Today we’d like to introduce you to Shellee Coley.
Shellee, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am a singer/songwriter in the Northwest Houston area. As I was making my way into the Houston music scene, I started to realize there was a desire for young musicians to have mentors in their lives, both professionally and to support their emotional health as young/influential creatives. I began teaching group songwriting classes in 2009 as a way to make a little extra money and to help young musicians find support beyond the typical vocal/guitar lessons. Those group classes turned into individual sessions with a handful of students and I fell in love with the idea of providing a safe space for kids to develop their musicianship, without the pressure of an outcome. I have done this in a variety of ways, both individually and partnering with other companies, such as Real Life Real Music and Theresa Yow Music. But eventually, I realized that the need for this type of creative space extended beyond just musically inclined kids and I began my company, Circle Sessions, where I now hold monthly classes, workshops and one on one sessions for students needing a space to practice their creative expression without being pressured to produce anything like a product or outcome. I believe and teach that creativity is a practice that assists in all areas of life, and if you are diligent in that practice, true art will somehow be born along the way.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’d say my biggest challenge is just the day to day running of my own business. I piece together my income from a lot of different creative jobs, in addition to teaching and playing gigs. So scheduling and just general administrative business practices tend to make me a little crazy as a creative person. I’m regularly amazed when I get through another week and haven’t forgotten to show up at something and remembered to pay all my bills on time!
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I still play gigs and make my own music, which I love, but I find that I am just as fulfilled, if not more, by sharing the gift of creativity with others. I think it’s easy as an artist to be self-absorbed and “me focused”… because your name is literally your brand, but teaching and sharing these gifts have allowed me to practice being “others focused” and I am very grateful for that.
In the coming year, I’m excited to be partnering with Real Life Real Music again, leading songwriting camps and workshops for girls in foster care needing a creative outlet.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Taking trips with my grandparents in the summers in their RV. And listening to vinyl records over and over again on my fisher price record player.
- Website: Www.Shelleecoley.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: shelleecoley
- Facebook: Shellee Coley Music