Fabiana Claure
Pianist - Business Coach for Musicians
by Fabiana Claure on November 13th, 2020

Today I turn 40 years old! I’m both excited and grateful to be here and to have an opportunity to reflect on my life.

I think I do this on every birthday, but being today a milestone one, I feel especially compelled to take a moment to look back and reflect on what have been the key moments during these past 40 years.

As a result, I’ve put together a life list with some of the most defining moments that helped shape who I am. These moments include both highlights, fun facts, as well as challenges, but overall, they have all had a significant impact on my upbringing and perspectives.

There is no particular order or rank of importance, but rather a compilation of life facts and things that I may not have shared otherwise.

  1. I was born in Evanston, IL and my parents are Bolivian.

  2. During my early years growing up in the US, I spoke both Spanish and English and had a heavy American accent whenever I tried to speak Spanish as a child.

  3. I later moved to Bolivia and Spanish became my main language so I now have a Spanish accent when I speak in English.

  4. I grew up in different parts of the world, living in the US, Argentina, Mozambique, Bolivia, and Cuba.

  5. I learned gymnastics as a child until one day I fell and had a double fracture on my heel and smallest toe, that was the end of my gymnastics training....

  6. I started playing the piano by ear at the age of 5 after listening to my mother’s bedtime lullabies: “The most beautiful girl in the world….is Fabiana...my Fabiana….”

  7. I was a vegetarian for 3 years during my teenage years.

  8. I was relentless at practicing the piano, especially during my teenage years growing up. in Cuba; whenever we had power outages (which happened quite frequently), I sat at the piano with a lantern strapped on top of my head so I wouldn’t have to stop practicing.

  9. I was in a TV commercial as a child for the Bolivian ice cream brand called “Helados Panda.”

  10. Growing up in Cochabamba, I danced in a Bolivian folk group called “Caporales de San Simon” and loved it.

  11. To celebrate my 15th birthday year, my mom organized a trip to Cuba with my best friends from school and I had so much fun.

  12. My parents divorced when I was a child and music became a source of solace and refuge for me.

  13. I grew up in a wonderful music school in Cochabamba, Bolivia called Instituto Eduardo Laredo, and was encouraged to practice as long as I needed to - even when this meant replacing normal school days to be able to practice!

  14. I won several piano competitions in Bolivia and in the US.

  15. I met my husband, William, also a pianist, in Cuba while attending a piano competition and neither one of us was competing.

  16. When we met, I took a picture on that same day (thinking I’d never see him again since I lived in Bolivia at the time), so we have a picture from the day we met back in 1996!

  17. I completed two high school degrees since I finished my Bolivian studies at the Instituto Laredo while also pursuing my Cuban studies at the Escuela Nacional de Arte.

  18. My husband and I have pursued all our music degrees together under full scholarships.

  19. I traveled to Spain in my 20’s and spent about a month there studying piano, meeting new people, and sightseeing, while only sleeping about 4 hours per day -  and it didn’t feel weird!

  20. I once experienced so much pain that I ended up in an ambulance to the ER and almost lost my gallbladder.

  21. I have learned a lot about natural medicine and love all things related to holistic healing.

  22. My all-time favorite color is purple.

  23. I love nature and as a kid, I sometimes thought I’d be a biologist of some sort.

  24. I started my first business, Superior Academy of Music, around my 30th birthday.

  25. I’ve now started my second business, as a business coach for musicians, around my 40th birthday.

  26. I believe in the power of our minds and setting intentions to create our life.

  27.  I created a University music entrepreneurship program and helped musicians develop their careers and launch music businesses, just like I did when I was a doctoral music student.

  28. One of my all-time favorite books is A New Earth by Eckard Tolle.

  29. So far as an adult, I’ve never dressed up for Halloween, except when my husband and I organized a special dress-up day for our music academy students.

  30. As an adult, I was featured on national television (PBS) twice as an entrepreneur with my music school.

  31. When I was about to give birth to my first son, I went through a long and arduous labor process with my midwife and came really close to needing a C-section, but ended up delivering my son the moment the obstetrician walked into my delivery room.

  32. I experienced 3 miscarriages between my first and second sons, and this was incredibly difficult and heartbreaking.

  33. My second child’s delivery was incredibly smooth and completely medication free - a true victory for me, especially after so many struggles before him.

  34. After starting my business and having my first child, I spent several years without practicing piano and this created a deep void in my life.

  35. I’m now deeply committed to finding a way to build my artistry into my business and helping my clients do the same.

  36. I’m very interested in the powerful effects of meditation and do it every day.

  37. I don’t exercise enough and consider this one of my greatest areas of growth (ask my trainer…)

  38. When I listen to the piano and especially when I play it, I feel alive, inspired, and powerful.

  39. One time in the middle of my piano performance as a soloist with a symphony orchestra, my pearl necklace broke and fell on top of my dress half inside and half outside, so I had to finish playing the concerto with half of my necklace hanging over my dress.

  40. One of my all-time favorite songs is “Endless Stars” by Fred Hersch, but in reality, I have too many favorites to count.

It’s been so wonderful to be able to reflect on all these pieces of my life. Through the highs and the lows, I’m grateful for having been able to grow and learn from these experiences. I feel that they have helped me become who I am. I experience gratitude on a daily basis and feel incredibly fortunate to have created everything I have done in my life.

Today I celebrate being alive, being healthy, having my wonderful family and friends, and being able to support and inspire my incredible clients and students.

Thank you for sharing this day with me. By reading this you are also becoming a part of my story. I am sending you a virtual hug and I look forward to being able to share and support you too as you continue to create your life story.

And one more for good luck… 41) This Sunday, Nov. 15th, I am giving my first virtual recital and will be sharing the works and career ventures of three amazing women musicians. 

by Fabiana Claure on November 13th, 2020

This is the last in a four-part series where I shared my process in aligning our artistic and creative sides into our businesses so that we can become both financially empowered and creatively fulfilled. Here is part Ipart II, and part III, in case you missed these earlier.

The power of uniting your creative side with your business side can have internal and external positive outcomes.

On the outside, it can make your business become more unique, more multidimensional, and ultimately more prosperous.

On the inside, it can help you become more aligned, more purposeful, more inspired, and more confident.

Your sense of fulfillment and confidence transfers into all the other areas of their lives, including their businesses.

The confidence and expertise we’ve developed as professional musicians is something we can implement in the business processes that may require the willingness to step into the unknown.

In my conversations with clients we often discuss their insecurities and moments of fear in the process of starting their businesses. It can feel daunting to take steps such as creating visibility, claiming your authority, and being willing to be seen in a new light as an entrepreneur.

My clients are able to access greater confidence and excitement when they bring their creative outlet into their framework and business processes. This also helps set them apart. They become better able to capitalize on what they know how to do as artists.

The best way to step back into practicing is not just as self-care or something we get to do after all our other work and personal obligations are met.

If we weave our artistic side into the process of developing our businesses, we’ll always have a reason to do it and it will find itself back into the priority section of our daily life.

This is why through my Musicians Profit Umbrella™ business coaching program, I’m on a mission to help musicians ignite a limitless life through financial empowerment while also integrating their artistic, creative, and other personal sides into the process.

If you knew you could combine your artistic, creative, and personal sides and integrate them into your business and income-generating activities, what would you like to incorporate? I’d love to hear from you!

In the meantime, I invite you to join me on Nov. 15th as I share my virtual lecture-recital, “Women as Musician-Entrepreneurs: An Exploration of the Works and Career Ventures of Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann, and Teresa Carreño.” We’ll dive deep into what it took for these amazing women to pursue their lives through combining their artistry with their entrepreneurial endeavors amid all the societal challenges of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Here is an excerpt from from Teresa Carreño, aka, “The Lioness of the Keyboard,” and her Vals Gayo Op, 38! Get your tickets here!

by Fabiana Claure on November 12th, 2020

This is the third in a four-part series where I’ll be sharing my process in aligning our artistic and creative sides into our businesses so that we can become both financially empowered and creatively fulfilled. Here is part I, and part II, in case you missed these earlier.

For someone who has been pursuing a musical activity since childhood…

For someone who has been striving to achieve a level of artistic and technical excellence in the process of music-making...

 For someone who has gone to school and obtained multiple degrees in this field...

...sitting down at the end of the day and just practicing isn’t enough.

One of my clients was frustrated by the thought of not being active enough in her musical endeavors. She was busy with her music teaching business and taking care of her family, and had no time to practice. Even though she had the intention of doing it, she would not let herself get to that during her busy day.  

I encouraged her to incorporate her performance skills back into her teachings and business development strategies.

So, we found a way to build her piano playing into her pedagogical framework and brand building strategies for her business.

She was so excited and said she started practicing like she hadn’t in years.

One of the greatest benefits of doing this is that the momentum she gained from her reinvigorated musical practice actually helped her gain more confidence and ideas in her business.

After practicing for two hours one morning, she felt ready to face a challenging client. She was able to have a meaningful conversation and felt empowered to reinforce her policies and set boundaries in her work.

In our Friday Wins celebration post inside my coaching group, another client wrote:

“I've played and practiced piano and violin more in the last week than I have in the last six months and it feels like I'm beginning to breathe again.”

Another client became emotional in the middle of our session when she realized how much she had missed playing her instrument and was ecstatic at the thought of having a business-related reason to start practicing again.

She realized that she could both fulfill her artistic dreams while also enhancing her brand development and messaging content.

During our session, both she and I ended up in tears since I could so deeply connect to what she was experiencing.  

If you are a musician and music educator, you can TRANSFER YOUR CONFIDENCE into your business.

How do you build that part INTO the business? It goes beyond just taking time for yourself. You’re not just doing it because you know it’s something you should or like to do.

Practicing and sharing your artistic projects can become part of your JOB.

It is possible to weave these together and to have the music-making piece embedded in it.

Tomorrow I’ll share more details about how this can be done.

Meanwhile, I’d love to know if you have ever felt inspired by your artistic and creative pursuits to become more innovative and/or courageous in your business? Let me know in the comments.

by Fabiana Claure on November 11th, 2020

This is the second in a four-part series where I’ll be sharing my process in aligning our artistic and creative sides into our businesses so that we can become both financially empowered and creatively fulfilled. If you missed yesterday's first post, you can read it here.

Why is it important to acknowledge the reality of what can happen when you put the artistic side of your life on the backburner?

When musicians become “career-focused” (as in, only prioritizing income-generating activities), they lose a part of themselves.

They lose the spark that motivated them.

A piece of them becomes nostalgic for the creativity and talent they are nurturing in their students.

They lose momentum and start to think it is too late for them. (Are you feeling like this, too?)
However, a challenge that can overcome become an almost spiritual crisis requires a logistical solution:

Simply, integrating one's artistic and creative pursuits INTO their income-generating activities.
While some musicians can successfully balance paid work with passion projects, the truth is that most musicians only prioritize their creative pursuits when they are paid to do so.

This is especially the case for musicians with demanding personal lives - young children, older parents, or other personal circumstances that require significant attention.

During these past two weeks, I did trainings inside my group coaching program where I helped my clients find ways to integrate their artistic and creative sides into the process of developing their businesses.

My intention is to help each of my clients purposefully infuse their business development process with their artistic and creative endeavors.

I shared with them my journey about how I put together my upcoming Nov. 15th virtual concert “Women as Musician-Entrepreneurs,” and how I’ve been putting together concerts throughout the years, in the process of developing my brand, my following, and my coaching business.

I’ve used my business as a way to return to the practice room and build my creative routine into my income-generating activities.

That’s what I help my clients do as well.

In my next post, I’ll share some stories about what happened when my clients started applying these concepts to their own businesses.

In the meantime, I’d love to know your thoughts on this question:

If someone paid you a million dollars to stop doing your favorite artistic or creative activity, what would you be never willing to give up? You can let me know in the comments.

Here is a video preview of my upcoming virtual recital. You can get your tickets by clicking here.

by Fabiana Claure on November 10th, 2020

This is the first in a four-part series where I’ll be sharing my process for aligning our artistic and creative sides into our businesses so that we can become both financially empowered and creatively fulfilled.

As music students, we are taught to practice practice practice. The pursuit of artistic excellence becomes our central focus, rather than worrying about the business side of things.

When we graduate, we realize we have to get out of the practice room and learn the business side of music in order to make a living.

The rite of passage for musicians to learn how to make a living through their art is usually quite intense since without these skills it is difficult to survive.

Then, once we learn how to make a living as musicians, we eventually achieve relative financial stability. We get into a routine usually consisting of multiple income streams - many of which don’t necessarily involve active music-making.

While our economic situation is stabilized, we often become consumed by daily activities. As a result, we can forget why we started and lose sight of the driving artistic force and inspirational activity that made us become who we are.

Some mid-career musicians find financial stability with jobs that don’t necessarily involve active music-making, and they’re okay with letting their artistic side become dormant. They may find new creative avenues and sources of motivation and inspiration.

But for others, continuing without fueling their artistic and creative side can erode a hole in their souls. Without realizing, they’ve put away the main creative pursuit which made them who they are, the thing that made them practice for hours and hours, their musical passion.

Neglecting their artistic side can eventually take a toll on their sense of purpose, their enthusiasm for their work (even if they are financially successful in the process), and can leave them feeling stuck. I know this because I experienced this first hand and have also seen it while working with my clients.

Tomorrow I’ll share why acknowledging this artistic gap can be the first step in changing the course of our businesses and of our sense of creative fulfillment.

In the meantime, I’d love to know if you have ever felt this way. Let me know in the comments.