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My $150. Piano Lesson: Play What You Want To Hear

When I was starting out my music career, I wanted to accompany myself on the piano as I sang, and I wanted to do it well. 

My classical piano studies taught me a lot about technique and reading music…

How I Became Fashionably Unfashionable

When I was growing up on Vancouver Island, I loved to complain about my hand-me-down wardrobe. My parents were both artists, and they didn’t have much money. As a kid, I really didn’t care or even notice that my…

How to Book a Tour of Australia

For Agents, Managers, and Self Managed musicians: How To Book A Tour Of Australia 

By Nancy Ruth

Australia is a vast country with a lively music scene, well-equipped venues, enthusiastic audiences, and great travel infrastructure. It’s a fun…

Singing on Steroids

The show must go on. This phrase was drilled into my head as a kid when I was starting my career. I can honestly say that in my 30 years of touring I’ve never missed a show. That…

From Record Deal to Indie

In the music biz, we’re often conditioned to believe that a dream come true is getting the coveted ‘record deal.’ It suggests recognition and a leg up to greater success, which to me mostly means still getting to do

I Forgot to Have Kids

When people ask me why I didn’t have kids, I give them the closest answer to the truth I can find: ‘I forgot.’ 

When I was in my early twenties, I was sure I’d be a big success as a…

New Starts, New Works of Art


I’ve moved more times than I can count, and I just packed up and moved again. 

Since moving is so stressful and I’ve usually done it on my own, I’ve learned to live with fewer belongings. Sometimes when I…

The Art of Abandoning the List

Have you made a list today? I’ve always been a list maker. Writing my daily and weekly objectives helps me focus, and I like the little adrenaline jolt I feel when I cross off a task. Accomplished! Feels good. 

Pre-Show Madness!

When I was a child I wanted to be an astronaut. Growing up in the log house my father built on Canada’s West Coast, we didn’t watch TV, nor were there any neighborhood kids to play with. But the undistracted…

Paycheque To Paycheque?

Do you live ‘paycheque to paycheque’? 

As a musician with no job security, having a steady paycheque would be a luxury. Unless it sucked the life out of me. 

While in college I did a brief stint…