25: Committing to the Pursuit of the Purpose with B.E. Boykin

Show Notes:

Happy March! 

I hope you are getting more settled into the year of 2022 as I know it hasn’t been easy for a lot of people. If you are feeling overwhelmed, I am totally on the same page with you and that’s why I am super excited about today’s episode as our guest will share with us how she maneuvers through barriers in the field. 

Dr. Brittney Boykin, or B.E. Boykin, as she is known, is a pianist, composer and choral conductor. We covered a lot of topics today, from her 3P mantra to her experience being a black woman in the classical music world. We will also talk about the many barriers in our profession, and how she worked through them and created her self-publishing business.

Links Mentioned in Today's Episode

Brittney: 0:00
Three things have like really, really like been pillars in a career that is mostly dominated by men. Prepare, pray, perform, if something doesn’t work out for the planning, what’s the next step? And then praying for me is more of like centering and meditation. And then whenever you have a performance, just giving it your best enjoying the moment because you love music, and letting that speak for itself.

Chaowen: 0:29
Hey there, welcome to The Conductor’s Podcast. I’m your host challenging a conductor with over 20 years of experience working with professional symphony orchestras, opera houses, new music groups and vocalist. I’m also founder of Girls Who Conduct and have mentored hundreds of conductors from across the globe. I created The Conductor’s Podcast to share all the behind a sing secret with you while I interview conductors, musicians and business gurus from around the world. This is a space created for conductors, conducting student musicians and non musicians who are curious and interested in learning more about the profession, craft, industry and business.

Chaowen: 1:16
Shy away from the real talk? No way. Money hardship, growth and the roller coaster of conducting career are all topics we discuss here. I will give you a simple actionable step by step strategies to help you take action on your big dream. Move through the fear that’s holding you back and have a real impact. Now, for our proceed, make sure you’re closing and get ready to be challenged and encouraged while you learn.

Chaowen: 1:50
Hi there, happy March, and welcome to another episode of The Conductor’s Podcast. I hope you’re getting more settled into the year of 2022. As I know, it hasn’t been easy for a lot of people. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, I’m totally on the same page with you. And that’s why I’m super excited about today’s episode, as our guest will share with us how she maneuvered through barriers in the field.

Chaowen: 2:20
Dr. Brittany Boykin, or B. E. Boykin as she is known, is a pianist, composer and choral conductor. I have known her for several years since she had been directing the Treble Choir at Georgia Tech for a while. And last fall, we were very very fortunate to finally have her onboard, officially, as a full time tenure track assistant professor. Our offices are actually right next to each other. So we are neighbors who almost don’t see each other at all, since our rehearsal schedules are quite different.

Chaowen: 2:57
In today’s episode, we will cover a lot of topics from her 3P mantra to her experience being a black woman in the classical music world. We will also talk about the many barriers in our profession and how she worked through them and created her own self publishing business. We have a lot to share. So let’s dive in!

Chaowen: 3:21
Welcome to the show. Brittany, I’m so thrilled to welcome you to The Conductor’s Podcast. And I can’t wait to for you to share your experience with my audience.

Brittney: 3:30
Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Chaowen: 3:33
So before we get started, though, will you please give everybody a brief intro just a little bit about your background and how you get to where you are right now.

Brittney: 3:41
Sure, so my name is Brittney Boykin, but I go by B. E. Boykin in the music professional world. I grew up in Alexandria, Virginia. So shout out to all the DMV, folks, DC, Maryland, Virginia, that is where I grew up. I studied private lessons throughout elementary, middle and high school. And then I went to Spelman College to pursue classical piano performance, so I have a BA in music, did my four years here in Atlanta, and then went to Westminster Choir College to study Choral Studies and the Sacred Music side. And then I came back to Atlanta to work professionally. So I’ve kind of been here for a very long time. Yeah, just trying to do all of this stuff choir accompanying conducting, and just recently finished my PhD at Georgia State and music education.

Chaowen: 4:45
I want to congratulate you that’s such a great achievement. I know it’s a lot of hot work.

Brittney: 4:51
Oh, yes. Thank you. Yeah, it’s, it was a long time coming. But yeah, thank you.

Chaowen: 5:00
Before we dive into today’s topic, I was wondering if you wanted to briefly talk about the program that you were in, because you say it’s a PhD in music education, which is slightly different from some of the DMA, in maybe Choral Conducting that some people would take composition, but you’re a known composer, like really accomplished. So can you tell us a little bit more about the program? And what was your experience?

Brittney: 5:27
Sure, yeah. So I actually really wanted to do a DMA in composition. Composition was something that I really was interested in. I applied to like five different DMA programs across the country, and got rejected from all of them. So the PhD was a diversion in my journey. It was here in Atlanta, [and] it just kind of worked out. It allowed me to still work all my part time jobs. So it’s a PhD and I say music education, but is actually a PhD in teaching and learning, and the concentration is music education. So I normally just say music to kind of skip over all of that. But um, yeah, so but it’s a it’s a PhD in teaching and learning. But yeah, the the desire, the original desire was a DMA in composition. But that did not work out.

Chaowen: 6:23
I’m so glad that you shared that because it, it happened the same thing to me, when I first apply for DMA, and conducting, I apply for, oh, maybe 20 programs and got four invitations to audition live? Well, I didn’t get anything, the first round. And it happened the first time when I when I apply for masters programs as well. So like, it took me several years to get into a program. But with that, teaching and learning, were you able to also fit in competition or like the creative part into your study or into your final dissertation?

Brittney: 7:00
No, not at all. So it is more of like a practical degree like exhibition, what you’re doing in the classroom, what you’re doing on the podium, which actually, I think has been very helpful to my, my career. And then it worked out because I was, well, to your point, I was able to incorporate a little bit of composition into my research. And so my dissertation is on the lived experiences of black women composers, but it doesn’t, it doesn’t necessarily focus on their music, it focuses mostly on just their lives. And so that has been very inspiring and exciting all all at once. Because I think we already have a lot of information on their music and musical analysis and all of that, but we don’t necessarily know a lot about their, their lives and how they came to be composers. Um, so that it just presented itself as very interesting. So yeah, so I was excited to incorporate it in that way.

Chaowen: 8:02
That’s really exciting. So did you focus on historical black women composers, or they were also leaving composers? Your research?

Brittney: 8:10
Yeah, so all of them are living living, there’s a wide range, I mean, from 20s, to about maybe mid 60s. So it’s, it was a very, very interesting study, but I’m hoping to publish it soon in a journal. So keeping a lookout for that. But yeah, so it was pretty, pretty cool.

Chaowen: 8:34
I felt sometimes diversity is a curse and a blessing altogether and biggest because of this call to diversity, we are now having access to a lot of people or artists that were ignored, right or buried in the course of history. But do you want to talk about, since you brought this up? How do you like or dislike the term of being called a black woman composed or even, like, composer of color? Does that affect your identity or artistic decisions?

Brittney: 9:09
I’m not necessarily and I know, everyone is different. I know for me, I know it makes me very proud to be in in so many different categories to be a black composer to be a black woman, composer, composer of color. It makes me very, very proud. And I guess it’s only because I’m using my own experience and thinking about like, what that means. And, you know, but I think I still understand why people want to just be labeled as a composer, because that’s sometimes how I refer to myself too. I don’t necessarily like, you know, tag along the, the descriptive terms when I’m introducing myself, I just say, you know, I’m B. E. Boykin, and I’m a composer. But it doesn’t make me feel any way to be in those categories either.

Chaowen: 9:59
Yeah, being able to celebrate your heritage is is such a wonderful thing. But as you said, everybody has different experience and people have different lens when they see some of the labels if we put it this way, right, and I’m sure there are a lot of various and obstacles in the career as there any that is, I know there are a lot. One of those memorable or things that you you feel will be really helping our listeners, something that you want to share.

Brittney: 10:34
Yeah, I mean, I think and, you know, it’s just something we’re trying to, we’re trying to figure out as we go. I mean, I, I want to say I started composition, six, seven years ago, and it’s just it was very different than it is now. But just starting off, it was just so it was so difficult, it was so difficult to try to get into a doctoral program, it was so difficult to try to get my music published, because I felt like no one wanted to just maybe give me a chance or like, listen, or even read over some of my music. It was a lot of like, Oh, you shouldn’t even be a composer because, you know, women don’t compose women don’t conduct. So have you ever thought about just being a music teacher for like a school? And I was just like, Okay, so there’s just a lot of like stereotypes and and gendering types of situations that we have to maneuver through.

Brittney: 11:33
But now it just seems like maybe very, very different. I know 2020 with COVID. And with Black Lives Matter, I felt like my composition career took a different turn. And it was like, oh, all of a sudden, everybody’s interested in black. Everything black music, black conductors, black women. So um, you know, it was just, it was just been very interesting to see and slightly overwhelming because I don’t know, if I fully understood that I was a composer or conductor beforehand, it was just something that I love to do. And then now is I’m juggling the idea that because the world now sees me as a conductor or as a composer, what does that mean? And so people always say like, when did you realize you were a composer. And I want to say like, like, truthfully last year, because people started being more interested in in the music. And it’s just been very, she’s been very interesting.

Chaowen: 12:36
I know, I totally felt that because the Georgia Tech Symphony Orchestra recently just performed strong by Jessie Montgomery. And we had ordered that music way before the pandemic. And but the of course, the performance was postponed until just a few weeks ago. And we were rushed return the rental parts, because another organization was waiting. So we didn’t even turn, turn back our music to the publisher, we send it directly to the next orchestra wanting to perform the piece, and I checked, we had set 11 that means there are at least 11 sets of parts circulating outside and like you say, suddenly, everybody is performing pieces by Jesse Montgomery. And two years ago, suddenly, everybody was performing Lili Boulanger, because they were just a few ones that people know. And all of a sudden, everybody’s singing your words now, which is, is a great and wonderful thing. But as I say you’re a conductor. So do you identify more as a conductor since you have been collecting longer? Or?

Brittney: 13:51
That is an interesting question. I think I still love conducting. I think I’m more so a composer first. Like if I were to like, rate them or rank them? I think the I think composition would be first.

Chaowen: 14:06
So we were talking about obstacles and barriers. Did you feel you had more frustrations in one field than the other? Or it’s just kind of overall?

Brittney: 14:19
I think it’s been overall I think it’s been like the same. Um, and I don’t know if frustration was the word. I think it was more insecure. Because back when I was trying to pursue this career, pursue music because back then I wasn’t, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do musically. I just knew that I loved music. I knew that I loved conducting I loved composition, but I wasn’t sure what the exact career would be. And so I was trying to kind of reach out to people and get guidance. And granted I do have like a few like mentors that were like staples, but it was like majority of people maybe that I did not know that I was having these interactions and conversations with who were like, Oh, you shouldn’t do this, or Oh, you, you shouldn’t look at composition, or you shouldn’t look at conducting because you are a woman. I was like, it was it was heavy, because it’s like, what do you do when the world is kind of telling you, maybe you shouldn’t pursue this. But you know, in your heart, you’re like, I love doing this, I love this. And I want it to be my, my pursuit of my purpose, I wanted to be my career. And so I think insecurity was like, at an all time high.

Brittney: 15:35
And, you know, I just, I was, you know, talking to you earlier about, like, kind of my three step mantra that thankfully, my parents kind of instilled in me, and it’s just prepare, pray, perform. Like I’ve been, I’ve been listening to that hearing that since I was a kid. And so I was able to kind of figure out what, what does that mean, as a young, young adult, okay? If something doesn’t work out for the planning, whether it’s school, whether it’s a job, okay, I may get the rejection. I mean, I get into the program I want, I mean, I get the job that I want, what’s the next step? And not giving up and just figuring out, okay, well, what’s the next thing? And then praying, you know, and I know, everyone is not, you know, religious or spiritual. But praying for me is more of like, centering and meditation, and just figuring out like, for myself, having conversations with myself, what do you really want? What do you really desire? What do you love to do, and just having that time for yourself is just so important. Like, yes, you can reach out and talk to your mentors, your friends. But ultimately, it’s going to be your decision about what you want to do, what you want to pursue, and having that time is just so important. And then performing, I mean, I think that was just always the height of it all, because I knew that I loved music. So whatever is happening, whenever you have a performance, just giving it your best, enjoying the moment, because you love music, and letting that speak for itself, letting your work letting your passion speak for itself. And so those three things have like really, really like been pillars in my pursuit and just trying to figure out this career in a career that is mostly dominated by men.

Chaowen: 17:24
I love that you say you received it from your parents. So I admire your parents for even just like teaching their kids this steps. It’s such a wonderful thing to prepare to pray and to perform. So when you are executing these steps, I’m just curious, how close are they in time do you do is as like, kind of do in a day? Or that kind of it’s just more like throughout the course of doing a project? Or do you have a routine that you go through list of things that are happening today, for example? And then you?

Brittney: 18:04
Um, so yes, and no, it can be an extended, like, I think I’m still kind of in the I’m still kind of in the performing stage, I would say, I think, you know, education, if I were to think about my course of education, that would be kind of the planning, you know, and then figuring out job wise, because I was working like 10 jobs at one time. And my friends were like, What are you doing? That’s kind of like, my meditation and trying to figure out what where do I want to be who, where and where do I want to kind of reside and work. But I think it could be extended, or it could be, you know, more concentrated, there were times that I would do it with like applications or for jobs or for school, and, you know, just clearly like read through everything, read through all the information, look at the faculty that are at the program, and kind of just sit with, you know, myself and just figure out like, hey, is this really where I want to apply, you know, and so it could be executed that way too. If you want to take it like one moment, or one job, or even a performance, like I kind of go through those steps too. And figuring out like the course of the year figuring out the course of the concert, you know, planning, you know, sitting with myself and then executing the day of the performance. So it could be applied to a number of a variety of situations.

Chaowen: 19:35
So I wanted to go back to something that you spoke about earlier, that you were being told by a lot of mentors or people around you that you couldn’t do this or you couldn’t do that you shouldn’t do that or you should consider something else. And I knew that you went to Spelman, which is a Historically Black College, and also you went to Westminister. Did the education, they’re very different, do you felt that you were more supported at an environment like Spelman?

Brittney: 20:08
Absolutely, absolutely. I mean, I mean, and it was interesting because I didn’t even want to go to Spelman again, my, my parents intervened and I was that kind of like all over High School, child and so they kind of really forced me to go. But I’m so glad that they made me go, I feel like I really found myself at Spelman. And if you know, anyone who is like a black professional who has gone to an HBCU is like the experience, it just doesn’t compare like we we get at these institutions, what is not offered anywhere else. Like we feel like we belong we are, we are loved, we are encouraged, we are supported, we are told that we are brilliant, and smart. And so by the time I graduated Spelman, I felt like I could take on the world, because I had so much support coming from that institution. And so, um, yeah, I mean, I felt equipped, I felt like I had all the right tools.

Brittney: 21:19
But again, it was just very different. Westminster, as you know, is a is more of a conservatory mindset. So everyone is so talented, and coming from all over the world. And so there was a lot of competition. And again, I don’t know if I’d really fed into any of that, but to just kind of see it, you know, and I was just like, Hmm, and so I think I kind of really just stayed to myself, I had my few close friends there. But it was very, very competitive, but rightfully so. So it’s just just different. But definitely I felt, I mean, Spelman will always be home.

Chaowen: 21:57
I love that. And I absolutely heard a similar experience, like from my Black or, People of Color friends that they felt so much more supported, and also included. Yeah, you belong to a place. While I figure, probably a lot of us won’t feel that we belong in a conservatory setting. Because as I say, it’s really competitive. And you’re always trying to get ahead, in essence, because you’re always competing with your colleagues and even competing for the teacher’s attention. I remember, when I first went to Conservatory, we had to fight to be more liked by our teacher, because we had a large conducting studio, there were 10 of us. So the more liked students will get a better piece to conduct. So why not? So you have to really try to do everything that the teacher asked of you, even though sometimes it might be unreasonable or unhealthy, mentally and physically, that you, you sacrifice a lot of things, your health and sleep and re all that. So with that, is that something that you will recommend to any young black? Not not necessarily musicians, but young black people to go through HBCU, if possible to get more supported? Or did you feel biggest? But like, so many years after you graduated, do you? And there are so many challenges after Spelman. Yeah, if we put this way, do you still feel that you were equiped? Well, or that experience still helped you so.

Brittney: 23:41
So I’ll say I feel like as far as the overall like nurturing of the, of the human, I guess, of the human side of who I am, it’s great for that the HBCU is great for that. I don’t necessarily know if it equipped me as much as I would have liked it to for the musical side. But I think I wouldn’t have done it any other way. Like, I know for me, or maybe the universe, and God knew I needed that foundation. First, the person, the woman who Brittany is I needed that solid first, before I can really enter the rest of the world and focus on music as a profession. So I would definitely encourage anyone, anyone in any field to start at an HBCU first and then go out into the world I would highly recommend five stars.

Chaowen: 24:40
500 stars if you could give

Brittney: 24:42
5 million stars would recommend

Chaowen: 24:47
That’s something interesting to hear because I was in an interview yesterday and I talked to two young girls who are not musicians but there they were in a class called Women in Music. So they were tasked to interview women musicians. So I was sharing that I read somewhere, a research that women going to same sex high schools are more likely to pursue a career in STEM field. So if you go to a girls high school, you’re more likely to be competent and confident in yourself.

Chaowen: 25:24
And the theory behind that was during your formative years, if you’re not always being judged, against your gender, that you don’t see me someone’s better at chemistry, because he is a boy, but someone is just better because like, she’s also a girl, then you feel more confident. And I felt maybe the same, it’s more women might have chosen the career of a conductor if they had been in a supportive environment, where they, I know that I went to a girls high school and there was a lot of nasty competitions. Teenage girls could be very mean. Yeah, but it’s like, there’s nothing we couldn’t do. As I felt when I graduate from high school without we could take on the world, we could be the president of the nation, who can be a pilot, if we want, we can be anything. So well, that’s something that’s really wonderful. And then I was wondering if you want to talk about your publish, publishing company that you started?

Brittney: 26:31
Yeah, yeah. So. So Klavia Press came out of maneuvering through these barriers of my career. Again, when I was like, trying to shut my music out, and not really getting a lot of interest, um, you know, I wanted to protect the music in some kind of way. So I was like, let me just start my own publishing company, not trying to make a lot of money not trying to be, you know, Eric Whitacre or anything like that. Just want to protect the music. So I started the company. And yeah, which is a thing I had on the site to kind of like, publish and sell the music. And then again, like 2019, 2020 hit, and it was like, oh, it’s it’s a fully functioning company now, like, we, we need to hire folks. This one woman operation is not. It’s a lot of work, I will say.

Brittney: 27:36
Yes, so um, yeah, that has been very interesting. But yeah, so it came out of, again, not feeling like I had an opportunity with a lot of these publishers. And what’s interesting now is that a lot of these publishers now are calling are asking for music. And I’m like, it’s just, it’s just kind of full circle. Because I don’t know if I ever saw that happening, either. For these publishers to come back and ask for music. So

Chaowen: 28:09
Congratulations! It’s such a wonderful thing. So do you see this side hustle? Do you have any plans to expand and to include more works by other composers? Or I know, it’s a lot of work, you may you might need to hire a lot of people. Yes, yes.

Brittney: 28:31
I mean, that that is the goal, ultimately. But again, it is a lot of work, it is a lot of work to manage, I would need like a staff in order to kind of make that happen. But I know. other composers have always reached out to see, you know, if it’s possible for them to publish with me. And I just, I don’t have the capacity to do that yet. But that is the goal eventually. So I’ve just kind of been trying to encourage those who do send music to me and then also share it with publishers who I’m in conversation with because you know, I’m always for bringing those other people with me like you know, it’s not about me and my journey it’s about also helping others and I think that’s what’s so exciting about a lot of women in our field a lot of people of color in our field because we’re not so we’re not so focused on the self it’s about expanding and and bringing others with us and I think that’s what I really just love about our field.

Chaowen: 29:36
Yeah, it’s definitely is. I know a lot of people are trying to get their music circulated or be being more, I don’t even know, it populated. I’m my English broke this way.

Brittney: 29:52
Like, no, I understand because people, people email me all the time. Like, how did you do this? And I always try to help people and like it literally started with a website, like, as long as people can find you and find your music, you can actually self publish yourself as well. And you don’t need like, you know, I’m like, where did we get like the whole? Uh, we need this publisher to feel like we’ve made it and we need this publisher to do all this stuff. How about you make 100% of what you sell? Because it is your music, this idea of the publishers giving us 10% or 7%. You’re not making any money. So I’m always supportive of those who want to pursue the self publishing journey. It is just about visibility. Do you have visibility on social media? Do you have a website? And yeah, can people find you and it’ll go from there?

Chaowen: 30:52
It’s so true. It’s not about being able to find you. So like, as you took this entrepreneurship journey I think you hit something that was really important kind of establishing your brand, in a sense, because you control how you are represented. As I asked at the beginning, you’re always B. E. Boykin, with the dot two dots.

Brittney: 31:17

Chaowen: 31:19
So can you maybe share a little bit about your experience? Like kind of how you started? Do you? Like, how did you know? Did someone tell you or you just realized that you need a website? And how do you fit out? Put yourself out there? Yeah, no,

Brittney: 31:33
it was literally me kind of figuring it out. I was on Google I was researching like publishing companies or like, I think I looked up a few self-publishers and what what were they doing and I saw that most of them just essentially had a website, they may have had also like a business address, P.O. Box or something and then like a business account, you know, at your local bank that way you’re not like mixing up your personal accounts with your business account. So those three things I realized were important in my research but yeah, and then of course, like forming an LLC you know, it’s you can file it in any state and have your own company and re register every year just making sure that your that your registrations current, but I think it’s like 40 or 50 bucks every year. And but yeah, those those main things to kind of have your own company I mean, I think it’s daunting it may sound daunting but the it’s really kind of easy. Like anybody can have their own company we you champion you can have your own publishing company like today. You could register right now or just Secretary of State.

Chaowen: 32:52
No, yeah, I was just thinking when you say that you made it sound so easy. Just for my LLC and you are a business owner.

Brittney: 33:01
Yeah, get you a business account and a business address. If you don’t want your mail coming to your your home. There you go. And a website you need a website to

Chaowen: 33:15
so the three steps again from Brittany, you need a website, a business account and the business address and you out. Off you go you’re good,

Brittney: 33:25
you’re good go ahead be self published.

Chaowen: 33:27
But I wanted to ask a question that I’ve been wanting to ask for the past few years as I got to know you, how do you manage your time and life and sanity? Because I knew you were so you were working maybe two jobs at one time and you’re writing so many different choirs managing different programs and and ensembles they are human beings they have they have needs different kinds of needs for the programs for the musicians and for your publication, career, publishing career and for your PhD study. How did you do that?

Brittney: 34:11
By the grace of God I honestly don’t know. Like, I people who know me know that I Yes, I was working like seven to 10 jobs. I was in school. I wasn’t working full time. And that that I think was the problem. Because I have a lifestyle that I wanted to maintain. I have like DSW shoe memberships that I wanted to maintain. So I said I was going to work 10 jobs to be able to buy my shoes and and put myself in schools. But it was very difficult. I mean, even now even though I’ve kind of cut down a lot of my work, and I’m only at Georgia Tech now. But I’m still like completely and workshopping and doing other things. I just tried to I have my Google Calendar, I don’t know if anyone else out there loves Google calendar I do because everything is synced to my phone. And I can just see everything. But I had literally have everything planned out, at least for the next six months. And I’d like to kind of see it on on a document like Google Calendar. But I just tried to be very organized.

Brittney: 35:27
And I know my mom, and she’s listening, she would be like she has never been organized. But now we are trying to be organized. So we are not overwhelmed. And we are not burned out. But I think also to your question. It is important to have time and days for yourself. So I have a lot of certain days, throughout my week. Because I also have a church job. So technically, I don’t really have weekends. So my weekends are during the week, and those days are allotted just for me. I don’t work, I don’t do anything. So it’s important to carve out time for yourself in order to manage if you have a very busy busy career. So yes, a lot of time. And like you said, when you’re working with ensembles, when you’re working with people, they have different needs. And I think it is difficult when you are stretching yourself thin and doing a lot. So again, I’m I’m just grateful that I have tailored everything down, I’m able to focus on Treble Choir at Tech, and I still have Atlanta Music Project. So those are like my two main ensembles.

Brittney: 36:40
And I think that has really helped me a lot physically because, again, when you’re working with different ensembles, and they have different needs, it can be a little exhausting, because you’re trying to switch every time you are in that rehearsal space or in that performance space because those ensembles are very different. Georgia Tech was very different from Spelman when I was at Spelman, and Spelman was very different from Agnes Scott. So it can just feel like you’re being stretched in all these different ways. And I’m a perfectionist, so like, it would just be a lot on me, mentally and emotionally. But, yeah, time management is going to be your friend, if you are going to do all of that. Definitely time management.

Chaowen: 37:27
Yeah, time management is one thing that I tell my students you really need to learn before you graduate from college, that would really be your best friend for the rest of your life. Yeah, as you say, like time management. So your time management skills, mostly is about planning things ahead. Correct?

Brittney: 37:45
Yeah. So you break them down into visible chunks, your calendar, visible chunks, like you said, colors, like I have colors for every every thing that you can think of I have colors, and they all I know what color means what and that has helped. Yeah, so but like you said, also being flexible when things don’t work out, like especially like if something comes up and being able to kind of just think of something else on the spot. The next thing, where do we go from here? Like that’s all part of it time management and how you handle how you maneuver your time.

Chaowen: 38:21
That’s excellent. And also, I really, I really relate to what you say about different ensembles, because I’m just learning now that I work with more ensembles regularly. And at first, I thought I would just repeat some of the repertoire so I don’t have to learn so many new pieces. Of course, I’m not repeating the entire program. So the major pieces are the same. But then what I’m learning is even with the same piece, with similar levels of ensembles, they respond very differently.

Brittney: 38:53

Chaowen: 38:53
So it’s mentally very tasking to be a licensee, like being creative and solve the problems on the spot. I have a problem that I’ve never had with five other ensembles. Now. It’s happening with this one.

Brittney: 39:10
Yeah, yes. Definitely. Always, always challenging because it’s like you didn’t anticipate it being a challenge. Or you’re like, oh, you know, I’ve done this piece so many times with other ensembles. It shouldn’t shouldn’t be a problem. And then it’s like something happens. You’re like, oh, I don’t think I ever foresaw that happening. Then, then what? And just being able to Yeah, figure out next steps are figuring out figuring out the solution. So it can be it can be taxing sometimes.

Chaowen: 39:42
So before we wrap up today’s conversation, I have just one last weird question. Yeah. And as you say that you have things broken down into pieces and you’ve blocked out time on your calendar. How do you deal with the feelings of wanting to procrastinate Need or sometimes, like I would do that I know I need to go study scores I or I need to figure out the audition excerpts, I just don’t feel like doing it. Encourage yourself.

Brittney: 40:15
So my encouragement always comes from coffee. I am a coffee lover and drinker. So whenever I have my coffee, I’m good to go. I am good to work. But I would also say, um, I battle procrastination by not working at home, I have to be either at a coffee shop or at my office. Because if I’m at home, I’m going to be on the couch, and I’m going to be watching Real Housewives of Atlanta. Like it’s just not, it’s not going to get done. So we, I think encouraging people to work outside of their comfort space, or their home is is an important part of that. And so yeah, so I drink coffee, and I like coffee shops. That is my my go to.

Chaowen: 41:02
I need to get all the recommended coffee shops in Atlanta from you.

Brittney: 41:06
I have so many, yes. I got you.

Chaowen: 41:09
Lovely. So thank you so much for all that you have shared. And please tell my listeners where they can find more about you. Like your website or your social media handles.

Brittney: 41:20
Yeah, sure. So I’m on Instagram, you can find me B. E. Boykin or at Klavia. And B. E. Boykin, you should be able to find me and then my website is beawakened.comm. And if you’re interested in the publishing company and looking at some of the catalog, you can go to Klavia press K L A V as in Victor, I A press.com.

Chaowen: 41:46
And don’t worry, we will put everything in the show notes. But thank you so much, again for joining me. Thank you. Thank you for having me. I hope you have enjoyed the conversation as much as I did. And it was one of my favorite interviews for the show. I’m so grateful for Brittany to share her 3P mantra: Prepare, Pray, and Perform. You don’t have to be religious to practice this process, as the second phase of pray was more about how you connect with yourself your inner voice. I also love the story of how she started publishing her own music, where she kind of find publishers interested in her works, which is something a lot of conductors do that we create our own ensembles if the world is not giving us any.

Chaowen: 42:42
Again, I hope you’re feeling pretty motivated and energized after listening. And as always, please share with any friends who you think might benefit from listening to our podcast. And don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review. It’s always much appreciated. I will see you next week at the same time, same place. Bye for now.