Parents in business: Robert of Ted’s List

Robert Emery is the founder of Ted’s List, the go-to community for advice or reviews on anything related to music & instruments. All articles are written by world-class professionals in their field, meaning there is no other platform like Ted’s List. They have a roster of writers that include players in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra to name but a few.

Ted’s List covers all instruments, from Electric Guitar through to Violin and Clarinet. Each instrument has a set of dedicated help articles, giving instructional advice on how to play the instrument, and how to improve. There are also informative reviews based on specific instruments, to help the musician choose the best instrument for them. Read on to find out more about Robert’s business journey and how his family inspired his business.

I have a wife and two children, Teddy is 6 and Atticus is 2 – I love them all very much. Teddy loves music, I conduct film music and he loves coming to those concerts. Atticus even though he is a bit younger, still has a massive appreciation for it.

So, before my business idea I was a standard musician, and conductor, working across the world. I used to do an awful lot of touring in 2011 I got a flight every 3 days for the whole of the year, which was super tough.

Aside from conducting, I compose music, and I created a hit musical in Switzerland. I do lots of orchestration for Pop or Rock artists, as well as running a choir. There wasn’t much of a transition as I was forced into a position of not being a musician anymore, I had all this free time, for the first time ever! I still wanted to work in music, so I decided to form the idea of Teds List, helping others realise their dreams. It gave the musicians out of work something to do, it gave me something to do. Now the professional side is picking up, I now run Teds List alongside that.

Teds List was created during the lockdown of Covid-19. Aside from entertaining audiences worldwide, the goal is to inspire the young musicians of tomorrow. We were all thrust into lockdown – no escape from our home so I decided it was time to help fellow musicians in their time of need, whilst not being allowed onto a stage.

I’ve never worked for anyone else. It’s about freedom and creativity. Choosing to do what I want to do when I want to do it. I can work on radically different projects, with different people and explore my creativity, and it’s very interesting because of that.

The thing I least enjoy is the insecurity of finances, if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. Therefore the pressure I’m under for my family is tremendous and life would be a lot easier if I was salaried, but then I wouldn’t have the freedom. It’s a double-edged sword.

I’m proud of being able to help struggling musicians across the world, giving them something to do and paying them for their work during the pandemic. It gave hundreds of them a purpose. I am a passionate advocate for music education, it’s such a valuable resource for people across the world.

My biggest mistake relates to an old business of mine where I put all my eggs in one basket with one person. They betrayed me and that didn’t work out so well. It was a sharp lesson to learn and taught me not to rely on someone, or trust someone to have your best interests. It destroyed the old business, so I closed that project and moved on. I realised that was a valuable lesson to take forward for the rest of my life. It’s a benefit for the rest of my life knowing that.

I fit in work with the family with great difficulty, I can be at home for 12 months or away for 12 months. Thankfully, I have a very understanding wife and family, they understand this is how I make money and is what I am good at. Music education is important to me, and it will continue to be important. I want to keep this project going.

I felt like I made it when I was 23, I performed at the Sydney Oprea house one week, then the next I flew back and performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Two iconic venues and I was super young, the youngest ever person to conduct in the Sydney Opera house. At that moment I realised I had achieved something amazing. But, that “I made it moment” is very dangerous to believe in, because if you have made it you have nothing left to fight for or achieve.

In five years’ time I hope my family and I are happy, healthy, enjoying our lives and that we have financial security.

Find out more about Robert through hi website & social links:

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