We had the good fortune of connecting with Jaycie Skidmore and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jaycie, why did you pursue a creative career?
I grew up in a musical family and loved music from a very young age. Just after my junior year of high school, I decided to pursue a degree in music education. After I graduated, I didn’t feel lead to teaching in the public school since I had planned on pursuing graduate work so I started teaching private flute lessons with a local school district full-time. I always loved teaching and working with kids but I really didn’t count on loving it as much as I did. I have a special place in my heart for middle school-aged kids and I don’t think I would have found that if it hadn’t been for that time teaching privately. After eight years of teaching high school and middle school flute students, I switched to teaching early childhood music through East Dallas Children’s Music and love that even more! Who wouldn’t love getting to pretend to be different animals, play games, and make music with wonderful small humans all day? I’m extremely grateful for the opportunities I’ve had and the ability to actually make a living doing something I love. That’s an extremely rare and wonderful blessing and I’m beyond thankful for it every, single day.
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 don’t think my career is anything newsworthy but it is definitely a story of how hard work does pay off. You don’t decide to pursue a career in music for the money but because you love the art form. I think, in many respects, teaching is the same way. I don’t think anyone’s path to a career is easy and we all have our own challenges to overcome. There are certainly people whose career paths have been easier than mine, but there are even more whose career paths are littered with substantial hardship and difficulty. I think what sets my career apart from others is simply the fact that I get to make a living doing something I feel like I was born to do and have known I wanted to do from a very young age. Thousands of hours of practice, amazing teachers and mentors, the immense privilege of being able to attend college, and more than a little luck all brought me to where I am today. I am truly fortunate and humbled by the extremely special nature of my career path.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
A lot of it would depend on the time of year! If it was at Christmas time (like it is at the time of writing this), I would probably start off with the usual fun things – going skating at the Galleria, seeing the decorations at the Arboretum, and seeing the lights at the Zoo. We would also definitely catch a Christmas pops concert. There are so many fun things to do in so many places around DFW that it’s hard to decide! Since we live north of downtown, I would also like to take them up to Denton to the square just to walk around and see the lights and especially to visit the Recycled book store up there. We could spend hours just walking around looking at all of the wonderful books and music they have there. I love the places that are off the beaten path and think those places make the fondest memories.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people to thank that it would require too many trees to be killed so I’ll try to be brief. First and foremost, my parents and my extended family always encouraged me to follow my dreams and I never once felt like things wouldn’t work out. I always felt supported and encouraged to keep going even when things were tough. My college flute professor was an incredible guide and mentor to me all through my four years at Baylor. Since graduating, I’ve had countless colleagues and friends who have always been there for me to come alongside and do life with me. Most importantly, none of this would have been possible without the provision and blessing of God. I only hope I use the gifts I’ve been given in a way that is pleasing to the One who gave them to me.