Necessity is the mother of invention. – Plato
During quarantine times, many of us musicians are struggling with motivation to continue practicing and creating while plans for performances, gigs, etc. have been cancelled or postponed.
However, there is much to look forward to even while things might not turn out the way we planned. Although what we are dealing with globally is obviously not ideal, we can take this opportunity to work on projects we didn’t have time before, learn new skills and adapt to new ways to perform without an audience physically in front of you.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Choose repertoire to learn
Many of us have lists of pieces we’d like to learn or enjoy listening to regularly. Plunging into new repertoire is a great way to spark creativity. It might be fun to consider transcribing pieces from other instruments or your favorite songs.
- Set goals and timelines for projects
Dr. Don Greene, a peak performance psychologist, has a great video on setting goals, particularly during quarantine and low motivation; click here to see his video on Facebook:
Having a timeline and markers for your progress will ensure that your goals and projects don’t simply become “someday” projects, covered in dust and soon forgotten. Make sure that the projects you create don’t disappear and become out of sight, out of mind.
- Collaborate with others – not just other musicians but also other artists
Imagine providing a track for a dancer to accompany. Or maybe for an actor’s monologue. Or perhaps there’s a painter whose work you admire; what if you could collaborate with them and provide music for their newest project. Thinking outside of the box creates new possibilities and opportunities that perhaps you wouldn’t have had or considered if it weren’t for these unique circumstances.
- Experiment with different technology
That being said, definitely experimenting with new technology will help navigate these circumstances, too. Many musicians are turning to Acapella, Sound Trap, or even simply learning how to put together multi-tracks (putting together multiple recordings layered on top of each other) and using editing software, such as Audacity. As mentioned before, this is a good time to hone new skills, even ones that you can use for your career. Even if you aren’t a tech-savvy person, there are many tools at your disposal as you navigate your new skills. YouTube and simple Google searches can help you get the information and tutorials you need.
- Keep track of your progress
Not only does keeping a journal help you keep track of your progress, it also provides a tool to reflect on your process and results. There have been many times that I gained more motivation to keep going from looking back on old journals and entries to see how far I’ve come. It’s also helped me realize the habits that I let go of and need to revisit.
How are you staying motivated during quarantine? Are you working on any exciting projects coming up?