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From the first day of classes in January, students are counting down the days until Spring Break. It’s a time for fun trips and relaxation, but it can also be a great opportunity for honing your skills. Maybe you’re not one to get caught up in big parties or expensive vacations. If you’re going to keep it low key for Spring Break, you might as well get something done while you have the time. If you want to know how to become a better musician during Spring Break, the answer is essentially the same for the rest of the year: discipline. An athlete doesn’t make it to the pros without it and the same can be said for any student looking to go to the Ivy Leagues. To make this idea more tangible, let’s look at the ways in which discipline can teach you how to become a better musician during Spring Break.
Want to know the opposite of how to become a better musician during Spring Break? Don’t plan ahead. Let the week show up and catch you off guard. When you walk into an experience unprepared, be it a job interview, a test at school, or a difficult conversation with a friend, you’re already fighting from a losing position. Before that last day of class, think through what you want to accomplish, how you’re going to do it, and what you want each day to have in store for it. Imagine a high school coach in the championship game just saying, “Ya know, I think we’re pretty talented as a team. Let’s just go out there and see what happens.” Unless that team is full of future NBA All-Stars, the game is going to be difficult (and even still, they could easily lose). Head into Spring Break with a game plan, and you’ll be in much better shape.
Getting into shape can be difficult. Not because it’s hard to go to the gym, but because it is not easy to do every day. To be in the best shape physically, you need to work out consistently, whether it be three times a week or every day. Going to the gym for six hours one day each week is not going to get you a rocking body, in fact it may only encourage an injury. What does this have to do with knowing how to become a better musician during Spring Break? Since working out requires a similar dose of discipline, we simply want to remind you to be consistent with your playing. If you really want to make use of your free time, play a little every day. Thirty minutes, two hours, whatever amount of time you want to pick, just get it done for the day. Don’t expect one long session to cover you for the full week.
Set a Goal - How to Become a Better Musician During Spring Break
If you want to measure success, you’ll need to give yourself a goal during the break. The good news is that you can pick how high (or low) you want to keep the bar. Since Spring Break is only a week, you won’t want to set your sights too high, but feel free to challenge yourself. The point of setting a goal is to find something worthy of your time, is achievable, and has a clear measure of success. So you wouldn’t want your goal for the week to be something unclear, like “be better at guitar.” Instead you could pick a song (or a few if you’re feeling lucky) and commit yourself to fully playing it by the end of the week. This would be (a) measurable, (b) doable, (c) something profitable for your musical repertoire. Be careful to not aim too high with your goals over such a short time span because you don’t want to discourage yourself from playing. For example, you may not want to say “I will pick up and master the french horn this week.” Unless you are some kind of prodigy, you will still be a beginner by the time class starts on Monday. Set an attainable goal for your Spring Break.
Meet Up with Other Musicians
Some of your fellow musicians may just be the key to knowing how to become a better musician during Spring Break. Over this course of this week you can meet up with friends to collaborate, work through different ideas, or just jam out for a few hours. Don’t fall into the trap of watching Netflix on the couch all day. Get out and have some fun with your friends who play. Who knows how important those relationships will be as you get further along in your music career? Even if you don’t want to play music for a living, it’s good to have friends you can get together with and play a few tunes.
Get Your Rest
There can be a temptation when you’re young to be lazy with your time off, so older people will often berate you over sleeping in or call you lazy just because you don’t have a full time job. Let us give you a prescription this Spring Break: get your rest. Without an adequate amount of sleep, us telling you how to become a better musician during Spring Break won’t matter all that much. Your brain and your body need to properly function in order to make use of your time and there are few things capable of calibrating you quite like sleep. Don’t overdo it, but try to get a full eight hours of sleep each night so you can hit the ground running the next day.
Hit the Ground Running
Speaking of which, don’t put off the plans you have made. When you have a long period of time to accomplish a task, it’s easy to procrastinate until the last minute. Don’t be that guy (or girl) this Spring Break. Get to work early and accomplish all that you want to do during your time away from school. That way you won’t be freaking out on Friday and kicking yourself for not making better use of your time. When you start early, you can accomplish more. Make the most of your time during Spring Break and beyond and you will be that much closer to progress as a musician.
We hope these six points have helped to convince you that discipline is at the heart of how to become a better musician during spring break. They say that your character can be defined by what you do when no one is looking. For a young musician that could be translated to how hard you work when given a week of freedom. Enjoy your time off, but don’t lose track of how far you’ve come.
Another way to improve your abilities and have a lot of fun in the process is to attend Camp Electric. Each year we bring together some of the biggest artists in Christian music to pour into the next generation. Come be part of great classroom sessions, enjoy high profile concert performances, and engage with hundreds of musicians like yourself. Find out how you can be our next student by clicking on the link below.