Karen Maynard was about to sing the song “Big Fat Daddy,” at the request of her friend. But she “wasn’t feeling it,” didn’t really think she was that good, and was really just doing it because she has promised her friend she would.
This song was a breakthrough, however. “The full energy from the audience was there,” Maynard said, “and I sung it like I never sung it before – I was excited and joyful for the honor and privilege of being able to sing to them.”
As she started to sing the audience responded, and for the first time she listened to that response, instead of the doubts in her head. “I opened my mouth and they totally got me to another space. If I hadn’t given it my all, it would be like passing someone bleeding on the street and not calling an ambulance.”
Karen is a music teacher working in the New York City Public Schools for the last 25 years. As part of her participation in the Landmark Education’s Team Management and Leadership Program, she is also fulfilling on a lifelong dream by creating and producing her debut CD, Dream.
Karen is clear: “Singing always was my dream, being a music teacher was safe.” In the Team Management and Leadership Program, she gave up the point of view that she didn’t know what to do, and would probably get ripped off along the way. She gave up the thoughts that this could never happen to her. Using the training and encouragement from her Team in New York, she attended the “Artist Boot Camp” and found Lenora Helm as a singing and career coach. Karen’s first step was ending business relationships that weren’t working.
“The people on that orignal team were around for the money, not the love of the music. They were the wrong people, and I was embarassed to do anything about it. Instead of finding the right people, I questioned my talent and thought it was something wrong with me.” Karen, with Lenora’s support, realized she needed to work with people who supported her
dreams and vision.
“You are too close to let your dream die,” Leonora said. Karen saw that the closer she got to realizing her dream, the more the questioning and doubts kicked in. Leonora reassured her that this was common. She
gave up her concerns for looking good, gave up avoiding, and took on saying what’s really going on inside of her—she began to let people into her world.
With the first CD ready, Karen is now planning her new career – a recording every 18 to 24 months, singing and traveling, and transforming lives with the power of her music. She will be on the next “Artist Boot Camp” panel as a coach. And with her newfound confidence, a Grammy nomination is a milestone in her new career as a musician.
by Patricia Hernandez