The eternal question: How do we maintain the willpower and inspiration to practice and improve as musicians?
Over the next 3 months I will break my blog into segments on this topic. I have personally found the easiest way to learn and improve is a combination of many factors but mainly: inspiration, grit (stubborn perseverance), motivation, discipline, focus and playing music with other people. In this blog I will explore each from my personal position and I encourage you to do the same by asking you a lot of questions. Most of all, I believe enjoyment and perseverance is the key depending on what you hope your future with playing music will be. Today’s blog will focus on Grit and Motivation.
Grit. What the heck is grit? If you get nothing out of this blog except watching Angela Lee Duckworth’s talk about her research I would be happy. Please watch this 6 minute
video on grit. They had a hard time explaining what grit was but my interpretation of grit was that it was passion for a subject and stubborn perseverance. Have you ever wanted to do something so much that you wouldn’t give up until you accomplished it? Where does that drive come from? Do you give up easily? If so, why?
Where does your motivation come from? Do you love music? Each person may find their motivation comes from different things.
Some idea’s for motivation in music:
Having a measurable amount of consistent successes. Working on short term successes that feel like a breakthrough. For example, singing your favourite song by heart without the words in front of you.
Set a specific date for when you’d like to accomplish something big such as an open mic, large performance, recording a song, writing a song etc. or any other things that feel like a big accomplishment.
See live music regularly.
Play music with other people.
For musicians young and old , seasoned or unseasoned, it is very beneficial to track your progress. Having a practice/aspiration book, similar to a daily planner, is a great way to see how far you’ve come and write your aspirations.
That concludes this months segment! Next month I will delve into…Inspiration and Discipline, two sides of the same coin. I leave you with a quote from one of my friends:
“Discipline is a lot more important than motivation. Motivation relies too much on our moods, so unless your mood is the same all the time, it's tough to accomplish anything.” Brett Faulkner, Lead guitar player of Victoria band Isobel Trigger