Musician Dana LaCroix is a rare and shining example of a performer that performs for the sake of building connection and providing joy for other people. She is also a long-time working musician who loves writing a good song but helping people access music and find freedom in singing is what makes her light up. Today, she talks with Lisa about what inspired her to first pick up a guitar, the challenges she faced in her journey along the path of making a full-time career out of music, and the role structure plays in her artistry. She also talks about her recent shows with Peter Yarrow, her work in the Better Angels organization and why she welcomes you to sing loud and proud with her any time.
[2:24] Dana was surrounded by music and musicians from an early age, and appreciated the way brought her family and friends of different ages and interests together.
[6:05] Despite their own limitations in career choices, Dana’s parents were supportive of her following a path of music as a career. They let her know it wouldn’t be easy, but with enough dedication there was a chance she could make it full time.
[9:01] The approach that works for Dana is one where she takes consistent baby steps towards her goal. She practices her craft by spending at least 1-3 hours a day on music and songwriting. She finds a life truth in her practice – the deeper you go, the more you realize all that you don’t know. This is true of any passion we are trying to master and the beauty of the journey. Whether it’s yoga, golf, photography, etc. we are never quite done learning.
[11:52] Dana speaks to the balancing act she does between her linear and prescribed approach to playing, versus the creative and expressive art of songwriting. She also enjoys sharing the creative process with her husband, and they are a true team between her ability to write and his ability to arrange and produce.
[22:46] Better Angels is a citizen’s movement to unify our nation, no matter what partisanship someone affiliates themselves among. They take conservations and liberals and teach skills on communicating effectively and respectfully, and how to demonstrate an individual point of view without arguing. Dana enjoys being part of this group, and was just featured at a recent show with Peter Yarrow as part of the organization.
[28:32] Dana started the Binghamton Children’s Choir as a way for children to learn and showcase their musical talent in front of the community. She uses her love of learning and observation to drop her preconceived notions and support the children as they gain confidence from using their voice.
[32:58] Bringing people together through music and singing provides Dana with much joy. She notices that we become almost childlike again, and welcomes all types of ability and skill level in her group singing sessions.
- “You can’t survive emotionally, nevermind financially, if you don’t love what you are doing in the arts.”
- “Music is a never-ending journey, and I’ve just taken a few steps along the way.”
- “To me, it is the biggest high to make people feel comfortable and confident in singing. It makes people more themselves.”
- “Creativity is important in any realm where you see someone that is successful and happy.”
- “If you want to learn, you have to admit you don’t know.”
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