This month The Creative Mom Collective is happy to announce our featured creative mom Emma Litton, a stay at mom living in Nashville, Tennessee! In addition to caring for her little babe Tennessee Wilder. Emma stays true to her roots as a musician by teaching piano. I have the pleasure of knowing Emma in real life and I always love seeing how much joy she gets from pursuing her creative passions that also include fashion, herbalism, and yoga.
The best place to keep up Emma is on Instagram! You’ll love keeping up with her and her adventures.
I met Emma before she was pregnant and at that time she worked at a local private school teaching music to children. It was so fun to hear her stories about her students and to see how much she (clearly) loved her job.
A lot has happened in the short time I’ve known her! So here’s some questions and
Emma’s answers about motherhood, what she values most, and the transition into teaching private lessons while also being a stay at mom!
Before your son was born in 2016, you worked as a Elementary School Music Teacher in a private school. What did you love about that job and why did you choose to leave?
I loved formulating music lessons for all my classes and connecting with my students through the joy of music. One of my favorite things was exposing the kids to new instruments and different styles and cultures of music. I also loved connecting with the arts community at my school. There was such an appreciation and respect for the arts. I’m very blessed that I was able to teach in a community like that, not many teachers in the arts have that opportunity.
I knew once I got pregnant that I would probably want to stay with my new Little One full time. I thought once he was born I would truly figure out things, knowing that feelings can change, but as soon as he was born I couldn’t imagine leaving him every day. I decided to let go of my full time music position and began teaching piano and voice lessons just two days a week.
Tell us about your journey with music. When did you start and what made you want to teach?
I began taking piano lessons when I was five and that really started my love of music. I wasn’t a natural though, I took on and off, and eventually realized I would never be one of those people who had this natural talent when it came to music. I would need to work very hard if I really wanted to do well. I became heavily involved in musical theater and choir as I got older and fell more and more in love with music as well as theater.
It wasn’t until I was in my teens that I began really thinking about music as a career though. I had a voice teacher, Jeremy, who inspired me by how well he taught me and how much he believed in me. At the time nobody else in my life thought I could seriously pursue a career in music, but Jeremy believed in me, and because of that I found the courage to work hard and live my dream of getting a music degree and then went on to teach.
Roughly how often are you teaching right now and do you foresee that changing in the future at any time? Do you ever want to go back and teach in a school setting or pursue something else music related other than private lessons?
I teach private music lessons two days a week currently. At the moment I’m trying to figure out the best balance as Tennessee gets older. Not sure it will change in the near future but I could see trying to shuffle all my lessons to one day. I could see myself going back to a school setting one day, but my desire for that at the moment has really changed. I also plan to homeschool, if that ends up being a good fit for Tennessee Because of that, I always have plans of teaching something in the future.
Where is your son when you teach lessons? How do you balance teaching private lessons and staying home with your son?
I’m really lucky because my husband has two work from home days and he uses those on the days I teach my lessons. Because of that we don’t have to worry about child care.
It was honestly a struggle in the beginning to stay at home and then go teach. It felt like just as I got comfortable with the flow of things at home the next day I’d go teach and things would get thrown off. It just took time to find the right structure for my days and also involved giving myself grace when I couldn’t get every little thing done at home that I wanted to.
You’re an extremely creative person and have other passions in addition to music, do you ever think you’ll pursue any of those professionally?
I could completely see pursuing some of my other interests one day! I love practicing Ashtanga Yoga and right before I found out I was pregnant I was planning on doing some teacher training. I could see following that passion one day and teaching Ashtanga.
I am also currently studying herbalism and love to help out family and friends when I can with my different herbal remedies. My husband has encouraged me to work on starting up a small online store or to pursue a career as a clinical herbalist, and I could see potentially pursuing those things one day, but probably not anytime soon.
What advice do you have for a mom out there who is thinking about opening up a private studio to teach an instrument?
I would say to make sure you pick your studio carefully. For me, I didn’t want to have students that weren’t serious. When I didn’t have a kiddo I had a lot of students who didn’t really practice like they should, but once it meant spending time away from my little one, I wanted to make sure it was worth it. It was important to me to make sure that I had students who would be passionate and not ones I felt like I couldn’t make a difference with.
Thank you so much, Emma, for answering these questions and for being our featured creative mom this month!
Thanks for reading! If you have questions or thoughts, let me know in the comments!