You may have noticed that I have a new addition to my range of services: the Helping Arrangers section. This brings together things that were already happening on an ad hoc basis (the Mutual Mentoring Scheme for Arrangers and blog articles about arranging), with the new offering of personalised advice/tuition.
Here’s a bit of background to this addition.
I used to spend a lot of time mentoring my fellow arrangers – and I learned so much from the experience that I set up the mutual mentoring scheme so that other people could share that sense of growth you get from analysing someone else’s work. But it also got silly: I was fielding so many requests that the turn-around time for everyone got unhelpfully long and I found myself feeling harrassed and overwhelmed instead of interested in the work I was looking at. And I was still turning away new requests.
So, the mutual mentoring scheme was also a way to help these people who were getting in touch whilst saving myself from drowning.
But then I realised that it wasn’t giving advice per se that I objected to, it was spending all that time when really I needed to give my creative attention to making a living. I figured that if I offered tuition and advice on the same hourly rate as I do as a performance coach, I wouldn’t feel like the time spent on other people’s work was an imposition. I could give it the attention it deserved in a managed way – and if I still got more requests than I could handle, I could schedule them in the same way I schedule arrangement commissions.
Of course, not everyone is going to want to pay for arrangement advice. So, we still have the free services I’ve been offering all along to help. But sometimes what you really need is targeted advice, tailored to the specific technical and artistic issues you are currently grappling with – and the new service is designed to help out at these moments.