Update/Kika's Recipe for Success-ipe

I'm coming off of a very busy weekend--I had a recording project that is now 50% done and a gig with my Pittsburgh chamber group. I have been teaching and working hard on getting a position at another school in DC. I got hired to work at the Sphinx conference this winter as an aide! I'm also running a fundraiser for Mind on Fire--donate here! I also celebrated early Thanksgiving with my family so that next week I can have regular Thanksgiving with ADB's family. I'll also be going to New York for a day or two. It is a lot, but the busier the better. This is my method for success--
-I have my iCal open on my computer at all times and I worked very hard to make sure that every calendar I have is synced with one another. Right now I am using just using the iPhone calendar app, but at a certain point, I realized that I was putting commitments on my computer calendar and they weren't making it onto my phone. I messed around with Google calendar until I fixed it. I cannot tell you how to do this, other than mess around with Google calendar and don't make a commitment and forget. I learned this the hard way and had to participate in a board meeting on the phone while riding the bus to Pittsburgh. 

-I have a Moleskine planner that has a blank page for notes. I put every commitment in it, even if the commitment has passed. I check in with my planner once a week. I have found that I favor the calendar app, but every now and then someone will be talking to me on the phone and I have to write it down somewhere.

-Never let anything discourage you because a goal worth "goaling" is never easily achieved. Look for your teensiest win and use it a motivation for your next win. Don't give up. Just don't ever give up. Even if it's tempting and probably easier. Just don't do it. If you want it, don't give up. I know everyone says this, but I'm telling you. I have to fight the urge to quit about 100 days a year. It's natural and I also don't like doing hard things. I like the feeling of accomplishment I get when I have done the hard thing.

-Be in constant contact--it's better to be in touch and on top of your projects than it is to always be catching up. One of my old bassoon teachers once said that when you meet a challenge, you have to attack it. To me, that means--if you have to do something you don't want to do, ask for help and give it your all. Don't ignore it until thinking about it makes you want to barf. No barfing. If you can't do something, ask someone for help. I did not ask for help in math for 30 years. Now that I am married to a math person I ask for help constantly, but maybe I could have been a math person if I would have asked for help.

-Cherish yourself. Sleep sleep sleep. Just sleep. Do what you have to do to get the sleep. Even if it's three hours at night and an hour nap and then another nap. Hydrate! I like to think of drinking water as a way of caring for myself. I tell my students to treat themselves like an egg. You wouldn't throw an egg against a wall. You would carry it carefully in two hands and set it down gently and you would not say negative things to it. You are a precious and delicate egg. Treat yourself accordingly.

Okay I'm going to bed,




I used the word steer twice

Over seven months ago I said I would keep up with this better and I DIDN'T! I will put a positive spin on things and say that it is because I have been so busy. And that is true. I am well-embarked on a new music endeavor. I'm very excited because I think this is going to be a big one for me. I'm working with people who are ideologically aligned--that music can and should be for everyone in Baltimore and we should break down as many barriers to access as we possibly can.

I'm also living in NYC for pretty much the whole summer, trying to have a true vacation with regular practice and some meetings/planning/more planning thrown in. I'm not giving myself a hard time right now!

I used the month of January to plan the rest of my year. I was listening to a podcast where one of the people said they don't get much done in Q1 and they don't beat themselves up over it. I hear that! But something I did decide to do in Q1 was to help steer my life in one direction. I mulled and agonized and prayed about what I want my lasting contribution to the world to be, and I have decided that I want to ensure that art, particularly music, will endure in perpetuity on this planet.

How do I do that? Don't trash the planet, play awesome music, find the money for worthy projects, and help train the next generation of music lovers/musicians. I don't know if my idea of a "life's mission statement" will help or hurt others, but it's working for me. I can look at projects/concerts/commitments and weigh them against my mission and that certainly helps me decide what I should and shouldn't do.

An extremely important note is that I am in a two-income household, and therefore I am sometimes able to do things for less than I deserve because I'm no longer a starving artist. Just a slightly poor one. I just have a little more freedom to take on what I think is very important work that I think will help a lot of people--what a blessing for me AND for you!

Bed time!


What is there to say, but...

Put good vibes into the universe, and good things will come of it. Treat people the way you want to be treated (unmolested and ignored), and you may make it to old age. I am really happy right now, despite the way of the world. I'm working hard, I'm teaching my kids, I'm playing hard, and tomorrow I'm going home to HUG MY DOG!

SO, I'm going to keep this up better. That's my 2017 goal. But frankly, I don't really have that much to report other than, I'm practicing, I'm gigging, I'm teaching, I'm eatin' quesadillas (I'm not much of a cook). I'm not drinking coffee, because then situations like this arise--one cup of coffee after 10 AM and I am up all night. GOLL.





Squarespace is Killing ME

Today I said, "I'm going to repair this old bassoon, I'm going to start a bullet journal, I'm going to work on my website." This is my third attempt at a blog post, the previous two I tried to upload photos from my trip and that just made my internet mad and slow. I tried to sign onto Squarespace with Safari, and I signed onto a blank page. I emailed Squarespace and they haven't gotten back to me. Will this blogpost see the light of day? I don't know. I'll work on it tomorrow.

School is starting back up, Symphony Number One is fundraising (which I shall touch on later!), life flies on--very exciting stuff.


Berlin TV Tower

Berlin TV Tower

Buying a big planner and other leaps of faith

Greetings all! 

So guys--I bought a big planner. It's big, it's Moleskine. It's beautiful, I have space to write my thoughts and I also add a to-do list that I tape inside the planner and it is BOSS. But here is the thing--I bought it when I didn't know if I would even need it. I don't have a "job" and I wasn't getting so many calls, there aren't a ton of auditions coming up. But I bought this planner! Because I believe it's going to fill up and we're going to have a nice year together.

I came to Baltimore not knowing what would happen to me. I was feeling kind of bad until my friend Mark (MAAAARK IS AWESOME!) told me about an new music orchestra that was having auditions for bassoon. And I won! It's been great. All the members are really engaged in the process of not just learning the music, but promoting, fundraising, etc. It's been great and there is an argument to be made that this will be the model of orchestras in the future.  We played our first concert and it was a gas! We have another concert (strings only) coming up in the next few weeks. More information on that here.

I'm also playing some concerts in Western Pennsylvania. My friend called me out of the blue to sub for some children's concerts and I'm playing with some really great players in November, which you can learn about here or on my events page.

So I guess I just have to have some faith about my abilities and faith that the Lord wants me to work and he wants Spike to eat. It's also good advice for everyone who works in the arts that if you want to work, be nice and keep in touch with everyone. When you move to a new town, let people know! They will help you if they have happy memories of working with you before!

So ends my sermon.


Little Update

Hey everyone, hope all is well!

I have been very absent lately because I have been preparing for auditions. Good news, I won my first audition of the fall! 

The group is called Symphony Number One (symphno1.org/) and it's a group of young people from the mid-atlantic/Baltimore/DC area, performing older standard works alongside music that is being written today. I'm excited for this opportunity, because as I watch more and more orchestras go under and downsize, my generation of musicians must create our own opportunities. I just got lucky to be appointed to this orchestra (principal bassoon!) and they have already made a great start. I'm working closely with our music director, Jordan Smith, and it's been really gratifying. Some of the things that I'm working on (fundraising, development, social media) are a little outside my comfort zone, but I know that these are all skills I can carry through the rest of my career.

I'm actually on my way to my next audition in Sarasota on Monday. I was invited to this audition about a month ago and bought my plane ticket before I won my current job, but I still have to take the audition. It'll probably go really easy since I feel like a lot of pressure is off.

ALSO! Since Symphony Number One is in Baltimore, it means that I have some job security in town and I can kind of breathe a sigh of relief as far as my relationship goes. Adrian and I can be together in the same city for the first time in SIX--S I XXXXXX years!

If you'd like to donate a few bucks to our cause, I'd be so grateful.




I'm a stay-at-home bassoonist!

Today I woke up feeling a little rotten. I didn't get a lot of sleep last night and I woke up early and ate a baked good. I should have had a glass of water and some dry toast. 

I am currently unemployed, which is both great and not great. It's great because I have alllllllllllllll thissssssssss tiiiiiiiiiiiiime to practice. But also, I have no expendable income, and I just discovered all the magic that internet shopping has to offer. 

I'm trying to find better ways to structure my day and negotiate working at home. My mom is a writer, and SHE said some people pack up their work, walk around the block, and then come back home and say, "I'm at work now!" I could try that. Also, if I have a plan for my day and execute the plan, that works too. 

All my fun stuff is in my house, and my little dog is here. AND MY BED IS HERE. AND MY COMPUTER IS HERE!!!!!!!!!! So if anyone has any hot tips, I'd love to hear them. :)


For now I'll keep doing what I've been doing--practice for 45 minutes, lay down, practice for 30 minutes, stare at the wall, and so on and so on.



Ask and you shall receive!


Baltimore is hot.  It's not the hottest place ever, but it's probably the hottest place I have ever lived. Our apartment is on the top floor of a building with a flat roof, so our house is like a heat sink. As you can imagine, practicing a double reed instrument with high humidity is like killing me.

What's a girl to do? I'm normally very shy, so anytime I need to ask for something I just don't do it. But this is a desperate time. So, I asked at a local university if I could use their practice rooms (it's not a music school, but it does have a building that has some rehearsal space). And you know what? They said yes!

Rejection doesn't feel good, and sometimes you feel stupid for asking, but every now and then it works out. Always be super polite and make sure your emails have no misspellings and grammar mistakes, and good things may come your way.

This ends my lecture for the day.

Home again home again

I'm back in Baltimore after four days in New Orleans Louisiana! 

Louisiana is one of my favorite places to visit for many different reasons--

1. the food

2. the people

3. the culture

It wasn't easy for me to move to Canada for two years, mostly because I was separated from my family and my partner and my little dog. But also, the sun doesn't shine very much in the winter which can really bum me out. But aside from that, Toronto was great, the people I met were great, Glenn Gould was great, etc etc. But anyway, being able to go back to my favorite American city for a few days with a good friend was just what I needed. I feel more and more like myself every day. And in turn I wake up ready to practice and excited for what is to come.

Today, Adrian, Spike and I went to the farmer's market in our neighborhood and we bought four little pies. We bought two last week at a DIFFERENT farmer's market, and then I left for Louisiana and I didn't get to eat them! But this week is gonna be better.

See y'all later!



Blog — Kika Wright, Bassoonist

What am I up to? Working on my website. I've been trying to get someone else (anyone else) to do it for years, so now I have paid money to have a website builder. It's great. Networking is troubling because how much time do you spend working on your professional development? It seems like it takes a lot of time and I'd rather be hidden away in my home, making reeds. We shall see.