I have known Michelle for a few years, before she was an accomplished, well-known local pianist. Michelle’s passion is music, and it becomes evident upon listening to the vast styles she can create. I was privileged to be at her concert at Steven Anderson beautiful home on Summit Avenue when she released the CD “Between Times”. I purchased the CD and listen to it often because it is such relaxing and peaceful music. The music is a lot like Michelle.
Michelle was generous to take time to talk to me in this interview and I am excited to introduce her to you on a deeper level. My intention through these interviews is to capture the soul of the entrepreneur and Michelle embodies that perfectly.
Katelyn Mariah: I have been impressed with how your career has taken off in what seems to be a short period of time. Can you tell me when music became a part of your life and what happened to line things up so perfectly for you to get you where you are right now?
Michelle Glaser: Well, I know that music became a part of my life in the womb. My mother loved music, and it’s proven that babies can hear what the mother hears or sings with her voice. As far as when my instrument, the piano, became a part of my life… I started piano lessons young, at 5 years old. I’m so grateful to my mother, because she wanted her children to have everything that she didn’t have growing up – coming from a small, Ohio farm. I was classically trained until I turned 18 and then left for college.
I spent the next 10 years learning a lot of life’s lessons. My piano playing stopped altogether, and I was just ‘going through the motions’. At the time I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted to be so I started working full-time in the administrative assistant field, and got married, way too young. Thankfully, that relationship ended, and a new Michelle emerged.
I bought my first digital piano to bring music back into my life, not realizing at the time how important that decision was. I was surprised to learn that because I hadn’t played for 10 years it was difficult to ‘sight-read’ sheet music. I just started making up my own music; improvising for hours. Music is healing in so many ways and creating music became my therapy. It’s also how I give my thanks and praise to God.
Seven years later, I met my soul mate. What a difference love makes! It changed my life to meet someone with the same spiritual beliefs. I love learning and growing with her on a daily basis. What knowledge she has shared with me! The first time I played the piano for her it made her cry. Because of the strong emotions the music evoked in her, we decided that we should bring the music to others so they could feel it too. My partner said, “Give it at least 6 months” and see what happens. So, we decided to give my dream of following my passion and doing what I love to do a chance.
After shopping around and doing the research, my partner, Rowan, found a place to record my first CD. We were ready to get my sales and exposure going. Now 2 years later, I have written 3 CDs of original music. I have toured the coffee shops; played some pubs; entertained at expos and shows; performed at churches; have been streamed live on internet radio; was interviewed in the Edge Magazine and I currently have intro music I wrote for them playing on their Blog Talk Radio show every Wednesday. (You will hear Michelle on the piano in the intro) My songs have been played on KFAI radio; and last fall I had my first television appearance on NBC KARE 11’s “Showcase Minnesota.”
Drive, dedication and determination were factors when it came to how things lined up for me; you know, ‘how bad do you want this?’ I believe in the Law of Attraction the ability to visualize what we want and can make it happen. Thoughts are very powerful and the universe is abundant and we have the capability to manifest anything we need.
KM: Can you talk a bit more in-depth about how you use the Law of Attraction in building your music business?
MG: Sure. The Law of Attraction simply says that you attract into your life whatever you think about. Your dominant thoughts will find a way to manifest. I continually see myself where I want to be, and believe that I will be there. I give positive affirmation that what I want to happen, happens. Words have power, but thoughts are very powerful too. It’s easy to fall into that trap of “I can’t do it.” If something that I need to accomplish seems challenging, it’s important to keep my thoughts positive and stay focused with the intention that I will succeed.
Just recently, for example, I submitted some of my music to an internet radio station. My New Age and Classical songs would compliment this particular station really well. My heart and soul were saying “this is where my music will be showcased.” I didn’t say or think “I wish my music could be played on this station.” It’s a matter of clearly defining what you want and stating it as if it will happen. And as it turns out, I just found today that Enlightened Piano.com would like to use three of my songs for airplay which go live in the next couple of weeks. I’m already using the Law of Attraction with your interview, Katelyn, and know that the right person will read this and hire me to compose some music for them!
I believe self-realization is an ongoing process and I’m thrilled with how far I’ve come and where I’m now, but I don’t settle. I am constantly exploring what makes me tick and what brings me the most joy? Recently I discovered that I would really love to be a film composer so I found some ads and people looking for original music, applied and got to write the score for the short film, “The Collective.” They’ve already asked me to write for their next film, which will be playing at the Saint Anthony main theater this Spring/Summer.
KM: Isn’t it amazing how quickly things line up when you are in alignment with your true self? As a visionary artist and an art therapist, myself, I totally understand how creating can be therapeutic and a way to express from a spiritual level. I know that you have done personal recordings for people, which I would assume are messages from their soul. Can you talk about the spiritual aspect of creating music a little more?
MG: “Why, yes. Last fall I was commissioned to compose a song for someone’s husband, which would be a surprise gift for their wedding anniversary. She gave me samples of music he enjoys, artists and composers names, and at first I tried to write a song that was similar to his tastes. She didn’t care for the first song idea I came up with so I went back to my keyboard and started from scratch. That is when it happened. I let go and the song wrote itself. I took myself ‘out of the way’, stopped trying, and a beautiful melody emerged, and all of the other instrumentation just fell into place. I thought, “Well, this doesn’t sound like what he usually listens to, does it?” But I kept-on with writing it, trusting that what was coming out of my hands, was supposed to be in this song. When the woman heard the final version of the song, she wept and told me that I must have channeled their soul song. The husband loved the song too. I feel so blessed to have had this experience with them. Click this link to learn more about Michelle’s custom work.
Composing music is my gift and I connect with music on a level that is connected to my soul. When people find their gift and use it for the greater good, I believe that spirit helps and guides them. Everyone has the ability to co-create with source. It’s a matter of learning how to tap into it. For me, it just comes naturally when my heart is wide open and I’m full of love. My whole goal is to compose music that reaches people on a soul level, to nourish their soul in the forms of joy, love or passion. I’m in ‘Zen’ when I play piano, and I think that energy, or what is coming from my hands onto the keys, is conveyed in the sounds I create and is able to be experienced by my listeners.”
KM: That is exactly what happens to me when I paint a soul portrait. It is like everything around me disappears and I am in a sacred space and what comes through is always perfect.
Do you have favorite composers or a favorite style of music? I know your music is a combination of styles, can you talk about that?
MG: Wonderfully said, Katelyn!
There are so many great artists out there and I’ve been influenced by all of them in one way or another. I don’t necessarily have one favorite style of music. As a teenager I listened to Level 42 a lot and their lyrics enchanted me because they spoke of things outside of the world I was growing up in. I love the way their melodies aren’t predictable. Mark King is incredible on bass, and Mike Lindup is a keyboard genius. Enigma is another love of mine because their music takes me to a higher vibration. My mp3 player has mostly up-tempo, dance music on it though because I wear it when I go walking and running. I also listen to it when I need to relax or focus. Funny thing, I don’t tend to put on slow, meditation music to feel more connected to the divine, although I love to create that on the keyboard.
My music indeed is a combination of styles. My first album “…and The Piano Fell in Love” was a collection of New Age and Classical music and that was how we decided to market my music at first. I had friends and colleagues who said that I should stick to one genre. I don’t understand why that has to be. Why limit yourself? “Between Time,” my second CD release, was recorded on a $150,000 Bosendorfer piano. Some of the songs were re-recorded for better sound quality and improved upon by adding beautiful cello accompaniments performed by Jacqueline Ultan, and written by Steve Yeager. Some of the songs on the CD were new compositions. I worked with producer Anthony J.W. Benson of injoi Music to create a professional and organic-sounding product. My third release “Dance, Trance and Romance” features dance, groove and electronica music. I guess I can’t contain my creativity to be molded into one market. I like the freedom of enjoying the process and getting different end results. There’s so much music I’ve recorded at my home studio that has not been released. I’m currently submitting that music to be licensed in FILM and TV.
I agree with Michelle, why is there a push to limit creative expression? It happens in music, art and in writing. I believe that authentic expression is unique to the artist and there should be no labels placed on it. I am excited that Michelle is listening to her inner voice rather than the voice of public opinion because I love what she is creating. I hope each of you get to hear her music in person someday soon but until that time here is a special creation for you to enjoy.
Here are what others are saying about Between Time:
“Between Time” is the only CD I play in my car. I take it everywhere.” – Carol R.
“My acupuncture & chiropractic patients enjoy relaxing to your CD, “Between Time.” – Cynthia S., D.C.
Listening to “Between Time” makes it easy to create in my drawing class” – Matt S.
“I could get lost in Michelle’s trance music all night long.” – Robert S.