We had the good fortune of connecting with Tim Crispin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tim, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
Not as much of what you see and hear on stage is as planned as we make it appear! I have performed on stage in front of thousands of people with other musicians I just met moments before. I’ve played songs on stage I’ve never heard before the moment we played them in front of a crowd. The fundamentals of music never change. Once you understand music theory and study the nuances of various genres, you’re able to make fairly accurate educated guesses as to what is about to happen in the music. There are only 12 notes in music, and each genre has very common ways of combining those tones with the signature rhythms of the style. Plus, the more mistakes you make in front of an audience over the years, the more comfortable you become living with your mistakes, and learning to play through them. You have to trust the competence of the other musicians on stage and everyone has to follow each other down the same trail. Excellence is the standard, but perfection is never achieved.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
At STAGE VOLUME ENTERTAINMENT, we provide private music instruction and instructional videos, our teachers are all professional musicians and performers, and we provide entertainment services such as DJs, pro audio, lighting and stage rentals for conferences, weddings, private parties and more. Let me share what makes our teaching style unique. Relatability: We are all students of music! Each of us still learn from our mentors, YouTube videos, books and more. We all took lessons when we were younger, so we know what’s like being a new student. We all enjoy music, and have a passion for performing. Experience; We have all performed on some of the biggest stages around DFW, coast to coast and internationally. We’ve literally performed in concerts and on videos for millions of fans at venues ranging from casinos, cruise ships, NASCAR races, college sporting events, the US Capitol, the Grand Ole Opry, churches, festivals, prisons, restaurants, etc. Flexibility: We recognize that every student learns differently, and every student has different goals. We customize our lessons to fit the goals of the students. This means we do not use the same lesson books for every student. We assess what they know, what the want to achieve, the style of music they like, etc. and make recommendations catered to their musical ambitions. Teaching an artform like music is a delicate balance between establishing an appreciation for a fundamental standard of expectation, which requires effort, discipline and the inevitable comparison to predecessors, and maintaining and environment that breeds excitement and creativity. A good teacher has the ability to tell a student when their performance is terrible without making them feel like they should just give up. That’s not always easy. None of us want to hurt a student’s feelings or discourage them. However, we know from experience, playing music requires thick skin. Even if a million people love what you do, there could be 50 million who hate your music. Musicians must learn to accept criticism and develop the ability to live with imperfection. The best teachers learn to balance critiques with praise. Very few music students become professional performers. Instead of just teaching my students to play an instrument, I want to help them learn how they learn best. Being able to become proficient at new skills is important to success, so I want them to apply the methods of becoming a better musician to every part of their education. We think beyond the instrument, and try to ensure that music lessons help them develop into better students in life.
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?
Of course, live music venues are at the top of the list for me. Deep Ellum or the Fort Worth Stockyards has always been a favorite of mine if I want the night life feel of a variety of restaurants and bars with live music. For a more intimate live music experience in a small town, I enjoy listening to acoustic acts at Cassaro Winery in Ovilla. If I want them to have a high quality concert experience, I look up shows at venues like Lava Cantina. In addition to live music, I always enjoy taking friends and family to places like The Perot Museum, The Dallas World Aquarium, or the Dallas Zoo. For dining, I always enjoy taking family for a casual Japanese meal at Hibachio in Waxahachie.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many teachers and mentors, family members, and friends who supported me along the way when I needed both encouragement and assistance. There are so many people to thank and who deserve recognition! If I think back to the beginning of my education and career, there is one conversation that always stands out. These words have stuck with me for nearly 25 years. During my college entrance interview with the director of the music program at the time, Dave Hibbard, I was making the case for how enthusiastic I was to become a professional musician and private lesson instructor. I told him I was definitely going to major in music, but I was considering also doing some kind of minor in history, so that if I didn’t make it as a professional musician, I could become a junior high or high school history teacher. He asked me “Why waste your time on Plan A? If there is a Plan B, you will end up choosing that plan. If there is no Plan B, Plan A must work.” For someone who tries to think ahead, this seems so insane to not have a back up plan, but many times I have found myself referring to those words. Some of the greatest motivational speeches I have ever heard are rooted in this theme. The idea is simple. Find a goal and a purpose in life, and stay laser focused on that goal. Don’t let options distract you from what you really want!