We were lucky to catch up with Dana Rice recently and have shared our conversation below.
Dana, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. What did your parents do right and how has that impacted you in your life and career?
As a parent of 2 adult children, I know something that I did not know as a child – parents don’t have all the answers and aren’t always sure of what ‘s the right thing to do. All parents, however, do get some things right! Since I was raised by my mother in a single parent home, I’m going to share something she got right as a parent. This lady refused to let me quit piano! No matter how many times I complained or how many times I said I didn’t want to do it, she never let up. So off to piano lessons I went every week for years. When I say years, I mean a decade at least! I acted out so many times that no one would have blamed her if she let me quit. I cried on the way to lessons a lot of days. I struggled to learn how to read the notes for a long time. I was always afraid to perform in front of people. I hid when people would ask me to play at church, but through it all my mother refused to let me quit even when she could barely pay for the lessons. She refused to let me quit even though for a long time we didn’t have a piano. Instead of giving up, she would drive me to pianos – at church, at her job, anywhere someone would let me play. She did this all while I wavered on whether or not I wanted to play. When I couldn’t see what I could become, my mother did. So she didn’t let me quit. Now every time I encounter an adult who says “I wish my parents hadn’t let me quit”, I think about all the reasons I gave my mother to let me quit and she didn’t. I’m so thankful that she didn’t let me quit.
Dana, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
My name is Dana Rice and I love to do tons of creative things. My usual response to the question “What do you do?” is “What do you need?”
Here are some ways that I help people:
I develop performing artists from age 4-adult through piano/voice lessons and coach creatives on how to execute their creative ideas. Parents bring their kids to me when they’re looking for someone to nurture the gift inside their child while providing them with a holistic experience in growing a life in the arts.
People come to me for creativity coaching when they want to get things done, but don’t quite know how. Some even refer to me as “the get-it-done-girl”.
I’m a singer/songwriter of soul, gospel and jazz for children and adults.
Music is my favorite lane in which to operate, but I’ve also written books. I write books that celebrate the wisdom of Black Grandmothers and books to accompany my song lyrics.
I love to share what I do through workshops, speaking engagements in schools and the community and performances.
How’d you build such a strong reputation within your market?
Exceeding people’s expectations, introducing them to possibilities they never imagined, and having the receipts to backup what I say are the main things that have helped me build my reputation in Performing Arts Education. People often discover me initially because they have encountered performances from my son (@iamtrerice) or my daughter (@actressjordanrice) or one of my students. When they look further, they realize that not only do I teach performance but that I’m also a singer/songwriter myself. When they look at my social media, they see that I am clearly and deeply invested in my students and the creative community. So I think it is extremely important to have your receipts ready and available for people to get a feel for what you can bring to their lives. When I work with students, I make it a point to keep the needs of both the student and parent in mind – and over deliver! Finally, I make it my priority to expose the students and families I work with to new experiences with the arts to take them to a higher level than they imagined when they sought out my services. I especially love the look of excitement and wonder on the faces of students and parents who’ve tried other programs and realize they’ve moved to a whole new level now that they’re working with me.
Learning and unlearning are both critical parts of growth – can you share a story of a time when you had to unlearn a lesson?
A lesson that I’m currently unlearning is, “Don’t bother other people with your stuff. They’ve got their own things to deal with.” Somewhere along the way I learned this ridiculous way of thinking and although it has made me quite self sufficient, it is also quite limiting. Maybe being the firstborn or being a Type A personality or the fear of rejection led me down the crazy path of trying to do everything on my own, but what I now know is there is a better way!
Reaching our full potential truly only happens when we bring others into our journey. I recently reached out to a friend for help with a project and although I wasn’t surprised that he helped me, I was very surprised at what he said next.
He said, “Thank you for asking me to help!”
I re-read the message several times.
“Thank you for asking me to help!”
It had never occurred to me that people might want to help, but they don’t want to insert themselves into a situation where their help is not wanted. It also never occurred to me that by not asking for help, I was possibly preventing people from being part of something that would bring them joy.
- Website: www.DanaRiceMusic.com
- Instagram: www.Instagram.com/DanaRiceMusic
- Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DanaRiceMusic
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/danaricemusic/
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/DanaRiceMusic
- Youtube: www.YouTube.com/DanaRiceMusic
Lou Raimondi Photography Soft Hues Photography Jayne Olderman