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Reassurance is a wonderful thing. It doesn’t take much for us to feel uncertain of ourselves, like we’re going down the wrong road and we’re never going to make it in our chosen fields. No matter what you want to do with your life, you’ll probably have more than one moment where you question your decisions or dreams. A teenage Christian musician is just as susceptible to this as anyone else. That’s why we want to help you feel more confident by providing a small checklist to let young musicians of faith know how they currently stand. These basic characteristics are designed to apply to just about any teenage Christian musician who is on the right path. Let’s get started.
You’re Active in Your Faith as a Teenage Christian Musician
This is the most important part of your life. Even if your dreams as a musician aren’t directly tied to worship music or the church in general, you need to to be actively following Jesus Christ. There is no shortage of musicians who got famous and wrecked their lives or put themselves into early graves trying to be the next big thing. Can non-Christians lead seemingly healthy lives? Sure, but a life of faith in Christ offers more than the world can ever give you through Grammys, world tours, or record sales.
Our beliefs give us a purpose which drives us as musicians. The love of Jesus and the discipline of our spiritual walks informs how we conduct ourselves on the stage, in the studio, or just practicing at home. Whether you achieve worldwide fame or not, this is something you want to nail down as quickly as possible and never let go.
You’re Disciplined About Practicing
On the musical side of things, acquiring discipline is what separates the wannabes from the real deal. If you can’t be bothered to consistently practice your instrument, then why are you even doing this? Playing your instrument in a practice session can be different for everyone. Some people go in with a specific list of things they want to try or perfect, while others just pick up the guitar and jam out for a few minutes so that they remember what it feels like to handle their instrument. It can be difficult to achieve perfection when setting up practice times and carving out the preferred amount of time each day. Don’t beat yourself up for being imperfect, but if you’re too lazy to even work on your playing skills a few times a week, you’re that much closer to being a “former” musician. Put in the effort.
You’re Confident Enough to Try New Things
Confidence can be a tricky thing for young people to come by, but it leads to wonderful benefits. If you’re putting in your best work and feeling confident in both who you are and what you can do, it’s easier to get out there and try new things. A teenage Christian musician who is headed for success will be out trying to book live performances and writing his own music. These are two common ways to take your music to the next level, but there are other ways to branch out as well. Maybe a big, confident step for you would be to play in front of a group of your friends. Doing that enough times will enable you to move on to bigger and better things.
You’re Not Getting Caught Up in the World
Some people want to keep the secular and spiritual worlds as segregated as possible while others like to dabble in both sides. Wherever you land on that issue, know that your spiritual walk is more important than whatever the world can offer. It’s easy for successful people to get caught up in the moment and start believing their own hype. This leads to unhealthy lifestyles and may turn you away from the people and places which once defined you. At the same time, those who are still just starting out may feel they need to compromise on what they believe in order to get ahead in the world. As tempting as this may sound, trust us, it doesn’t pay off in the end. Keep your eyes focused on what really matters and stop thinking about success solely in the world’s frame of reference.
You Think About the Future as a Teenage Christian Musician
A teenage Christian musician who is thinking about the future is one who is headed down the right path. We’re not talking about what you’re going to buy with the money from your first platinum album, but what you hope to accomplish with your music.
We all have dreams: financial security, a big family, a promising career, and so on. Set goals for yourself as a musician and as a person. Think about where you want to be in a few years. What school would you like to go? What are you going to study when you get there? What kind of music do you want to play? It’s good to set specific, attainable goals for your life. This lets you celebrate the victories in life and gives you something to strive for as well.
You’re Hanging Out and Collaborating with Other Players
Music can be intensely personal. It’s a way to work through our own doubts and fears, or look forward to the future. Just because many aspects of the journey feel personal, though, it doesn’t mean we should shut out the rest of the world. If you’re looking to become more than a solo artist, you’re going to need connection with other musicians. More than that, a teenager needs friends with which she can experience life. (The same goes for adults.) If you want to give yourself the best foot forward, you need to be connecting with fellow musicians who are near your age and ability. Look within the communities you’re already participating in and see if you can find like-minded people. If you strike out there, browse other places in your area.
You’re Willing to Learn and Take Advice as a Teenage Christian Musician
Just as there can be a lack of confidence with young musicians, it’s just as easy to find a lack of humility. When you’re young, you can feel invincible and ready for whatever. Admitting you don’t know everything may not come naturally. If you want to make something of yourself as a musician, you need to get rid of the superior attitude which invites arrogance. People who are willing to learn something new are much better equipped for improvement than those who think they are God’s gift to mankind. If you’re not taking private lessons from someone more knowledgeable than you, we might suggest finding someone who can mentor you as a musician. Is there someone at church or a teacher at school who can give you pointers? It may be something as small as advice on where to study music in college. Be open to the wisdom of others and you might be one step closer to becoming a real musician.
We hope this checklist helps you gauge your own progress as a teenage Chrisitan musician. Everyone’s story is a little different, but these fundamentals will help you know just how well things are going for you and your music. Always be pressing forward and don’t ever give in to laziness or complacency.
At Camp Electric, we want to help young people become the best Christian musicians they can be. To do this, we bring in some amazingly talented instructors from today’s biggest Christian bands to teach in classroom settings and provide professional guidance. Along with this educational experience, we also pack in plenty of concerts from famous groups and spiritual guidance from the camp pastor. Find out how you can be the next teenage Christian musician at Camp Electric by clicking on the link below.