2. Reading – quotes, books, poems, letters – we end up playing the holiday standards, which all pretty much say the same thing. Read something with another message. Let that message wash over you and see how that might change how you tell the holiday stories with your music.
3. Smells/tastes – I know, me and food! But really, smelling “holiday” smells – cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pine, fires, cold – all can put you in a better frame of mind to re-approach your music – and leave a good taste in your mouth as well!
4. Beautiful scenery/ Fresh air – take a walk, enjoy the changing weather – all these will help you bring a new perspective to your music, your musicality, phrasing, arrangement, and presentation.
5. Breathe! Simply taking a few deep breaths will allow you to think, reassess your arrangements and playing – and its in the pauses that I find a lot of new ideas. Breathing is, after all, the basic definition of inspiration!