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Coaching/Consulting for Composers

Megan Ihnen is a mezzo-soprano on a mission to change the world through the commissioning, performance, and proliferation of new music. She has collaborated with individuals and ensembles around the globe including: International Contemporary Ensemble, Fifth House Ensemble, Great Noise Ensemble, Rhymes With Opera, and Synchromy. She is deeply committed to the belief that new music should be performed and loved in communities of all sizes. Megan’s advocacy for music and musicians extends beyond the performance stage. She also effects change as a non-profit arts coach and consultant. You have likely interacted with her work for Nief-Norf, Live Music Project, New Music USA, and many individual artists throughout classical and new music. Megan’s work at the intersection of performance, creative placemaking, audience development, and music entrepreneurship is a delight and relief to her clients and colleagues.

Are you looking to level up in your composition business?

If you’re feeling stuck and want to find focus, clarity and ultimately more freedom in your professionally creative life, you’re in the right place…

Are the commissions and royalties flowing for you?

If so, that’s fantastic! Drop me a line and we’ll toast over a delicious cocktail or coffee.

Not so much? Don’t fret! I work with creative entrepreneurs all the time who feel like:

– I have more and more unperformed scores piling up.

– I’m getting commissions, but I’m somehow still losing money on my creative work.

– I want to be seen as working composer.

 I’m full of ideas, but too busy to know where to even start.

– I want to move away from all the administrative work.

The time that I spend with Megan is one of the most critically important hours of my career each month. She is always in-tune with addressing immediate challenges, while continually keeping an eye on growth areas and planning diligently opportunities for the future. I am always energized, excited, and ready to tackle the next steps forward when we are finished, and I have never felt more determined to accomplish my short and long term goals. If you’re wanting to move your professional life to the next level, there’s no doubt that Megan should be a part of that effort and she can help you get there!

Jason Nitsch, composer, www.jasonnitsch.com 

In 1:1 Coaching/Consulting, I work with individual composers and collectives to avoid burnout and feel like they have a road map for success.

That looks like…

  • Developing your income streams through clear, manageable steps.
  • Attracting ideal collaborators for commissions and performances.
  • Establishing visibility in your field.
  • Achieving clarity on long-term goals.
  • Creating templates for building relationships with performers and presenters.
  • Building a positive and profitable private teaching studio.
  • Expanding your audience development efforts.
  • Workshopping your vocal scores for insight on idiomatic writing.

It’s about finding solutions for your exact situation. It’s about having someone you trust who can help you think through all of the details. It’s about having someone who actively cheers you on toward achieving your big, audacious goals.

I studied under a dozen composers at colleges and universities, but before I met Megan, I had no idea how to navigate my career. Megan has great advice on networking, finding performers to play my music, finding listeners, finding patrons, and weathering the emotional turbulence an artist must often endure. After speaking with Megan, I feel a lot more confident.

Composer, Baltimore

Are you ready?

I support composers just like you.

You might be realizing that you didn’t learn how to do a lot of this stuff in school. That’s okay. It’s your time right now.

Do you need help:

  • Establishing your offerings?
  • Creating an online store for your scores?
  • Crafting materials for a consortium project?
  • Building systems into your infrastructure so you can spend more time working in your business and not on your business?
  • Letting yourself dream big dreams again?

My 1:1 coaching/consulting support is designed to offer creative entrepreneurship support to anyone who:

  • is a team of one, and needs help to get past a block.
  • feels like they have a lot of ideas but needs help focusing on impact.
  • wants access to support to keep growing and to reach new goals
  • realizes you can’t do this stuff alone.

In all my years studying music, practical career guidance was rarely–if ever–offered as a part of my education. Like far too many musicians, as I transitioned from graduate work to professional work, I felt totally unprepared for what to expect and the strategies needed to succeed in the current music scene. Working with Megan was an absolute life-raft, not only for the concrete advice and information she shared, but for the strategies and perspective she offered. Each time we have worked together, Megan has listened carefully and asked crucial questions to truly understand my goals, really allowing me to critically evaluate what I want my career to look like. In a creative field where many of us feel uncomfortable strategizing or even talking about our career, working with Megan helped me make and take proactive steps towards my goals that have been essential. I can’t thank or recommend her enough.

Brandon J. Rolle, Composer & Conductor, Los Angeles

The Process

Before the meeting:

Sign up for a time via Calendly below. I recommend an hour for our first session. After that, I’m happy to do longer or shorter sessions at prorated fees.

Before we meet, I ask my clients to send me an email with their biggest concerns (or what task/project they want to focus on during our meeting.) This email can be as stream-of-consciousness as you want it to be. No need to spend a ton of time making it look pretty – I’ll use it to create an outline for myself.

I’ll share that outline with you via Google Docs before we meet but no need to do anything with it until we’re in the session together.

During:

Whether you prefer phone, video chat, or in-person (if possible), is fine by me. We’ll meet in the way that makes you feel the most comfortable. I’ll make sure to get your contact details beforehand.

If you want to talk financials, feel free to have any documentation on hand that is appropriate. But, there’s no need to prepare any materials for it unless I ask.

After the meeting:

I’ll send you an invoice via Wave apps. My fee is $85/hr of talk time (Note: fees are changing in 2021. Starting January 1, coachings will be $100/hr. Non-profit consulting will be available on a project basis.)

You can pay via Wave or through PayPal/Venmo. Let me know if you prefer another method.

We set up another meeting if you want to. I want my clients to know they can see me as often or as little as fits their budget/consulting needs.

About two weeks after our meeting, I’ll email you to hear about what feels awesome and what still feels “stuck.” This feedback from you really helps me become a better coach/consultant.

Working with Megan has been a game changer for me. I used to feel self-conscious and reluctant to put myself out there. Taking risk scared me. Even sending an email with the hope of getting a commission took me weeks to write. However, I feel empowered and directed now. Megan helped me realize so much: the importance of building relationships and how to effectively do it, having systems in place in order to achieve your  goals, understanding what you need to fulfill your life and using that as a starting point to build a career. She takes the time to understand what I’m thinking and how I’m feeling and provides practical advice that I can immediately act upon. My confidence has gone up, I’m taking action everyday, and I have clarity. A career in music seems entirely possible now, thanks to Megan. 

Adam Kennaugh; composer, podcaster, music instructor

Let’s get started!