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Wasn’t the summer wonderful? You could sleep until noon, play video games, meet up with friends, and travel with family. No one tells you how to be a musician during the summer because, like everything else, it just kinda happens. But all good things must come to an end, so here you are back in the school year. If you’re wondering how to be a musician while also meeting requirements at school, we have a few tips to help you out. If you’re doing things right, you may already be accomplishing a few of these tasks. Nevertheless, it’s always good to get a refresher. Here are nine (hopefully) easy suggestions for how to be a musician during the school year.
Learn to Prioritize
Here’s a sad, but true, fact for all of the young people out there. There will never be enough time in your life to do everything you want to do. You will never read all of the books, travel to all of the distant lands, listen to all of the records, or see all of the movies. Knowing this, you’re going to have to choose what is important to you. School, family time, hanging with your friends - how are you going to rank these activities with everything else in your life. If you’re young, you DO have plenty of time, but don’t be wasteful with it.
Take Advantage of the Weekend
For some kids, the weekend is simply a little slice of summer. You expect to spend that precious two-days-and-change doing absolutely nothing. That’s fine every now and then, but this is also the freest your free time will ever be. Why not use that to your advantage as a musician? Give yourself a goal this weekend and learn how to play a new song or get together with friends and jam. There’s enough time in the weekend for you to rest and also work on your music, so see what you can accomplish.
Don’t Put Too Much on Yourself
Sometimes when you are starting a new school year, you get overly ambitious and sign up for too many activities. In one day you might find yourself trying out for a sports team, leading a club, scheduling tutoring, and entering some contest. Know your limits. No matter how smart you are, we all have our breaking points where we begin to produce less even when we are taking on more responsibility. Instead of getting bogged down in so many activities, revisit our first point and learn how to prioritize and say NO to things that are not beneficial. The latter is a vital tool you’re going to want to hone as you get older. You do no one any favors by reaching beyond your grasp.
One of the best ways to grow in any talent or skill is to find accountability. Just like you would seek out a tutor or study partner for a big test, you’ll need friends or family keeping you accountable in your musical pursuit. For some young musicians this may be the instructor they see each week, their bandmates, or even their parents. This doesn’t have to a big ordeal, either. You can simply ask a friend or family member you trust to send you a text once or twice a week reminding you that you need to practice. When you have someone watching your back, it can be easier to keep your mind focused on getting better.
Make a Schedule - How to Be a Musician
Although you might not agree at times, the reason why your school runs efficiently is because the daily schedule has been planned thoroughly. Even if you enroll in a new school, you can get the hang of everything within a few days or weeks. We know it probably doesn’t sound like fun, but you can use this same planning method to plot out your school activities and music practice. Make it a point to wake up 30 minutes early on Tuesdays to run through a few drills on your guitar. Not everyone likes to plan their lives that way, but it can be a great help if you’re currently lacking the discipline to play.
Look for Opportunities to Play
If you want to know how to be a musician, the first thing you have to do is play your instrument. Otherwise you’re just someone who collects music accessories. Whether you are in middle school, high school, or college, there are different opportunities to play. Your school may be doing a talent show or perhaps there’s a local coffee shop hosting an open mic night. Maybe there’s just a group of people who love music and like to get together at school to collaborate. Whatever it is, find a way to practice and perform with other people.
Take Yourself Seriously... Just Not TOO Seriously
There are millions of people out there who only want to play drums as a hobby or limit their singing careers to karaoke. For them, just dabbling in music is enough. On the other hand, for many others that’s simply not an option. If you want to push it to the limit and see just how far music can take you, you need to be serious about how and when you play. If you want to treat music as a little hobby, your version of stamp collecting in the 21st century, that’s fine. No one will ever tell you that mediocrity and little work ethic is how to be a musician. While you’re plugging along, however, remember to relax when your body needs it. The guy who wakes up at 5am to run drills has a better chance of making the pros than someone who only works out every now and then. But even he has to take time off. Find the right balance between hard work and burning out.
Get Educated and Be Inspired - How to Be a Musician
The schooling years are meant to be used to figure out who you are and to train yourself in a skill that interests you. You will never have a better chance to learn how to be a musician than during your younger years. There is a reason why many musical prodigies begin at a very early age. Take lessons from a talented instructor, look up videos on YouTube, discuss technique with your friends who also play. Do whatever you can to grow and learn. At the same time, look for inspiration from past musicians and use your own experience to fuel your journey. You should have a number of artists inspiring you the same way young athletes idolize Steph Curry and Aaron Rodgers.
We hope these quick tips on how to be a musician during the school year are a great help to young musicians everywhere. With the right combination of talent, discipline, and good fortune, you can do amazing things with your music. Camp Electric is a place that wants to help you become the best musician you can be. Our instructors come from some of the biggest acts in Christian music and they want to help you excel in guitar, drums, keys, singing, and more. Find out how you can be our next student by clicking on the link below.