue and so one of my goals is you know, of course it's difficult to get to know your students. If you have twenty five students in a classroom, how you get to know all of them? But if you can look at them kind of in a holistic way, you know not all students, of course, have the saying background social economic status and you want to make sure every student has an opportunity to learn and when they come to school they have, you know, they've had a good meal or they're they're ready to learn. And you know, what is that going to look like? When are we going to be able to go back into a classroom and things like that. There's just so many unknowns right now and I think mental health is going to be a huge component of that. I mean that's why, again, I try to I'm doing this yoga challenge. There days where I just I'm like, okay, what is what if the rest of the years going to look I'm still getting paid, thankfully, and that I'm so thankful and grateful for my job, but then I'm retiring next summer and then what, you know, going to get a teaching job and you know, what will that look like? Will I be in a classroom? Will still be virtual learning? I hope not, but I'm hoping by all of two thousand and twenty one that you know, will be over the hump, so to speak. But...

...since you're you mentioned retiring of what you will be doing. When did you say you're going to Jim Twenty twenty one. That takes several months to do, does it not? From my yeah, because looking and you can look back over the years, what was your greatest experience or the joy that brought you out of the work that you've done? I mean you've accomplished a lot, even just to be part of making music, making CDs, traveling the world, bringing it to government, to people in an education. What has been, and it could be as simple as being in a place doing something with people, meeting someone. What was, what has been, the greatest highlight? Do you think of your career in the navy band? Well, well, in one thousand nine hundred and ninety six, we be flew the St Petersburg, Russia for the three hundred anniversary of the Russian Navy. So we went to St Petersburg at Colin and grab Russia, which was a trip of a lifetime, you know, I mean I don't know one I'll ever go back to Russia. That was incredible. We used to travel like that more. I've been to Sweden and I've been to Quebec for these military tattoos. who were supposed to go to Norway in April for a military tattoo, which is like a big marching band festival. All we love. We love the tattoos and Nova Scotia. Yeah, and then we were supposed to go to a big band conference and seeing a or next month, but of course that canceled. So I'm kind of sorry that I won't be able to do those. I think the band will probably go to Norway next day, Parl if all is well. We've been invited back. So I think being able to go to Russia is was a highlight. I think the other highlight that I won't forget was one month after eleven we had to play a ceremonial memorial service at the Pentagon for the victims of the Pentagon crash and the current president was there and all of the former presidents were there and they were sitting in front of the band. It was our band was playing. There's a youtube video of the whole service. I encourage you to go look at it sometime. And all of the victims families were in the front rows of seats and we played an arrangement of amazing grace and as we played all of the names, all of the people who died on that plane, their names scrolled across the screen while we played amazing grace and after that we they had a like a joint military course. It's saying battle him of the Republic, and at the end there's this big fanfare and as we were playing, you could see the people standing up and waving their American flags and it was this moment of grief and sadness and patriotism. I had never seen anything like it in my life. I mean was so, so emotional, and I remember our current our boss at the times, that no work, everybody, just use your decorum to the best of your ability, because this is going to be a tough job, and it was. It was the toughest job I've ever done because it was so emotionally difficult. And yet it was so memorable because for a moment you just felt everyone was united, everyone felt the same way everyone felt in that moment, the sadness, but patriotism, coming together, grieving together, and it makes you know. That moment it made me very sad, but you look at today's current culture and you wish for that kind of community, you know, you wish for that kind of patriotism that you know draws people together. Yeah, yeah, hundred and eleven was united. We stand right and I felt it. I think that ceremony, I just felt it. We all, all the musicians, who were just astonished, you know, and you don't feel that way in the culture today and that really...

...breaks my heart because, you know, in a in a situation like the health crisis were in, we want people to come together. You know, the slogan is you are not alone, we're in this together. I don't feel like we're in it together when I turn on the news, I just think this course and no, well, that's that's the thing to it. I think is the one of the biggest challenges is when we watch the news, we see division and it's it's not a statement of sorts. But then if we realize there's a lot of working people out there just going to work or trying to find like we don't see is trying to find work. Yeah, yeah, there's people that just want taking their help on the line. Yeah, very much so, you know, and you every time I go into the grocery store and I have to buy food, food or the pharmacy, I make sure I think the person who's helped me, you know, because because they're a frontline worker and and they're going in, maybe they have to or maybe they want to, but I always try and thank them because what they're doing thing is they're putting themselves at more risk of being in a public place like that. You know, when I went on my bike ride, I had my neck gator so that I don't you know, I took my whole family has been tested and we're all negative. But doesn't matter. I still wear my neck gate, my protective gear, because I'm trying to be respectful of people and a lot of people, you know, a lot of people are hurting, either because of the health crisis or because of the negative historal you know what's going on with our culture of well, from highlights, from highlights of your career to difficulties and stresses what have because there's lots of stresses with that's going on, and there's no no doubt about that. But about you, what can you see where some of the biggest difficulties that you had to face or things that challenge you in your career and how they lead off into other parts of life? But what was what was some of your biggest challenges or the biggest challenge for President Obama's first inaugural was about twenty five degrees and we were outside for about twelve hours and I remember it's just physically a hard day and I it was just really hard because that was so cold. Sorry, yeah, because I was going to say something but I didn't know if it was appropriate. But you said when you went to the Pentagon to play that your boss instructed you to put on your best face. So if is it, you're not allowed to show him. I mean, I understand, like you're a team, you're united, and this is is it? Because when you talk about being twenty five Fahrenheit, right, twenty five years Fahrenheit, like your you need to as you mentioned at the outset, your uniform has to be intact. You guys, you know you're not allowed to bend around and move like you are a team united. So whether you want to cry, where you want to move around a little bit to warm up your toes or something that is not seen right like that, the true your true feelings that you have to mask it. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but it's obviously a difficult challenge. We part part of our job is to promote impeccable military bearing because we're in the public eye and we represent the navy. You see us on TV. We're representing the Navy and we have to have impeccable military bearing. It doesn't mean that we're on hearing. It means that we are honoring our service or honoring I mean to find that for me, just because it's not familiar. Impeccable military bearing. I think I could put the words together. But what does that mean? It means that your uniform is be on reproach there. You know it's creased properly, it's iron properly, your shoes or shine, your shirt is iron your hairs, you know, protly maintained. You know your uniform fits properly and there's a crispness about your uniform, if that makes sense. It's very sharp. Even get personal movements with their metals or even your movement a sharp...

...right right. But we're not unfeeling when we one of the actually the most important ceremony we do do is funerals at Arlington Cemetery. We call them full honors funerals at Arlington Cemetery and they you know, that's where we're we're laying to read us our service members and you want to be your very best. You want to be and we're out there, whether it's raining or hot or snowing, we're out there, but you know when you're playing in those families are there. You know that's the it's so important and when you make the music you do it the best of your ability because that's the last seeing the family gets before, you know their loved one is lad to us. What do you think they're go ahead, you go ahead. I can't stress the importance of being able to do that. What do you think it people outside of the experience that you have, whether it's a soldier or band member, Navy band member? What if people not get about a position that you hold or have held? What a people do not understand. It's my full time job. It's my full time job. I'll get APPS. That all you do, but it's a lot of work. Yeah, I could be honest. If I saw you playing, like okay, where's your tank? You know that, you know, are your ship or something? I could see that. What we do have a lot. We do have musicians stationed in war zones over in the Middle East. Some of the are army field bands or marine field bands. Your course, we have navy fleet bands in Japan and Italy. So mean we there are musicians stationed all over the world. Actually the army is the largest employer of musicians, but we military musicians are stationed all over the world and in combat zone. See, I I think people and I think this is the root of many issues that people have about work and under you mentioned when you go shopping the checkout person to say thank you too. And now just someone might not understand that you don't only play an instrument. You know. I mean you do play an instrument, but it's not just that and it's a full time job, but there's a lot to it. So can you maybe elaborate better than I can about how important is it is to understand the importance of everyone's job and your job, although we could look at you all look up Prim and proper. When she's done that, she's gonna, you know, go to a real job. But understanding, like the checkout person yourself, you know, a fighter pilot, a person who does make up and even some of the experiences you have. Jobs are jobs and work is work and it is quite difficult for everyone. Yeah, I mean there are times, for I'm so cold I can't fill my fingers on my instrument, or it's so hot that my uniform is like plastered to my picking, on my shoulders and back, and we've worth. Is Its stressful for you to go into perform for anyone, but when things are you know, a pretty the Pentagon, is that a stressful thing that you're going through? The only thing? Well, when I'm when I'm playing at the Pentagon and I'm information, the only thing I worry about is it my my toes getting them like I sometimes our drum major will ask us to flex our knees because some people can fall out on a ceremony and that goes for anybody that is in a formation. Doesn't have to do a musician to be anyone. When you're standing for a long period of time, you don't watch your n's yeah circulation. You know, I've had to stand an attention or parade rest for a long time, long period of time. That gives...

...me anxiety because sometimes when we play the white a White House arrival and you're in a formation, you can't move. You might be a parade press, which is still can't wiggle around too much. And also for those those kinds of jobs, you might go hours without eating or drinking something, and so you have to plan when you're going to eat, when you're going to drink, when you're going to use the restroom before. You mean it might be a two hour ceremony, saying you want to make sure you don't drink too much, to make sure you go to the ladies room before this, you know, you get into formation. There's all these things you have to think about right because you have to make sure you have enough nutrition so you can you can get through a twohour ceremony where you're physically the job. In the job description it does say it's a physically demanding job and you know I'm retiring next year, but it is a young person's job. In my opinion. You have to have the stamina to be able to stand there for long periods of time. I mean, and not just a musician, but any member in the military just doing these ceremonies. Our troops are ceremony know troup stand out there longer than we do, longer than we do, and so I'm sure they have to take all kinds of precautions. Of you know, how much nutrition to do feed your body and hydration before you go out there and do a ceremony like that. It's taxing physically on the body, and then you had the mental anxiety of did I eat enough? But I hope I didn't drink too much, because I hope I don't have to go to the bathroom well, while the ceremony is going on, because you can't leave your formation. So mean those are and you know it's into don't get any. Yeah, I need to take a break, I'll be right back. Yeah, don't get them. But you know what, that's indirectly into directly filtered into my family life because if we go on a road trip, I make sure I have I'm the snack lady. I've become the snack lady. I have every kind of snack known to man when I travel. My kids make fun of me, but being in this position, you know, I've learned when to snack, how much much to snack? How much nutrition do I need? You better, you know, go to the ladies room before you get in the car for that road trip. There may not be a rope restoring if a hundred miles, but it's in directly. You know. Even my daughter said, you know, your habits in your job has kind of crept into your family. So you know, you know that's true when they start saluting you right. But you know, those are the things you don't see. Those are just the thing. You might see us on TV looking pretty, but the things you don't see us the preparation it takes. Some or if pure that person working the cash register at the grocery store. You get a fifteen minute break, right, and to to go. But I mean maybe you can say, Hey, I need to go use the ladies room and come back, but you know you're standing there for hours checking people out and trying to sanitize. I mean, you know, I might, I might see the checkout person for five minutes, but they're standing there for hours right with a smile on their face or helping you out, and they have to prepare as well. It's like what you see on the outside doesn't always reflect what's going on. What they what a person is done on the inside to prepare. Kind of like a music performance, if you're standing up soloing in front of an orchestra and you look at the person soul and you're like wow, that's amazing, that counts lovely and the so with on the inside it's like, oh my Gosh, oh my gosh, all these people are out the audience, they're staring at you know, isn't it funny? Like what you perspective? Yeah, what you perspective? Yeah, yeah, I mean, is there any of you know, is there any advice that you have for just workers in general or even people wanting to get into music or maybe even to a navy band, or just workers in general from your experience, because you meant mentioned earlier about you were talking to your daughter and saying, you know, some short term and some long term goals and especially if people are discouraged in experienced, I mean your daughter mentioned she when we...

...were talking earlier, that she applied for fifty jobs before she got her first job. Pain if it was a fifteen, but even still at nineteen, first time looking for a job and doing based on your advice, like just go through some resumes, and she didn't get too distraught over getting rejected or not a call back and the first ones. So do you have any advice for people to encourage people to work, to unite? And I as you mentioned about how in the Pentagon you wish people were more united and it doesn't seem unite. I think work is something that unites us, whether directly or you know, I mean I definitely, I definitely feel like you know, my colleague is not. We want to be more united. And how do we do that? We do that by coming together and making music, and we feel united even with the music that we're sending in to our sound engineers and mean we look at it we're like, wow, we did that, that's awesome. What I would say is be kind to others that cross your path. If you're on time, you're late. You know, that's a big one. That's the one thing when my daughter I have to kind of massage her about is if you have to be there at seven am, be there at forty five. Yeah, I always like if you're not, if you're not ten minutes earlier or ten minutes late. Right, if you're on time, you're late. Be Prepared. When you're when you're walking in the door, before you walk down on the sales floor and the grocery store, you walk out into rehearsal, be prepared. Have your correct uniform on, have your daily schedule ready, have your part prepared. Don't just walk in and do it on the fly. Be Prepared. I mean you wouldn't walk in to a courtroom as a lawyer. I'm prepared. You would be super prepared right. You wouldn't walk into a surgery as a surgeon. They know this Modon in here after you night a party. You know it's how do you conduct yourself away from your job? If you're just looking for a job and you're preparing the resume, have a friend look at your resume and get some critical feedback. I've done that. I have a business resume, at a music resume and I have a teaching resume. At three resumes, and that was supjusted to me by a friend because he said, you know your professional musicians. You need a music resume. You're a teacher, so you need a teaching resume, and you're an executive or you're in a leadership for all, so you need a business resume. So you know, I have three and I constantly have to go in and update them. I would say, you know, be confident in your skills. If you know you're good thing, then make sure. I'm not saying be overly confident, but you know, know that you're good at what you do and if you're not, get better at it, and that could be free online work. Are Free Online classes or tutorials or teach now certification, you know, things that you I'm always a I'm the forever learner. I like to learn and I'm always setting goals. I love the idea of a short term and long term goal, because a short term goal should be reachable, obtainable, realistic and done in a, you know, fairly reasonable amount of time. And then a long term goal, and it can be a stretch goal. It can be a young going to train from marathon and I'm going to do one next year. That's a stretch right stable, but it might be a stretch. So I mean, I'm doing that with myself. What is my short term goal? My shirt, my short term goal is to serve out my final year in the maybe enjoy it and retire. My son will graduate from high school and then look to start a new chapter with a new career. And my long term goal is to decide whether I want to say, in the area or my children are going to college, or do I want to look at retiring in another state or you know. So there's short term and long term...

...goals. You know. Do I want to pay my house off in ten years? One of you know those kinds of things. Do I want to buy a house. Those are those are long term goal. They might be financial, they might be health goals, but I'm a big believer and because a short term goal will make you feel like you accomplish something. toly applied for three jobs and she felt like she accomplished something and she applied for those jobs in two days. You know, she's like I did it, and I'm like, well, how do you feel? She's like, I feel good month great, now, now fill out. Now, feel out for more applications. You know, some a big advocate of goals, but they don't all have to be the same kind of goals. You know, I started a goal of a thirty day challenge of doing yoga every day. Doesn't have to be hard yoga, it just has to be something where I can sit and meditate and quiet my mind for a little while. And I think for people who do not do this it seems complicated in a sense, but I like you know lists of things to do, so all you're doing is taking it. You know things that you have to do, you must do, your like to like to do, and you're just separating it into what would be a longer and shorter term goal. Just things that you know that would be good for you to do or things that you have to do. So it's not so unattainable, it's a reachable thing that it keeps you on track right right. You know, I would like you know my long term goal, which would be great with me to get a university teaching job. That that is a goal that I think is realistic. It might take a little while and after that, if I can't teach at the university level, my next goal would be to teach in a secondary school, middle school or high school. But I I'm developing the I have the skill set for the university higher at learning, but those jobs only come open to you and far between. Right maybe there's four five a year, whereas you know, developing my skills to become a teacher, I can teach in middle school or high school. And with teach now I can have that state reciprocity, so if I wanted to move to a different state, I could get a teaching certificate in that state. And you know, I took the music contents exam. I'm going to be taking the math and science content exam because I want my options. You know, math is the critical area and science as a critical area and you know, music right now to take the arts or kind of taking it on the Chin at the moment, but it will come back. So, Laura, where two things and then a final question. Where can people find you if they would like to find you? You mentioned your Yoga Challenge. You're a cosmetician. Is at the right word? COSMETICIAN? You TUIAN makeup artist? Yes, makeup artist. Where can people find you if they wanted to find you? And would you like to add anything else for my before my final question? Is there anything else you would like to say? Well, I'm on twitter at or grant here, and I'm on Instagram and my my name is just for a grant here. That's IEER. Yes, I are. You can also find me on facebook. I on facebook. I usually post either about food, kids, travel or music. So or makeup. Thank you for listening to this episode of why we work with Brian Ving. Be Sure to subscribe, follow and share with others so they too can be encouraged into their work. I hope that you have yourself a productive, a joyful day in your work.

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