* The Blog *

New Offerings! 

Hello all! 

Just a quick update today - and it's all about lessons!

I'm now officially able to offer lessons through my home studio - and I have a sign up on my website for you to sign up and get in for a trial lesson.  I'm offering half hour, 45 minute and hour long lessons online and in person!

Head on over to this page:

https://kayjaysmusic.com/lessons-sign-up-and-inquiries

to get signed up.  The inquiry will be sent to my studio and I'll get whoever signs up into the scheduling system!  Please feel free to share it out, or jump in yourself if you're looking to get back into making music or preparing for a performance.  

Your word of mouth is powerful, and really helps keep things moving for a small business or individual instructor, so thank you in advance!  

Feel free to also check out my other offerings, including performances coming up in the next few months!

<3 Kay Jay

Getting Back to Life, Love and Community 

Hello wonderful people!

After a bit of a hiatus from my personal digital space, I am back with much fanfare (if not a little weariness.)

Recently, I've been dealing with a fair amount of what I would consider mostly manageable chaos and emotional turmoil.  These have manifested in the form of health issues (when the ankle collapses, things get difficult), resurgence of old emotional wounds (family traumas rekindled by family emergencies), as well as a general sense of misery brought on by the state of the world.  

And yet - I remain.  We remain. 

And I realized something recently - I cannot be dealing with all of this on my own.  Not one of us can!  Community is such a vital part of who I am and what I believe in.  Finding connection with those around me is integral to my success as well as my happiness.  This very western, capitalist (and frankly, American) ideal that we all “do it on our own” and rely only on ourselves is unsustainable.  If we only have our own abilities to find “success” (whatever that means) we miss out on the beauty that comes from working together to create a better world around us.  

We miss that connection that really makes us feel alive. We miss out on the love we can all have for one another when each person feels “personally responsible” for the state of the world.  For their community.  For everything in their own life. 

That's just not sustainable.  We need one another.  I need you!  And I want to be there for all of you in ways that help connect us and create a stronger community. 

And frankly, it's pretty freakin' badass to create radical love and connections with others around us.  How beautiful, disruptive, and wonderful is that?!  

I refuse to lose hope because the so-called “powers” in our world have decided violence and hate are better for them.  I refuse to despair because I know how powerful hope really is.  It's the one thing that those seeking destruction and control fear most - because someone with hope cannot be fully controlled.  Again, I ask…how wonderful is that?  And if we all connect together in that hope for a better world and turn it into action?!

Well, that's the making of a beautiful thing indeed.

<3 Kay Jay 

Finding the Flow, Leaving the Flow 

Hello there, all you beauties!

I'm working on finding a rhythm and a flow to these posts.  I always struggle with that - finding a flow. Except when I don't struggle with it.  Then it's the opposite - I stay in the flow so long that I don't eat or hydrate properly.

Or stretch. And then my back has something to say about it.

I like starting projects - heck, I like just having things to work on in general.  I get so excited about a new endeavor - so much so that I start many, many MANY things all at once, and then I struggle to follow through.  Except, once again, when it's the exact opposite, and I can't seem to get OUT of the flow, even if it means that I'm hungry, sore and dehydrated. 

So where's the balance?

Well, to be honest, I don't really know.  I'm such a 'get-up-and-go' type of queer, that sometimes I find my head spinning from everything that I have going on around (and inside of) me.  Sometimes it makes me nauseous if I try to focus on anything too long, the swirling mass of my commitments, hopes, dreams, endeavors.... well, it can become overwhelming.  And it doesn't help that I'm a natural people-pleaser who feels immense guilt when I inconvenience people.  Even when I'm not really doing that - it seems to always feel that way. 

I've been doing a lot of work recently on reestablishing a pattern of play, periods of rest, and a sense of openness to just take a little time to stop and look around me. Which is incredibly difficult for me.  I alway feel like when I take time to stop, I leave myself open for disaster.  Either I'll take too much time and fall back into habits that no longer serve me...or I'll fall into immense financial difficulty that hard work, helping hands and some lucky breaks got me out of.  It's terrifying to think that I could end up back where I started from when I began rebuilding my life after my divorce in 2015.  

Or falling behind even that.  Much worse.

But these fears hold me back from allowing me to grow.  They were a part of what helped me survive until today - and that's so great!  And now, I'm developing new skills that will help me leave those thoughts and fears behind.  Or at least, not have them creating barriers for me.  

In addition to finding my whimsical side again, I want to use some of those newfound skills and forward momentum to create new flow in my life - focusing on the things that I want to do instead of always feeling like I need to focus on what I have to do,  Finding the flow with regularly updating this blog, for instance.  Finding the flow with practicing music and discovering new techniques and instruments to explore.  Creating the educational tools that I wish I had in my back pocket when I was younger.  Branching out into new styles and ways of expression.  Finding new collaboration around me - and maintaining those connections.  These are the areas I want to place my time and attention - and I feel like I'm in a much better place to do so.  

And it's an incredible privilege to be able to do so.

Being queer, I know that there are times, places, and entities/systemic structures that can present as barriers or threats at any time.  And those barriers/threats are even more present for many other marginalized groups who need systemic change and people to help fight with them.  

I cannot give what I don't have, however. 

I can't fight when I'm exhausted, low, overworked, and feeling empty.  If there's nothing to pour from my cup, I haven't got much left to demand change with.  And If I can't find ways to feed my own soul, it's difficult for me to help feed others.  I find that with my teaching all the time.  When I'm not feeling fulfilled, neither are my students.  Taking time to rest, to heal, to play, to love, to laugh, to cry, to create, to mourn, to detach, to connect...it's all vital to my existence, and I imagine to just about everyone else's too.  That's where my learning and my growing are focused in the coming months. Finding the flow and leaving the flow - it's about exploring that balance and seeing what tips the scales.  Because it's never going to be consistent and I will have times where I can't figure out what I need to do right away.  

Allowing that time to explore will make it that much easier though.  And I'm so ready to explore. 

<3 Kay Jay

Makin' it Local Episode 3: SPECIAL GUEST (me 😉)  

Good morning everyone! (or whatever time of day you happen to be reading this) 

Today's Makin' it Local is a bit of a departure from the first two episodes, in that I have many delightful, talented friends...who are all very, very busy. 

So, today I'm my own special guest!  And I'm taking you through a little sneak preview of the musical I've been writing for about 2 years, "INNER DEMONS: THE MUSICAL!"  The show is a queer horror comedy that offers performers the ability to utilize their own life stories to create the world of the show. 

And the album is coming together right now and in preparation for its release in September and a *fingers crossed* CONCERT in October, come have a listen to some of the music and my thoughts behind the writing of the show. 

In addition to Inner Demons, I am also working on creating new lessons packages aimed towards adults who are looking to get back to music (or start for the first time) and aren't able to commit to a full 12-16 week session of lessons or indefinite lessons.  They'll be offered in groups of 4 lessons (or a trial of 2 lessons) with the option to renew for more lessons afterward.  These lessons will walk through the basics on one of the instruments (Voice, Piano, Ukulele, Composition/Song Writing, Saxophone, Beginner Guitar) and will also be tailored to specific goals the student has!  The prices will be on a sliding scale - meaning that individuals who are able will pay more of a fixed rate and individuals in need have the option to pay what they are able.  My hope is to be able to offer lessons to individuals regardless of financial situation - and also still live with the understanding that I do need to sustain myself in order to offer that.  Look out for those packages in July (or August depending on how some paperwork things go!)

 

CONTACT ME:

Questions, comments, concerns, ideas?  - kayjayolsonmusic@gmail.com

VENMO: https://account.venmo.com/u/kayjayolson

Makin' it Local Episode 2: Dahli Durley  

Hello there all you lovelies!

Welcome back to Makin' it Local, the once a month show where I interview a local creator, maker, performer, mover, shaker...etc. from in and around the Twin Cities area!

Today's guest is photographer and web designer extraordinaire Dahli Durley!  Hailing originally from Wisconsin, Dahli and I have over ten years of interactions with one another (including some photography sessions) and have come to trust one another with tough opinions.  Dahli is here to inspire with some words of encouragement and a get out there and give it a try attitude.  Enjoy our conversation (complete with some reminiscence)

Find Dahli on the web:
 

PHOTOGRAPHY
dahlidurley.com

WEB DESIGN
viceandvirtuecreative.com

INSTAGRAM
instagram.com/imdahlidurley

Makin' it Local - Episode 1: Isabella Dunsieth!  

Welcome to Makin' it Local!

Each month, I'll interview and highlight a local performer in the greater Twin Cities area that has a story to tell (and there are a lot of them!) Today's guest is a friend and collaborator that I admire so much: Isabella Dunsieth!  Our conversation surrounded the twin cities theatre scene, likes and dislikes, and Isabellas current, past and future career endeavors.  If you enjoy - feel free to share it out!  

 

Check out Isabella's links below:

Isabella's Instagram: 
www.instagram.com/cheesyepitaph/ 

Grab Tickets to See The Mousetrap: 
www.lyricarts.org/iframes/mousetra…ousetrap-tickets 

Check out Latins on Ice! 
www.instagram.com/latins.on.ice/

2/14/22 - New Things Are On The Way (and a humble request) 

Well hello there!

Now that the year of our higher power 2022 is upon us and in full swing, it's time to get the ball rolling on some updates! 

I've been hard at work on making updates and changes to the musical I'm writing, entitled "Inner Demons: The Musical!" which I am hoping to premiere in some fashion later this year (details to come!) The project is well on its way, and I am so happy with the progress I've been making on it in the past few weeks.  The show is based in part on music I wrote for my first album "Well, This is Something New" which came out late in 2020 while the world was falling apart even more than usual.  While I spent a great deal of time writing and performing that music, I never really got around to writing it all down.  But that's all changing and I couldn't be more excited to start bringing it to you in pieces!  I've already got the score written out for 4 of the pieces, and am hard at work on 3 more that I would love to finish by the end of the month.  Hopefully, I'll have the whole score (including a few new original pieces of music) ready to go by June!

Now's the time for the really exciting part - I've been in contact with some of my fellow vocal performer friends here in the Twin Cities area (and even some virtual special guests), and am happy to report that we are well on our way to having a full demo album to share with the world!   Alongside these wonderfully talented people, I hope to bring the album to your ears by late summer, with a concert of sorts presented LIVE in October - just in time for the spooky season to begin.

Now, dear reader, I know that you are as excited as I am to see what comes of all of these endeavors, as am I!  I also know (as I'm sure you realize) that it won't come to fruition without some support.  If you're willing and able, I would love for you to take a look over at my Patreon.  If you join, you not only get access to behind the scenes features of the writing and creating process, bonus content, and early access to new works... You also get to commission one or more PERSONALIZED songs that you can cash in throughout the year!  I'll write you just about anything you want (as long as it's legal) and you can use it for WHATEVER YOU WANT.  It's yours!   All of that and more is over at my Patreon, which you can check out by clicking HERE

You can also choose not to, and that's completely fine!  I believe in creating things that anyone can access, and I will continue to make things available that are for everyone.    And that brings me to my final endeavor - In addition to everything previously mentioned , I'm working on a new project that will help highlight local area performers and creators to give a little boost to the talent I see and hear around me every day in this chilly little corner of the world. Through interviews and features of their most recent work, I want to bring the world of their creation out to a broader audience. Look for our first feature at the end of February and each month following!

So there you have it - a (sort of) brief run down of what's in the works as well as what's coming at you in 2022.  Feel free to join our mailing list for more information on what's coming when it does!

<3 Kay Jay

For Starters... 

Hello there!

I'm so happy you're here! Welcome to this new chapter of my musical endeavors - a functioning website!  I've been working the past few years to develop my skills as a music educator, performer, and composer. Now, I'm ready to share more of my work with all of you!

First, a little about me.  I am a gender fluid/genderqueer musician who teaches piano, voice, ukulele, guitar, composition and early childhood music lessons in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.  I believe in a collaborative approach to education and performance that puts individual and group goals at the forefront of any project.  Access, social justice, and identity are incredibly important to my approach, and I believe that everyone can learn to love and appreciate music and art in a fulfilling and meaningful way.

Here you'll find teaching tips and tricks, my personal musical output and featured recordings. There will also be announcements of new compositions for solo voice, solo piano, choir, and larger musical works to peruse and purchase for use in your studio, music classroom, or for personal use.  

I am so excited to share more things with you as we develop this community!

<3 Kay Jay