November 2007

Like a job

November 20, 2007 00:11

Gee, it's been a little while since my last blog. I've been doing a lot of thinking about life, which has got me down just slightly. I've been thinking about what I want to do after I finish my degree, but I'm not all that certain. It seems odd that in one semester I'll have finished my degree, and could go out into the workforce, but I feel that my playing isn't up to where it needs to be for that to happen. There's always teaching, or moving into a different field, but my heart just can't do that. I know that I'll have to do some teaching, but I don't think I am up to having the main proportion of my time spent teaching. No, music is what I love, but I need a way to get my playing up. With all this doubt about the future, it has got me uninspired, and not wanting to practice. This isn't exactly a good thing, with my exam a week away.

There were a few things that prompted this blog. Jasmine Reese's Practice regimen got me thinking that if I'm to make it, I do need to log in the hours. This has got to be something I want, I desire, so much that I'm willing to do the work. She reminded me that music is not something that you do while you practice, you live it, you breathe it.
I was then reminded of a quote in this discussion on how much the supervirtuosos practice. (If Ms. Hahn is reading this, I recommend you don't visit that discussion) Sung-Duk Song said "After my masterclass lesson with Midori a few years ago, she told me that "practicing is going to work for her". Whereas most people go to the office and work long hours, she goes to the practice studio and works long hours." If I want music, and in particular violin playing, to be my life, I need to start working at it. It needs to be my job. I need to start putting in the hours required so that I can get there. A reminder for anyone who's considering pursuing a path in music - don't go into it because you think it's less hours than a regular job. Big mistake!
Then in responding to Jasmine's blog, I was reading Leo Babauta's post - Top 20 Motivation Hacks - An Overview from his blog Zenhabits.net. That reminded me of a few things - Charting your goals, find inspiration on a daily basis, Keep a daily journal of your goal, and a few other things on that site.

So, what now?

Now, I go to work. If the violin is to be my job, then I'm going to make it my job. Start working full time, and work towards my goals. 9 to 5, or there abouts.

I'm also going to take the time to be organised. I'm going to learn a few habits from Zen Habits. First of all, I need to ensure that I don't overwork myself. It could be quite easy to let myself fall into the trap of doing 8 hours practice a day, and then have rehearsals, teaching, and more on top of that. Therefore, I will spend time each week looking at my schedule (and review at the end of each day for the next), and work out my practice times. If I have a 3 hour orchestral rehearsal, then that's 3 hours of my work day. If I've got a student between 5 and 5:30pm on one day, that's half an hour of my work day.

Secondly, I'm going to take Sunday off each week. If, for some reason, I am required to work on a Sunday (for example, a rehearsal or performance), then I will practice on that day and take a full day off sometime in the next week. I feel that it's very important to have time for rest, to spend time doing things that you enjoy, and spend time with your friends.

Thirdly, I'm going to make a habit of journaling. I went out today and bought myself two journals. One is to be used as a practice journal. It will be used to write down notes of my practice, lessons, inspiring quotes that I discover, and provide inspiration to myself when I realise how far I've come. The second is because I want to start learning how to express myself better in words, to look possibly into writing song lyrics.

There are other things as well that I am looking into, but that shall wait for another time. And of course, I shall remember to make time to blog more regularly. Might even post some of the poems/song lyrics that I write - if they're any good.

And why have I posted all this? Leo's Number 2 motivation hack: Make a big public commitment. Be fully committed.

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