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Dream & Scheme Sessions

Intensive Consulting Sessions for Creative Artists

A one-to-one offering designed to open doors & windows to your goals, unravel creative blocks, build infrastructure, and add ease & joy into your work life.

What It Is and How It Works

The Dream & Scheme Session is 60 minutes of deep-dive, super-focused, empathetic, strategic support for your creative business and/or your creative practice. You bring your ideas, questions, visions, and goals, and I offer my undivided attention combined with 25+ years of experience as a working artist, to help you find clarity and direction.

With life taking more and more time away from composing, I found myself in a professional rut. I was no longer working on the projects that sustained me creatively and professionally. Working with Alex was the boost I needed to start investing time in me. She gave me the courage and the confidence to put myself out there again. It’s not easy to do, and it helps to have someone like Alex in your corner.” — Michael Rickleton, Composer / Performer

Who It’s For

  • Full-time artists, part-time artists, and artists returning to their craft after time away.
  • Experienced artists, artists starting out, artists in the “messy middle.”
  • Self-employed artists who want to level up their creative business.
  • Artists who want to spend more time being creative and less time on administrative tasks.
  • Anyone who wants to find more alignment with their personal flavor of creativity.

A Safe, Supportive Space for Weird and Wonderful Folx Who Make Stuff

I pride myself on thorough and compassionate attention to your work and your goals. Whether you make music for orchestra or ocarina, are creating a store to sell your art, build physical or digital products, are starting a newsletter or podcast, or are funding a big project, I’m here to help you find your footing.

Alex has a very calm and kind presence, creating space for you to be vulnerable and open, enabling you to dig deep and uncover what matters to you. She really listens and then gently but firmly pushes you to realize your dreams. I came away with a much deeper sense of clarity and confidence in my own artistic vision and my capacity to implement it. I am deeply grateful to Alex for her guidance and wisdom. I highly recommend her to any musician looking to take their artistry and career to the next level.” — Jon Russell, Composer / Clarinetist

Creativity doesn’t end when the art is finished.
It can be infused into every part of your business.

The moving parts can look MANY different ways, and you can build something unique and wonderful that you and your community love!

Common Topics

The Big Picture

  • Aligning your creative offerings with your true self and your values
  • Getting unstuck
  • Building confidence
  • Learning to advocate for yourself
  • Work-life balance
  • Long-term planning

Systems Setup & Maintenance

  • Royalties (ASCAP/BMI)
  • Self-publishing
  • Contracts
  • Pricing
  • Organizing professional materials
  • Grant-seeking and preparation
  • General finance for the self-employed
  • Time management

Marketing & Communication

  • Website evaluation & feedback
  • Audience Development (aka Finding Your People)
  • Negotiation
  • Effective writing (emails, proposals, web copy, you-name-it)
  • Presentations and public speaking
  • Development & management of collaborative projects

I am so grateful to Alex for her deep insights on such a wide range of topics. She gave me a terrific kickstart in organizing and updating my website; she helped me value my own work as a business and create appropriate pricing; she coached me in connecting with those interested in learning about and performing my music. She was also excellent at thinking about commissioning options outside the usual suspects.  All of this has led to significant progress in these areas! Alex is organized in her approach, has excellent suggestions, and is useful and kind in her critiques. I highly recommend her!” — J.S.

Who I Am

Composer Alexandra Gardner portrait

With over 25 years of experience, my career as a successful independent composer spans various genres and collaborations. My portfolio includes commissioned works for major symphony orchestras, symphonic bands, professional chamber ensembles, solo performers, and electronic music projects. These compositions have often intersected with the worlds of dance, animation, and visual art, leading to diverse and dynamic creative partnerships. Participating in a vibrant community of artists is a source of inspiration and fulfillment for me.

My music has been performed across the U.S. and on international stages and has been featured on multiple albums. My schedule includes engagements with colleges, universities, and music festivals. I actively participate as a panelist for various competitions and granting organizations, leveraging my expertise to support emerging talent.

Beyond composing, I have also worked as an audio producer, writer, and educator for organizations like National Public Radio and New Music USA, where I’ve managed projects and people. My superpowers include troubleshooting, streamlining processes, and connecting individuals with valuable resources to enhance their professional lives.

After years “in the trenches,” I love helping artists navigate their careers in creative ways and do the work that lights them up!

Read more about me here.

It has been a joy to work with Alex! As a person shifting from the performer side of a performer/composer career to that of a composer, I needed coaching on how to put myself forward in a different capacity. Alex showed me how to organize my pre-existing scores and position them for maximum accessibility and usability, and helped me get started with a performing rights organization. She also helped me reimagine my website so it looks more composerly. I am so grateful for Alex’s richness as a composer and artist and a highly organized coach. Heather Bentley, Composer / Improviser / Violist

Dream & Scheme Session (60 minutes)

Sessions take place on Zoom.
(Phone meetings available by request.)
Schedule and pay by clicking the button below.

Fee: $150

“Working with Alex has been an absolute pleasure and one I can’t recommend highly enough! Because she is extremely knowledgeable and approachable, I felt comfortable asking for her advice on a variety of topics. I better understand how to continue developing my career and am more confident I can do so successfully.”Dave Molk, Composer / Producer