Printer-friendly version
Eloise Garland

Lost Motivation

May 3, 2011 at 7:21 PM

 Don't you hate that feeling where you just lose motivation all together? Well, it has been like that the past couple of months for me. In fact, my violin has hardly been out of its case the past few weeks, hence the sudden slow-down in blog posts from me. I don't really know what caused me to lose motivation so suddenly. Maybe it has been the recent thought and preparation over exams? Maybe all of my other music has taken priority in my mind? I do know that when I had singing lessons recently I tended to focus on that more than violin. And the great thing is I got a distinction at grade 8  singing (ABRSM), which I am very pleased about, but that didn't restore some motivation in me. It just seemed to vanish. I seem to be steaming ahead with some piano lessons I have taken up recently, but the violin has been sitting on the back seat all this time. Usually, I would force myself to pick up the instrument and play, but lately even that has been a struggle. I've hit a bump in the road all of a sudden. I even wonder if it is because I've not had lessons for so long and I am really fearful of driving bad technique into my playing?

I can go on asking these questions over and over again, but I don't know whether I will work out the answer. But, just before, all of a sudden, someone from school approached me about having a few violin lessons so he can just learn the basics. He was offered them by his school aged 7, but his mum refused to let him play (probably being the sort who was afraid of the strangled cat stage) and agreed to let him take up guitar instead. I agreed to teach him a bit, and we've arranged some simple lessons from now on. Now, my motivation has just sparked a little, and I am happy to say I'm off to do some fiddling right now! 

Have a good day, everyone! 


From Tom Holzman
Posted on May 3, 2011 at 8:30 PM

You are lucky to have so many music-related talents and outlets.  When motivation flags with one, you can just try another.  With me, when I am not feeling motivated to play violin, that's it other than listening to CDs.  So, you should not feel so bad when one aspect of music does not motivate you at the moment.


From Julian Stokes
Posted on May 4, 2011 at 10:37 AM

My teacher is always telling me that a previous existence as a choirboy would have been helpful in playing the violin re scales, intervals and intonation. I'm not sure how he thinks I could achieve that in retrospect - my my time travel machine isn't quite working... yet.

I think sometimes we need a rest and I'm sure your singing work will be a great help to your violin.


From John Cadd
Posted on May 4, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Just squeeze 15 minutes practice even when you don`t want to.Every time the news comes on , let that be a reminder. You know it makes sense. You will feel guilty if you don`t. Also , we are all impressed by your writing. I haven`t asked them myself but I know that`s true.


From Terez Mertes
Posted on May 4, 2011 at 2:57 PM

 >Maybe all of my other music has taken priority in my mind? I do know that when I had singing lessons recently I tended to focus on that more than violin. And the great thing is I got a distinction at grade 8  singing (ABRSM), which I am very pleased about, but that didn't restore some motivation in me. It just seemed to vanish. I seem to be steaming ahead with some piano lessons I have taken up recently, but the violin has been sitting on the back seat all this time.

Oh, wow, there's so much on your plate right now, it's no wonder the violin is/was languishing. Big congrats on the distinction in singing, and it sounds like this is just one of those ebb/flow times where singing and new piano lessons are taking center stage. I get that way too - sometimes singing (especially in December and just before Easter) replaces that hunger for music, as does the occasional ballet class I'll take. But that's temporary, and the hunger for the violin gradually returns. Sounds like that's happening to you right now, with the kid who's asked for a few lessons.

Just remind yourself it's all ebb and flow, and don't worry TOO much when one art is getting favored over another. It all comes around in the end... until the cycle begins all over again!


From Kristen Bomberger
Posted on May 4, 2011 at 4:55 PM

I have found out also that when my motivation starts lagging, a good lesson with one of my students puts me right back on track and I'm ready to start tearing into the violin again. Funny how that works! :)


From Susan Young
Posted on May 4, 2011 at 7:18 PM

Don't stress over lack of motivation too much.  I have found in other performance areas that you do get burned out on occasion.  I'm currently burned out from training my dogs - which is why I am spending so much time learning the violin!  It's not the first time although it is the longest break I have taken.  Suddenly something will happen that will grab you and drag you back in and you will find out that some of the little issues you had struggled with are gone.  Sometimes breaks can be good things.


From Julie Wilson
Posted on May 5, 2011 at 4:05 AM

 Don't worry about it! I go through this periodically and have decided it's ok to give myself a 'vacation' from the violin sometimes. 

I think all the work and striving towards progress burns up the gears in my brain and I just need some downtime to passively absorb. Then when I pick it back up again I am inspired to keep moving forward. Let yourself have a mini vacation and then take it back up again. It prevents burnout.


From Sander Marcus
Posted on May 6, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Hi, Eloise:

Ah, yes, THE BIG MO !!!!

Everyone can empathize with you. Motivation is never a given. Ultimately, it is a choice. If it is not a choice, then you are left to the whims of your own internal interests, which on a day-to-day basis are unpredictable.

As a clinical psychologist, I have spent the better part of 40 years working with motivational problems (including co-authoring 2 books on academic underachievement). We are, all of us, constantly doing battle with de-motivation. It's in our ordinary human nature to become de-motivated, and for a variety of reasons.

Have you got 3 minutes a day? (No, I'm not kidding) Take a look at my page (http://www.iit.edu/~marcus) and click on the music practice article; hopefully, it will help you take a fresh look at this problem and give you something easy and not time consuming or energy consuming that you can do on a daily basis.

May the Force be with you.
Cheers,
Sandy

This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Our Kokopelli
Please support Violinist.com
through your
one-time donation or
sponsorship campaign.

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music

Yamaha V3 Series Violin

The Potter Violin Company

Coregami Performal

Metzler Violin Shop

Connolly Music

Corilon Violins

Anderson Musical Instrument Insurance

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Fiddlerman.com

Fiddlershop

FlexTux

Heifetz International Music Institute

Long Island Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Pro-Am Strings

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop