Penny Forward Transcript: Pitching Possibilities Kevin Reeves’ Path in Production with I See Music

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 Pitching Possibilities Kevin Reeves’ Path in Production with I See Music

Welcome, listeners, to a brand new episode of the Penny Forward Podcast! We’re thrilled to have the remarkable Kevin Reeves with us today. Kevin, a dynamic individual with a passion for music, takes us on a journey through his fascinating life. From his experiences to the challenges he’s faced, Kevin opens up about the profound impact of music on his world. Join us as we explore his story, touching on the role of community, determination, and the exciting intersection of life and music. And yes, we’ll be diving into his connection with I See Music. Get ready for an engaging conversation!
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    Kevin: When you come home from a long day’s work and you turn on CSI, and you’re hearing all of that dialog, beautifully, brilliantly portrayed through your speakers while gun fire is going off, and people are running across a train platform, that is all very, very intense post production that is very costly, and requires a certain amount of expertise that not a lot of people have. And so, to say that that’s not a job that a blind person could potentially go into is woefully robbing people of an opportunity.


    Chris: This is the Penny Forward podcast, a show about blind people building bright futures one penny at a time. I’m Chris Peterson, …


    Liz: I’m Liz Bottner, …


    Chris: And MOe Carpenter is not able to be here this week, because she is traveling home from the Washington Council of the Blind state convention where she’s representing Penny Forward. Today we have on with us Kevin Reeves from I See Music. We’re gonna hear about Kevin, and his blindness, and I See Music, and how the company got started, what it offers, and what it does, and lots of other stuff. So, let’s just get started with that, shall we? Kevin, thanks for being here.


    Kevin: Oh, thank you very much for having me.


    Chris: Start off by telling us, if you would, about yourself and your blindness.


    Kevin: So, I’m totally blind since birth, and it was optic nerve atrophy. It’s not technically one that, when people talk about fixing the, uh, eye sight, this is pretty much one that is not fixable. And, you know, that’s okay by me, but it’s, you know, it’s optic nerve atrophy. I was told, you know, the optic nerve is like the size of a pencil, mine is the size of a pencil led.


    Liz: What is I See Music, and how and why did it get started?


    Kevin: I See Music is an online and in person training facility for blind students wanting to get into audio production. That includes recording, post, editing, mix master, and so we offer classes in Reaper, Pro tools, Logic, there are a couple of classes for sighted folks on the Studio 1 side of things I believe. It started for, for blind people, really, but I think as the mission statement increases, and Byron Harden kind of pushes the vision, it’s gonna try to be way more inclusive. To sighted, blind, uh, any kind of disability, you know, there’s been talks of incorporating some different things. We also get into, we’re eventually getting into, teaching music licensing. I think there is now a, a curriculum up on the web site for that. We have students and instructors from around the world. And some of us travel to Byron’s studio in Chicago where we teach hand over hand, we’re there, helping them set up equipment, and we are showing them the ropes of all of that stuff, and then there are other times, more often than not anymore, that is remote. And how it started was, I was at a, an NFB convention, and I got a call from Byron, and ended up speaking with him for like four or five hours that day in the hotel. I didn’t even go to any events. And he was looking for somebody to train him in Pro Tools. ’cause he had lost his sight for a second time. And so, he was working in Logic to record music, and he could no longer work in that space anymore because his eye sight became, you know, nonexistent again. And that’s a story all in and of itself. But um, he came to me wanting instruction, I taught him, and in that process, he said, “Look. I’m trying to set something up where we can provide a platform, uh, for, uh, folks to come in and get individualized training.” And he called it the M pep program. He, he had this desire to put something together where this was available. Because a lot of times, in audio production, especially if you’re going through college, you’re throne in a world where, um, it doesn’t matter if you know Windows and Jaws, and NVDA, and whatever it is. You’re getting thrown in a world where, maybe they’re completely all on macs and they’re running something completely unfamiliar like Pro tools. Well you have a million cards stacked against you, unfortunately. You’re learning an OS, you’re learning a screen reader, you’re learning the software, and you’re learning the physics of how to record. And, so, this, for a lot of students, took the guess work out, where they could get training before they get training, in a sense. Like we start them on the path of, “This is your OS, this is Voice Over, this is how we work in Pro Tools, this is what all of your sighted counterparts are gonna want you to know. This is what they’re gonna be looking at, and we’re giving you the exact non visual version of what they’re looking at. And so, we’ve been able to get folks into a Pro tools program, where they said, “We, we don’t even think blind people could possibly do this. I mean we, we don’t know how they could do it.” And then we get the student in there after we’ve trained them, and they’re like twenty-five chapters ahead of their entering students for that year. So, you know, that’s where it all kind of started was in the academic realm, where it was like “Well we need to get students prepared for full sale, or starting their own business, or whatever it is,” and as blind people, they’re kind of shut out in a way. If the, the staff of that school are not aware, they’ll just assume, “Well, blind people can’t really do this. I mean it’s so visual.” Which it is. Correct. But it’s also auditory. And so we’ve been able to do a lot of advocacy. We’re showing the work, by turning out folks who come into situations with sighted people, and those folks are now competing on the same level. Now it’s expanded into Windows, and Reaper, and, uh, Logic, and all the different things ’cause we realize now that we can do the remote thing and make it affordable, we’ve gotten just so many folks from different walks of life. There’s a gentleman that, that trained with us for just a couple of hours. And he came in and literally booked a brain pick session with me. It was like, “I just need, like, I don’t need a curriculum. I want like four or five hours, or whatever, to just pick your brain, see some things. I’m messing with this myself.” and so, we were able to level him up. And he had come out of, I believe, uh, Afghanistan. He was blinded in Afghanistan. We had another one who came out of Iraq I believe it was, and was blinded and they set him up with a studio and we trained him as well. and there’s just all kinds of folks. I, I trained like a thirteen-year-old genius prodigy. Derek had the opportunity to train Marcus Roberts, who is a very consummate, world class blind pianist. I mean the guy is just uh, something to behold. And he has a CV a mile long of people that he’s played with, and he has the respect of jazz musicians everywhere, and, and in our blind community as well, and Derek Lane had the pleasure of, of being able to work with him. So, that’s essentially kind of what we’re about, and there’s so much on the horizon as far as things that people are, are working on. I mean we’ve got Clarence Griffin in there, teaching DJ. I’m putting together an audio production and song writing curriculum, there’s just so many things that we can do, uh, that folks are, are interested in, in pursuing.


    Chris: You did a good job of talking about some of the students you’ve had, and maybe some of their successes along the way. I’m curious to know what some of the challenges were in getting I See Music started.


    Kevin: So, when Byron originally talked to me, he had this vision, and we would literally sit with, uh, one of his cousins who would help us design a curriculum. And, so the, the, the whole thing was hacked together, lovingly, with tape and twine at first. Like it was like, “Okay. So we’ve got a studio at Byron’s home, which is beautifully set up. We, you know, we’ve got, uh, this curriculum, he’s got ins with VR, and so he started working his magic. And we had a couple of students at first, and then there was some talk about a contract where, he had started in the, in the state of Illinois as a vender. And if you do anything in blind VR, you know all these weirdo buzz words like “are you a vender,” and, you know, all of this stuff that happens, and so he started there. And our first two students were from Illinois, and they were really interested in pushing through a bunch more students. So we were like making the plans. I had actually moved to Kalamazoo because it was closer to the train, because I knew that this is what was gonna happen. And Byron and I were very much talking about this. And a contract got yanked. I don’t know the ins and outs of this, but there was like, you know where you get personnel change in a VR, and then once personnel changes in a VR, it’s as if the one thing that you were doing before no longer exists? Or “Oops, we forgot about that,” or, “No, we don’t want to do that anymore.” That’s essentially what had happened, and so there was like, almost two years that, that we saw nothing. Music is not just some blindy hobby. And the problem in our community is that, you know, there’s this unfortunate thing that happens with blind musicians and blind audio engineers, that folks kind of get relegated to this idea that, “Well, I’m obviously good at hearing things. So, I should go do audio.” Whether or not someone even has an aptitude or a want to do that. They feel like, “Well, this is pretty much all I can do,” and so what ends up happening, is it becomes this, kind of, we, you know. People joke about the whole like, you know, blind guy in a mom’s basement, editing audio, And unfortunately, with that whole thing comes VR being influenced by part of that, part of that culture, and that’s what they think they’re funding. “Am I really gonna fund a blind person in a basement making music? How does that even get jobs?” Because that’s what they’re seeing. Like look, when you come home from a long days work and you turn on CSI, and you’re hearing all of that dialog, beautifully, brilliantly portrayed through your speakers while gun fire is going off. And people are running across a train platform. That is all very, very intense post production. That is very costly and requires a certain amount of expertise that not a lot of people have. And so, to say that that’s not a job that a blind person could potentially go into, is woefully robbing people of an opportunity. You know, ’cause I think the problem with music and art is that we have sensationalized it. That, “Oh, so, Kevin Reeves, blind musician, uh, what are you gonna do? Go on The Voice and be a star.” Right? That is literally the, the, the unfortunate mentality that a lot of blind folks end up with. When a lot of us really want to be serious purveyors of our craft and serious business people. Uh, when it comes to audio production. I don’t care if you’re making beats, with Dr. Dre. that, (Chuckle.) They are a business, and they are a large business. JZ said it best. “I’m not a businessman. I’m a business man.” And so, what we’ve been trying to portray to a lot of these folks is that, you know, the arts is vibrant, and what we expect out of our students is that they have to be able to put in the work. Because we get them to full sale or we get them past learning Pro Tools or Reaper or whatever, and we get them into their small business. It’s up to them to go get those things and, and we have to instill that in them. And Byron has a whole course on that that he does for a lot of these folks. And so, music for a blind person is not just some custodial Stevie Wonder shake your head back and forth, kind of, subculture. It’s people who are very serious. I mean, you look at guys like Malik or, um, you know, guys like Raul Midon, I mean, we could, the list goes on and on. These are people that, whether they’re known or not, they’ve, they’re very serious people. They’re very serious about their craft. Um, and sometimes that’s what happens with the disability community is, we don’t get taken seriously. It becomes infantilized. Like, “Let’s cry because the, the blind guy played Star Spangled Banner on piano and I’m gonna cry in my coffee and say that blind people can do everything, but we’ll still deny them jobs.” Right? So, it’s that whole thing, that we, we’re trying to as, as musicians and business people and audio production guys, to really kind of say, “No. This is not what this is. This, we are, we are serious about what we do and we are serious about showing others that they can, and go out and get those opportunities as well.” And so, that has  really been the challenge a lot of times is perception.


    Chris: It’s surprising to me, because music and audio is, as you pointed out, it’s in TV shows. It’s in all kinds of different productions, but it’s also in advertising, it’s in education, it’s, it’s all over the place.


    Kevin: Yup. You’re absolutely right.


    Liz: I think, though, that just goes to show that, you know, misconceptions, they exist everywhere. Music is no different, right?


    Kevin: Yeah. It’s a struggle for a guy like me, because I get it from both sides. I mean, when I tell people, especially in certain blindness circles, certain very serious blindness circles, that I’m a full time musician, the judgment comes, creeps in. There’s judgment creeping there. Like, “Oh really. Well, so, like, the disabled musician kind of thing?” I mean because that’s, that’s what gets assumed by other blind people too. And what they don’t know is that they’re talking to a guy that is as anti-inspiration porn as you can get. And I don’t take myself very seriously, but I take my art very seriously and I take the way it impacts other people very seriously. And so we get it on that side, and then we get it on the sighted side, where it’s like, “Well, shouldn’t you be wearing glasses and playing uh, how, how do you only know one Ronnie Milsap song?” Right? So, these are things that are very common. In our world. And it is an unfortunate thing about perception, and that’s what we try to do at I See Music, where, you know, we’re linking, like, blind and sighted engineers, and blind and sighted people to collab, and, we’re non-custodial about the whole thing. It’s a, it’s about inspiring one another, without all the inspiration porn. It’s about inspiring one another because that person is inspiring whether they’re blind or not. We are all inspiring to someone, and, you know, a lot of what I teach in my classes when I teach audio engineering is that your job is not to push buttons, and make the things sound good, your job is to honor the art of the person that’s sitting at the other side of that table, or the other side of that zoom call. The person that’s clicking “send” on those payments to you. You have to honor those people. What is it that they’re trying to do? We, we always try to do these things by just, like elevating further than what it is, the thing that it is we’re doing. So, especially in the blind perception realm of things.


    Chris: I really try not to rant when we do these, but I hope that there are VR counselors listening to this episode, and this is a theme that goes across many episodes that we’ve done with people in different professions. George Wurtzel, the Subaru guy, when he was on, said, “You know, there’s nothing wrong with raising chickens. And selling eggs. If that makes you a living, that’s not something we should look down on, ’cause we all eat eggs,” or most of us do. I just met someone that doesn’t like eggs, but does like bacon, if you can imagine that.


    Kevin: Okay.


    Chris: Um, and uh, when we had Peggy Chong the blind history lady on, she said the same kind of thing, that door to door sales people, and other, you know, piano tuners, and  uh, other, uh, kind of stereotypical blind professions, these people put their kids through college. Uh, they kept their families fed, and kept a roof over them, and sometimes, you know, gave them a pretty good life. So, I don’t think that any of us should be looking down on any kind of a profession that somebody wants to do. There are blind diesel mechanics out there, and there’s a lot of vehicles that run on diesel, that need those diesel mechanics, or we wouldn’t be getting our Amazon packages. And by the way, there are blind people that are working at Amazon, loading those packages on to trucks.  Or delivering those packages off the trucks. So, you know, VR Counselors, come on. You’ve got to, you’ve got to really think big here. There’s a lot of blind people that you could be putting into jobs, that maybe you’re just assuming a blind person can’t do that job when that’s really what they’re best suited to do. And it’s doing all of us a disservice, uh, and particularly you, when placing people in jobs is, is really your job. So, I hope you’re taking this to heart. And I’m getting off my soap box now. Liz, you have another question?


    Liz: I do, but I just want to kind of continue, on, with my soap box on that, and just add to what’s been said, and agree that yes, if you get a, a client that comes to you and says, “I would like to pursue XYZ thing,” your job is to figure out how to help that person pursue X Y or Z thing. If they don’t know, then your job is to help them figure that out, but that does not mean push A, B or C down their throat, if they’re saying to you, “That’s not really what I want.” Helping them to, to get a job, and figure out what they might want to do, takes both parties. It’s not just one sided, but absolutely. If someone comes to you and says, “You know what, I’d like to, you know, raise chickens.” You know what? Your job is to help them figure out how to do that.


    Kevin: Yup. And you know, I’ve always thought, we play at this game of job simulation sometimes. Where we say, “Well, there’s like a work experience thing here, maybe you can go do that, see what you think.” I think somebody should set up a facility for the blind, that is literally every work environment you could imagine. So in my home town of Traverse City Michigan, there’s a place called the Career Tech Center. And in this building, there are like, nine or ten or eleven different trades. And so the students can sign up in high school, they say, “Oh, I’m gonna go into daycare.” And there’s a daycare thing they can do. They can do a flower shop. They can do a restaurant, do wait staff. Uh, work on cars. Work on, uh, houses. Things like this, and it’s part of their credits. Um, blind people need this, not for credits, but , there are so many blind people, you look at them and you go, “What are you good at?” “I don’t know.” And then they go out into the real world, and they feel helpless and they feel lost. So why not have a facility, that you go through, and it’s like VR funded, and you go through these different weeks, and if you don’t know what you want, you do, you get a chance to do every single thing. And it’s an adventure, so you do, like data entry. And you realize, immediately, “This is not my thing. I, I don’t understand a thing about this.” And you do it for a day, or you do it for whatever, and you get assessed. I don’t know how any of this works, I’m just an ideas guy. Then you go into food service. You learn how to serve popcorn and cokes and whatever, we, all the non visual ways of doing this. The non visual ways of doing customer service over the phone if that’s what you want to do. Maybe you’re really good, at, serving customers coffee. As a blind person. What if that gives you joy? And you didn’t know that you were good at that ’cause nobody let you? Nobody’d come up with some kind of non visual way for you to do it? So we’d teach the people that they can, that’s the kind of non profit someone needs to start. That’d be brilliant. And I’m, now I’m off my soap box.


    Chris: (with a chuckle:) It absolutely, it absolutely would be brilliant, and uh, I predict that this is gonna be one of our most popular, and engaging episodes. So, you know, go and, uh, go on to

    throw your comments in here, send us emails,

    [email protected]

    give us a phone call, 888-332-5558,if you’ve got something to say related to this, we’ll get you on, we’ll get your writing out there, we’ll get your voice out there if you’ve got ideas, um, you know, just let us know. ’cause this is part of what we’re all about.


    Liz: Can you share with us, Kevin, some take-aways, and/or some lessons learned?


    Kevin: Well, the lesson that I could see from Byron is that you have got to be persistent. Because, this thing had multiple potentials to fail. I mean, we went for a, quite a dry spell because of a contract. And a, you know, whole thing with VR, and the way that that worked and, and, it was literally a loss of a bunch of potential work, and so that could have failed the thing. And Byron said no. And I’ve learned more from watching him than anything else. Like, I am my own worst enemy in my own life and my own business, because I take everything personally and I overthink and I’m neurotic, and I’m all of these things that I know to be true about what, have a lot of  these characteristics that are very hard to manage when trying to start, maintain, grow, do whatever with a business. And so to watch Byron, who at least portrays not letting anything get him down, you can say, “All right, look. If he can do that, and deal with all of these VR folks, and, like these different states, and, and getting all of this going, and, and being able to build from something that could have almost failed, what is that cold call that I can make to that client to try to get a thing for my own work?” I can watch Byron and learn from working with these students at I See Music and then I can take and apply it to other things. And I think really that what I’ve learned is that you cannot quit. Like, you just cannot quit. And literally, I’m saying this from the perspective of a guy who could wake up tomorrow, and have that inkling to sell everything and throw in the towel. It’s that easy. It’s that easy to get into that space, and I think the problem with motivational speaking is, we, we get these guys that are like way up on a mountain top with like, you know, “I have three million dollars in investments, and um, I’m doing all these things, and you just can’t quit, Son. You just got to buck up, Son.” I’d rather hear that from the guy that almost quit yesterday. You know what I mean? And so, I’m the guy that almost quit yesterday. I’m the guy that almost quit two days ago. Whatever it is. Very easy to give up. And you can’t. And we haven’t. I mean the fact that I’m sitting here talking with a studio full of gear,, and still doing this is because I haven’t. And I may not be where I want to be yet, we’re working on it, but if I feel like some days, I wake up and go, “Man, I should just give this whole thing up because I’m not where I, I’m not where I think I want to be.” I have to think back to like, all the other days that I said that and didn’t do it. And it’s really, really that simple. It’s like the one foot in front of the other foot, in front of the other foot. And Byron has gone through hell and back with this, and it is a costly, costly venture. Um, and he has put his neck on the line more times than I can even think, to make sure that he and, and us, are working and, and being able to, to do the thing, and he has not given up. And that’s the thing that, that I learned from our great overlord, Mr. Byron Harden.


    Chris: And I’m sure that he is very proud of the way that you’re representing I See Music when you’re talking about it, and talking about him. And uh, our next question on the script was gonna be, “What advice do you have for listeners who either want to go into music or want to start their own businesses. You started talking about that already, but what else you got?


    Kevin: So, obviously you can’t quit. I’m gonna say this. I’m gonna get real personal. If you have mental health problems, and this is coming from somebody who has many of them. My advice is to surround yourself with the people who are going to push you to do the thing. I’m surrounded by people that believe in me more than me. How do you get people that believe in you more than you? It’s, it’s surrounding yourself with people who love you. Even if you raise chickens, they believe in you more than you believe in you. They believe in your chickens more than you do. They believe in your music more than you do. And they remind you all the time. Like, don’t forget, most of mental health, when it comes to this stuff, is being reminded what you have and who you are. What is in your, have hand, and not in your, want hand. That’s a good one I learned from JP Williams. Surround yourself with the people who love you, or, you are likely to quit. Liz, when you moved states, and I remember you talking on Clubhouse about all the things you were doing, and “Oh, I’ve got to set up a apartment and things,” and I’m sure that in that process, you did not do that by yourself. Now you may have done a bunch of it on your own, as a blind individual or whatever, but spiritually and mentally, and whatever, you weren’t doing that by yourself. There were people around you. Whether they were helping you pack a box or reading something to you, or just being there on the phone saying, “If you need anything, I’m, I know moving sucks.”


    Liz: Yes.


    Kevin: So that’s the whole thing is like, if you’re doing it alone, without the people who love you, you’re doing it alone. And I know we, you know, this sounds so hippie dippie cliche, but I’m telling you. What the pandemic taught us, and it’s a sense of community. I mean clubhouse is an absolute accessibility dumpster fire. It’s worthless and a bunch of us have abandoned the product. But when clubhouse was at its peak was when we were teaching each other that we needed each other. Whether we were talking about business, whether we were talking about, “How do I get my Jaws to work,” or, “How do I play that song,” we were all doing that during the pandemic when people were shut in. And we realized that we needed each other, and that doesn’t change, and so now it’s, we really hit this mental health thing, because without that, you can’t run a business. Or you can’t do a thing. And so, I know this to be true, and so I have to work on it every single day.


    Chris: I just thought of a question while you were talking about that. And it sort of goes like this. What do you say to the people that say, “I’m not gonna ever make enough money being like a live musician and doing a hundred dollars a night in shows?” Or, “I’m not gonna be able to ever make enough money for it to be worth it for me to sell my knitting? Or to raise my chickens or …” We keep talking about chickens. Let’s talk about goats for a second.


    Kevin: Sure.


    Chris: What about the people that say, “You know, I really love raising goats, but it’s just too expensive. There’s no way I can make enough money to make a living off of this.” What do you say to those people in those moments where it’s really hard, and maybe you’re, you’re making something, but it’s not much?


    Kevin: So, let me tell you where my struggle is. I, I do the teaching, and I do the corporate musician thing fairly well. Like, being able to sell myself, uh, to say, “Hey. We’re gonna come in, we’re gonna entertain your guests, whether it’s my duo, uh, partner Sandy and I, or whether it’s me by myself, or my partners in doing dueling pianos, or whatever it is. We’re gonna come in and play songs for you, we’re gonna come in and play ‘YMCA, and ‘Never Gonna Give You Up,’ and whatever it is that your audience wants to hear,” and because we’re coming in very professional, and in suits, and things like this, we can demand a certain price for it. Right? And we’re okay with that. Where I’m not okay, is in all of my original artistic work, I made 18 dollars every three months off of CD Baby. There are so many days where I’m like, “I don’t even care if I make another record because I don’t think I can make this work.” So what you’re asking me to talk about is literally something that I’m talking about with myself, and the people around me on a daily basis ’cause I’m starting to pivot my career, into some other things, that are going to include more original music. But I’ve not been able to make original music work for me. At all. And, so, I, I literally, the question you just asked, is a question that I just asked somebody a couple days ago, about booking coffee shop gigs. Because I’m like, “How do you do, how do you even make that work? Because I don’t understand. Like, my brain says, If you’re gonna hire me into a coffee shop, and you don’t know who I am, and I’m gonna play my unknown original music, you don’t really have, I don’t have the right to demand that much money from you. Because you don’t know what you’re getting. If I’m playing ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ in a bar, or for two hundred business people at a resort, they know what they’re getting and they know what they paid, pretty high price for.” So, I literally have this conversation, and end up in the depths of doldrums on it a lot, in this household, at this moment. It is, that is a struggle with me. I do not understand, quite yet, where I fit as a writing, performing, musician that performs music that nobody knows. Yet. So, it really goes back to the company you keep. Sometimes, part of this is failing up. And so, I’m learning in this time of my life that we’re gonna throw something against the wall today, and we’re gonna enjoy the journey, and we are not going to worry about if that journey comes back unrequited. Because then we’ve added something to our lexicon of things that we know how to do that we didn’t before. My, the problem was, I was waiting for results all the time. You almost have to go into this knowing that maybe you can’t make enough money right now. But knowing, like, what is the end result? What can I make money doing, right now, while I’m doing the other thing? And  that’s hard for blind people a lot. I mean we’ve got, you know, wonderful things like Fable and Audio Eye and things like this where folks are being hired to do testing, accessibility things, and it’s starting to open up, but we’re not quite there yet. And, and I think once more blind people are able to find a gainful remote set of employment for a lot of folks, especially those who are shut in in rural areas where they can’t get anywhere, I was one of them, maybe they can start to look at, “Well, okay, now that we’ve got the bills worked out at least for most of the part, we can now move on to, “What is the thing that we really, that makes us tick?” ’cause sometimes if we’re trying to figure out the thing that makes us live, we’re not doing the thing that makes us tick. Trust me, I’ve been doing that for a couple months. All of these things are struggles for all of us. And, and so, it really is trying to enjoy the adventure, trying to figure out what parts of this journey we can be grateful for; knowing that there are challenges, and then surrounding ourselves with people that are willing to take that with us, and help at least bear some of the burden. Maybe, it’s emotionally or spiritually or sometimes people are lucky to help you monetarily or, or, transportationly or, you know, whatever it is.


    Liz: Kevin, in sharing with us what you have about I See Music, is there anything that we have not asked you that we should know?


    Kevin: I just bought a, a very rare instrument that I will be starting to do some instructional videos on once I get it. It’s being made.


    Liz: What is it?


    Kevin: It’s called a harpejji. It’s a stringed instrument that you press down on the strings like a piano. And, we’ve got some branding things in the works, um, I’ve been talking to some folks who have been suggesting that I try to do a little bit of leg work to try to get a suite at the convention next year, to where I can provide a place for people to come in and play this instrument, and make an appointment, play, and enjoy the instrument, and do a little, you know, networking or whatever, and, and try to just do it to kind of bolster who I am as a, as a musician and as a, a community member, and, you know, trying to, um, maybe do a little bit of work for this company and make them, you know, sell them some instruments. Who knows? We’re just trying some things.


    Chris: Wow, that’s really cool. So, we’re out of time. Actually we’re way over time, but how can people get in touch with you or with I See Music or with you personally, whatever you want?


    Kevin: You can go to my link tree, at

    For, on the I See Music front, what you want to do is go to

    if you are interested in becoming a client of ours, I’m not the guy you want to talk to. The guy you want to talk to’s named Byron Harden. The phone number’s on the web site, the E-mail address is on the web site,

    it’s I S E E music, dot org, …


    Chris: And then for the spelling challenged, like me, spell

    too, would you?


    Kevin: K E V I N, R E E V E S, dot net. So, K E V I N, R E E V as in Victor, E S, dot net.


    Chris: All right. Well thank you, Kevin, for being here, it’s been really fun, and you’ve had some great advice to share.


    Kevin: I appreciate this time, and, and thank you guys so much. Can’t wait to hear the episode.


    Chris: The Penny Forward podcast is produced by Chris Peterson and Liz Bottner. With assistance from MOe Carpenter, who’s not here today, audio editing and post production is provided by Brynn Lee at

    transcription is provided by Anne Verduin, and the music is composed and performed by Andre Louis. All of those people are blind. Penny Forward is a nonprofit organization founded and led by blind people. Through education, mentoring, and mutual support, we help blind people to navigate the complicated landscape of personal finance. We do that through our web site and our app, both of which are called Penny Forward. The web site is

    and the app is just called “Penny Forward,” and it’s available for IOS and Android through the app store of your choice. Check either one of those out to access our self-paced online financial education courses, our weekly members only group chats, our monthly members meet-ups, we do like alliteration at Penny Forward, and our one to one financial counseling and education. As well as much, much more. Again, the app is called Penny Forward, and the web site is

    and you can always reach us by E-mail too, by E-mailing

    [email protected]

    Now, for all of us in the Penny Forward community, I’m Chris Peterson, …


    Liz: I’m Liz Bottner, …


    Chris: And we hope that you have a great couple of weeks and thank you for listening.


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