How To Take Charge Of Your Music Habits

music habitsWhen you’re working on your music, what exactly are you doing?

Are you aware of what’s happening or are you busy thinking about what’s for dinner tonight?

I say this in all seriousness, because most people don’t really know what’s going on.  They may be more focused on their emotions during this time (frustration) than on the music itself.

If you’re not seeing any progress, it’s very likely that you need to change some of your music habits.  In order to do that, you first have to become aware of what you are actually doing.

What are Your Music Habits?

Do you get upset when you practice?  When you make mistakes, how do you respond?

Negative emotions come from expectations tied to a result or product.  You may decide that you won’t be happy until you get what you want or do it a certain way right now.

When this happens, you are no longer in the present moment.  You have fallen out of the practice process and you are now more focused on the end result rather than the steps you are taking to get there.

So, how do we change this?  By focusing on 3 easy steps…

Step 1 – Observe what happens.

When practicing your music, take note of everything that is happening in the present.  Stay objective and watch what is going on.

Step 2 – Process the information without emotion.

Disconnect with your feelings in order to become more aware of what you are doing and thinking.  Feelings are a great thing, but this is not the time or place for them to become the center of attention.

Making your emotions larger than life is something we have learned to do throughout our lives.  It has become a habit that needs to be changed if we truly want to enjoy our time practicing.

You can’t think clearly and productively when you allow yourself to get upset all the time.

Step 3 – Move on.

Don’t let yourself sit and “think” for too long.  It’s difficult to do this without allowing our emotions to come back into the picture again.

As soon as you invite them in, you are giving them too much power in a place where they don’t belong.

Why Do We Make It So Complicated?

The practicing process is really quite simple.  The problem is that we have very complex minds.  As human beings, we like to take a simple task and make it more complicated than it needs to be.

How can we get past this?  Become an excellent observer.  Watch yourself and detach from any feelings.  This is the only way you can stay in the now and be able think objectively.

Don’t allow yourself to overthink it either.  Just take a few notes in your mind on what’s happening and then move on.  Try something different and start the whole process over again.

Have Any Thoughts?

How do you handle your practice sessions?  Do you find yourself getting upset, frustrated, or even angry regularly?  What can you do to change this habit?

photo credit: chris zerbes via photopin cc

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3 thoughts on “How To Take Charge Of Your Music Habits”

  1. Thanks for the tip… Definitely taking them to consideration. One question what make one a good and trained musician?

  2. I think that is ultimately a matter of opinion. If you have had extensive training in the areas of technique, ear training, sight-singing, music reading (theory), sight-reading, rhythm execution, and have experienced many good performance opportunities (including by yourself & with a group), then you are off to a pretty good start. 🙂

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