We had the good fortune of connecting with Taylor May and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Taylor, what do you attribute your success to?
There’s something that connects all of us, call it what you want. But when you see it, like really see it for the first time, it’s impossible to ignore. I had been teaching myself numerous musical instruments since I was 2 but it never occurred to me until a little over a year ago that I could teach others. I had a couple guitars, a mandolin, a ukulele, a couple banjos, and an old thrift store organ so I just went for it. When I got my first student, we both were just sitting there for a hot minute until I realized that I was the one leading this rodeo. Diving full force into dreams and ideas is fun, especially when you get to the inevitable question of “what am I doing?” Jeff Bezos once said, “Even the best innovators always look a little clueless at the beginning because to get a great return you have to be doing something most people aren’t.” Of course, he was talking about innovation. But that’s what I was doing – I didn’t have a music education degree, let alone a music degree, let alone ANY degree. I had to come up with my own strategies of teaching someone an instrument, and I quickly found out the best way for me was to see the connection. There were countless times I battled insecurities (still are), but when I focused on the connection between us all, that’s when the success rolled in and drowned out negativity. Anytime a student came to me, whether it was a kid with a new instrument their parents bought them for their birthday or an elder wanting to pick up guitar for the first time in their life, I just listened. They would tell me exactly what they wanted out of lessons, exactly what they wanted out of an instructor, and they would even open up to me about why music meant so much to them. And 10 times out of 10 I somehow had what they wanted to have, and knew what they wanted to know, because luckily, I had followed a gut instinct in me and taught it to myself at some point in my life. And because the student and I had developed an openness and connection between us, I was able to transfer that information to them in the exact way that they needed it, not in a cookie-cutter one-size-fits-all curriculum. I’ve successfully taught over 250 students in my short career and it’s allowed me to relocate from Azle, Texas to Colorado where I teach music and invent. I currently own 2 businesses while focusing on research, development, and data analysis. Every day, I try to see the connection that is within us all and allow myself to be a channel to help others and grow the connection. Without observation, self-education, and the faith and humility to connect with others, I would not be able to live in the success that I am currently thriving in.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I grew up on a farm in small town Azle, Texas and that’s where my passion for music kicked off. By the age of 2, I was already sounding out songs on my grandmother’s piano. At 12, I taught myself how to play guitar after receiving one from my great-grandfather. 2 years later when he passed, he left me his banjos and mandolin. In middle school, I joined band and learned oboe, and through music theory and professional instruction, my understanding of music immensely widened. I began my songwriting journey at a young age and started taking it seriously at 18. I now confidently utilize my talents and experience to not only teach anyone, at any age, at any learning capacity, just about any instrument they want, but also encourage them to apply that to creating their own original content! I have successfully taught all ages from 2 to 87. I have guided around 50 of my students in writing, recording, and producing their songs. I am always working on fun projects and love to bring my students’ visions to life! What sets me apart is the connection I make with my students. Each curriculum is specifically designed to the individual student, where I go above and beyond to create a realistic path to their desired aspirations. Overcoming insecurities and wishy-washy self image is part of being a creative and innovator, but those who can focus on the goal and withstand whatever gets in the way are going to get what they are working so hard for. “Learning never exhausts the mind.” -Leonardo da Vinci
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?
For the best wings: Buffalo Brothers in Fort Worth – downtown location if you’re into big flashy screens on walls and a mile long tap bar, University location if you want the original hole-in-the-wall experience. For some cool views: Inspiration Point in Sansom Park. If you’re not into hiking, there’s a look out point you can drive up to. All others, bring your hiking boots and try to find the secret waterfall/swimming hole area. My favorite comfort meal: El Paseo Mexican Restaurant. Order a bowl of queso and eat the salsa until it arrives, get the tamale plate and flour tortillas, mix your beans and rice into your mashed up tamales, roll that up in your flour tortilla and dip the burrito in the queso. Stop it. Nothing else needs to be said.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Business wise – My grandmother, the baddest entrepreneur, who set up my own desk in her office as a toddler so I could watch her every business move. Creative wise – Leonardo da Vinci, who didn’t delve into his most intensive work until he was old (well like pushing 40 – sorry mom) Love wise – God, for divinely appointing my family in my life and for allowing me to see the connection.