Welcome to Gaelynn Lea's monthly newsletter! 
Stay in touch with show updates, musical musings, and life happenings.
Happy New Year! This is the fourth edition of my monthly newsletter to keep friends, family & music fans in the loop about my upcoming shows and life happenings. Wishing you and yours a great start to 2016 ... Thanks for all your support, and keep in touch!
New Year, New Motto: Listen. Create. Share.
One of my favorite things has finally arrived: a New Year! A Clean Slate! A Fresh Start! Pondering and goal setting can happen every day you are alive, but it's fun to have a socially-accepted excuse to nerd out on visioning exercises and create goals for the upcoming year.

Although I do have a few New Year's Resolutions myself (do my devotionals every morning, get active for 20+ minutes a day, and take my vitamins), the thing I am most excited about this January are My 3 Words. This is a concept I learned about from entrepreneur and blogger  Chris Brogan . He encourages readers to "p ick any three words that will guide you in the choices you intend to make for 2016. They should be words that let you challenge yourself as to motives and decisions. They should be words that help you choose your actions wisely." This concept is a little less strict than New Year's Resolutions and more motivating because your 3 Words act as guideposts rather than hard and fast rules you can break (which I am great at doing). If you have an aversion to New Year's Resolutions, this could be a fun exercise for you! Anyway,  the words I chose for 2016 were:  Listen. Create. Share.

Listen:  To my body (eating and sleeping at regular times are not as easy to do as one might expect), to my spirit (recognizing when I need quiet time for prayer and reflection), to Paul (one word: marriage), to my friends (checking text messages while visiting with my friend is not really listening), to people who seem "different" than me (it's through suspending judgement and actually listening that we begin to realize our connections and similarities to each other, which is a step towards love), to the beautiful sounds of the Earth (when's the last time I really listened to a bird call?), and to my mind (paying attention to the fleeting thoughts that might someday morph into a song or an speech or a book, if I would only capture them on paper).

Create: More s pace (choosing my commitments wisely and leaving time for transitions and rest; blank space is fertile ground for the best things in life), music (obviously, but more on this later), a manuscript or a blog (I plan to write a book someday, but unfortunately I cannot just imagine this into existence), a healthier planet (in the face of climate change I am realizing that I am woefully under-educated about the health of our environment; I plan to seek out information about global warming this year... I also want to use the earth's resources conscientiously), more wealth through hard work and less waste (a dollar saved is two dollars earned), and more love, peace and trust (being present with others, practicing mindfulness, and doing devotionals). 

Share: My music (I believe our songs can help heal each other - but we have to share them first!), my time (being present and not over-scheduled means that my time spent serving and loving others will have more impact), my resources (wasting less on myself and in my business means that I can donate more to people and organizations who badly need resources), my experience (sometimes I forget how little the topic of disability is discussed in our culture; I plan to speak up more often this year when faced with inequality), my love (indeed, the world needs each of us to share love).
Music: Hatching Plots & Thinking Thoughts in 2016
Obviously at the New Year, there are lots of dreamers and artistic types writing about Their Big Plans for 2016. I am no exception, as I find myself asking what I want to accomplish this year regarding my relatively new full-time musical career. So I do in fact have some plans in place to keep myself moving forward. 

First, I want to spread my music to a wider audience this year. I recently sent 100 copies of my CD to a company called Tinderbox  to be mailed out to college rad io stations in several different states that I selected. Over the next couple months I will be following up with these stations and hopefully making more musical connections in other parts of the country.

Second, I am hiring an assistant specifically so that I can book more shows in town and on the road... They can help me with all sorts of things, including driving and gear set-up. I am hoping to book at least one two-week tour this summer so I can get an idea if touring is something I could handle more often. One challenge of being a performer with a disability is playing shows out of town... But with the proper support I do believe it is possible. 

Third, next summer I would like to record another solo album that would be released in October 2016; this time it would consist of live-looped Christmas carols. I just love playing  them and they work really well with a looping pedal. 

Fourth, I would like to improve as an artist by practicing more and hopefully taking some classical violin lessons to expand my skill-set (I haven't played classically in over a decade). I also want to write some new songs this year that I can sing at shows. 

Lastly, I plan to continue collaborating with Alan Sparhawk in our atmospheric alternative duo, The Murder of Crows He is very busy with his main band  LOW , but somehow we have managed to keep making music whenever time allows since we first met in 2011. Playing with him has taught me so much and allows me to connect with music in an entirely new and wonderful way. We just started recording again earlier this week... Hopefully we'll be able to share it with you soon! 

Old Time Music Beginners' Jam Starts January 12th!
Have you ever wanted to try learning old time tunes on an instrument you haven't quite mastered yet? Or dreamed of playing by ear rather than relying on sheet music? Then this is the jam for you! 

Starting on Tuesday, January 12th (and then once a month thereafter on the second Tuesday), my longtime friend Terrence Smith and I are hosting a Beginners Old Time Music Jam from 6-8pm on the 5th floor of the DeWitt-Seitz Building! 

You may recognize Terrence as the folk dance teacher in the schools or the Maypole and dance caller in the Duluth community... He's everywhere! And next week he'll be sharing his time and love of traditional music with us. So bring your tin whistle, fiddle, guitar, banjo, harmonica (whatever!) and learn tunes at a slow-down pace, in a non-judgmental atmosphere.

We're purposefully holding the jam at a non-public venue to help people of all skill levels and performance backgrounds feel comfortable. Both adults and children are welcome to participate... It should be a lot of fun! Still have questions? Call Gaelynn at 218-491-0574 or Terrence at 218-728-1428. Hope to see you there!
Thank You for Raising Over $200 in Donations for
Over the last several years, I have had the honor to get to know the amazing people who run the locally-based nonprofit organization PEACE*LOVE*HAITI; they are a small but mighty group of doctors and nurses who provide medical relief to the people of Haiti twice a year. 

In last month's newsletter, I wrote that I would be donating 50% of my December album sales to this wonderful nonprofit... I am excited to say that your support last month will result in sending them more than $200 that that will help fund their next trip to Haiti! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Want to learn more or get involved with PEACE*LOVE*HAITI? Check out their website! 
Upcoming Performances
Due to the busy-ness that was December, I didn't actively book any gigs in January... There are more coming in February and March, I promise! :)