We had the good fortune of connecting with Alli Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alli, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Music has always been a part of my life, so becoming a performer and teacher was a natural fit for me. I also find that I have a bit of an independent streak, so I enjoy working for myself. Teaching found me. I had folks approach me after shows to ask if I taught lessons years ago. The thought hadn’t really occurred to me before that, but I started teaching workshops and then private lessons. Years later, I still love the work and find it extremely fulfilling. 

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have a passion for good music. I know the power of it to change lives, soften hearts, and lift spirits. I know what it has done for me in my life, so whether I’m on stage performing the folk, Irish, and Scottish music I love so much, or working with my students, my goal is to connect. When I’m on stage, I’m communicating. I’m having a conversation with the audience. As I tell my students, if you don’t feel anything, rest assured, no one else is either, so find a way to internalize the song, the piece, whatever it is you are doing. For me, when I’m singing a song, I’m thinking about the story, the emotion behind the story, and making it my own. My goal is to make the crowd feel something, feel what I’m feeling, have an experience, elevate. As a private instructor, my goal is to be a guide with and for my students to find their passion. Music should be fun, and joyous, and transformative, for the player and the listener. There’s a certain amount of work and commitment involved, so I help my students choose songs they really enjoy. That makes the work a little lighter. I was always a musician. Always singing and humming and drawn to how music made me feel. But there was a time when my practical nature took over, and I was convinced that music as a career was a bit of a fool’s pursuit. I didn’t want to chase fame and didn’t see how I could really parley my talent into a career unless I chased after some Hollywood dream. So, I went and got a practical degree, in a practical field, and though I loved some aspects of the job, I knew I was denying a huge part of what made me, me. So when I took time off to have my babies, it was a bit of a reset. When I was ready to start looking outside of the home for new adventures, career or otherwise, I decided to really start pursuing my true passions again. I auditioned for a Celtic band, and in many ways, the rest was history. I started performing and was a part of creating a very successful, touring band, started teaching workshops, and eventually became a private lesson teacher too. I’ve never looked back. What I’ve learned is that you have gifts. You can run from them or judge them, but eventually, you really ought to listen to your heart and do something that makes you happy. People respond to that, are attracted to that, and opportunities will come your way if you’re willing to put the work in, be a team player, and at the end of the day, listen to universe a bit on who your really meant to be. I also know that that idea of who you are, and what you’re meant to do, will eventually evolve as well, so staying flexible is a powerful thing. I took up ukulele a few years ago. This year I’m publishing a book with Hal Leonard called Ukulele for Girls. If you’d asked me five years ago if that would be possible, I wouldn’t have believed it. But I’ve learned to stay open and ask, Why Not Me? more often than not these days. I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given and hope to be a mentor to others.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Here in Denton, I recommend heading straight for the downtown square. Barley and Board for dinner, or for a casual burger, check out LSA burger company. Head to Recycled Books for a fantastic old paperback, record, or gift. Then maybe a country drive down some of the beautiful backroads of South Denton. Get a little lost and enjoy the trees and hills. Then turn GPS back on 🙂 If you’re in Dallas, I say check on Trinity Hall Irish Pub. They have great grub and the best Irish Coffee I’ve ever tasted.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My parents introduced me to good music and made it part of our family’s culture to not only seek out good tunes, but also to learn an instrument. My mom is a musician and songwriter who had us four kids singing harmonies from as far back as I can remember. Then I lucked out and married a fantastic professional musician who has always been my biggest fan, and who always supports my wild ideas and dreams. There have been so many people that have been instrumental to me finding my path, and I’m thankful for each of them.

Website: www.allijohnsonmusic.com
Instagram: @allijohnsonmusic
Facebook: www.facebook.com/allijmusic
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7CQ2lVCzfeXT2R4Gan3Tyg

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.