Cheryl B. Engelhardt
Quarantine Diaries: Cheryl B. Engelhardt Is Mixing A Virtual Choir Project, Talking How Her New Music Combats Anxiety & More
As the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, the Recording Academy reached out to a few musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors. Today, composer, artist, and music biz coach Cheryl B. Engelhardt shares her Quarantine Diary. Her new piano/ambient album Luminary, is out now.
[7 a.m.] I usually wake up around this time and do NOT check my phone. Who needs bad memes and trolls to cloud their morning? I like my trolls in the evenings after a nice glass of Chardonnay, thankyouverymuch. But I digress. I brush my teeth and head straight to my little workout space (aka a furnitureless room and two 5-lb weights) where I do a minimum of five minutes of yoga and meditation (I’m on my 820th consecutive day!) as I shamelessly listen to my own New Age album, Luminary and write in the companion journal. The music calms all the little hamsters running around in my head without making me fall back asleep.
[8 a.m.] By now I’ve either done some morning reading (currently it’s Elizabeth Gilbert and Ibram X. Kendi) or I hit the river for a quick paddle. Today, we paddle. Enzo is usually in tow either way.
[9 a.m.] Now it’s go-time. I sip coffee while I reply to emails and post something about music, Enzo, or my new water sport obsession. (Fun fact: I used to SCUBA dive for the United States Geological Survey doing water quality research. Random, I know. That was after my bouncer job, before my film scoring gig for College Humor. Don’t judge.)
[11 a.m.] Today, pre-lunch, I’m mixing the audio of singers who have virtually recorded themselves performing my choral piece, “The Listening”. I was asked to compose this song three years ago by the social justice choir I participate in, Voices 21C. The text is inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1967 speech, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence”. Earlier this summer, several choirs who have performed the song over the years reached out to see if they could do a virtual recording, as the music and lyrics are so timely. And, in an amazing turn of events, MLK’s goddaughter, actress and activist, Donzaleigh Abernathy, is singing one of the solos!
[3 p.m.] I schedule my “appearances” (aka zoom calls where I need to not look like a zombie) for the afternoon. Today, I’ll do a podcast episode about creating New Age music to combat anxiety, then hop on a zoom call with my assistant Robin to talk about the best way to wrap up the week.
[5 p.m.] Throughout the month, I have regular zoom meetings (omg you too?) with my Amplify community - a monthly coaching membership I created for indie musicians (and Enzo) that’s centered around goal-setting (and goal-getting), powerful communication, and accountability. Today, we have our live Q&A session (AmpliFive @ Five). We cover topics from emotional blocks to monetizing shows to the best way to pitch a licensing agent and track it all on a big BINGO card. We share recent successes and declare what actions we will take to continue to level up our careers. It’s super fun and always gets me jazzed up to work on my own music, as well as be a cheerleader for these motivated musicians.
[6 p.m.] I like a glass of wine when it’s still light out to signal that the day is transitioning to a close. (And no, I never go back and check on those trolls, despite the Chardonnay in hand.) Afterward, I’ll schedule my day for tomorrow. And yes, I schedule when I’m going to schedule my day.
[8:30 p.m.] This is usually “couch time” with my hubby and pup. We love to dig into a TV series. Right now it’s “The Last Dance”. Afterward, I read in bed for a bit following a quick bath (Pisces much?). The last thing I do before I close my eyes is say my big goal out loud as if it has already happened. I let my sleep brain do the rest!