My Story

After 12 years with a Silicon Valley marketing consultancy, I was going nowhere in my career, and 110% burnt out. I took this opportunity to switch to freelance with my employer, and try and find out what I was put here on earth to do.

Once I was on my own, I knew that the best parts of my old job were the mentoring, coaching and teaching I was able to do. So, I started moving towards teaching. I also knew that the thing I knew the most about was drums, so I started there. It turned out that music—both teaching and performing—is what I was put here to do.  Easy to see in hindsight, but at first, I just kinda backed into it.

It took me a while to be OK with this idea because it seemed irresponsible or crazy to be a performing musician at my age (I was older then, I’m younger now ;). But I did come around to it when I experienced what I call ‘flow’ moments playing and teaching drums, and other moments of just absolute bliss.

I also wanted to be a good example for my daughter (remembering that kids won’t do what you tell them, they will do what you do). So, this is very much for her as well as me. I want her to witness someone close to her doing what they were born to do; someone following their passion, going after what ignites them.

As I took on more teaching work, I learned that I am not your average teacher—I crave variety. Private lessons and groups; typical folks and those with disabilities; modern styles and traditional drumming; young kids as well as teens and adults.

This variety helped me identify my unique teaching processes (music first, performance coaching, listening process). I also learned what was unique about me as a performer (song drummer, tone merchant, that Southern ‘grease’).

So, as you can see, I love teaching, mentoring and empowering others. Collaborating and being creative come naturally to me. I love performing and I’m a bit of a ham—don’t hand me the mic unless you’re OK with not getting it back for a while. And lastly, I do all of this with a sense of humor (life is too serious to not be taken with humor).

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2 comments on “My Story
  1. Kelly (Chris' friend) says:

    Love what you wrote!! Your path has mirrored mine a bit. Wouldn’t it be cool to bring other artists to collaborate on a performance? a few years ago my dancer friend was in one I got to see, called “One Vision”. Fantastic. Haven’t gotten the idea out of my head. It included an image (Painting/sculpture…), a poetic response, a musical response, and (dance/movement) choreographed. Not necessarily in that order. Varied orders, but each one created a response, they were critiqued, reworked, practiced for weeks, then performed, involving people all ages, abilities and raised $$$ for more art opportunities…. . . . I suppose the whole thing could revolve around a theme.

    Nice to hear that your blissness is also your business : )

    • mlyonscavazos@gmail.com says:

      Hey Kelly, thanks for the nice words. I love that collaboration idea–cool! I remember seeing someone do something similar on an ‘art appreciation’ level. They were showing the connection between the cubists in painting and bebop jazz–it was very interesting and cool.