February 6, 2013

Be the Cheerleader!

One of the best things about playing an instrument is that you get to spend time making music with other musicians.  But if you are a “part-time” musician (professional or hobbyist) it can sometimes get a little lonely.  The rest of your life may make it difficult to get together with others which is disappointing, but that lack of experience may also make you self-conscious about your playing, which can drive you to avoid the opportunities to play with others.  All of this might pile up and bring you down on yourself as a musician.  So, what to do?

Become your own Cheerleader.  You know you’re capable of a great deal…and you know you have much to learn.  But only you can spur yourself on to more.  And to do that, you have to be a cheerleader for yourself.
How will being a cheerleader help you?  Here are five ways:

  1. Cheerleaders cheer! Urge yourself on to greatness.  Remind yourself that there is no harsher critic than you.  And when people tell you that you are good and they enjoyed hearing you, they are not lying – if they thought you were terrible, they would just slink out and say nothing.
  2. Cheerleading has organized routines.  Build yourself an organized routine for your everyday music (practicing) and for your performing.  See previous posts about generating a structured, successful practice routine to get benefit from the time you spend behind the harp.
  3. Cheerleaders work hard – and make it look easy.  Practice! That's the hard work.  The time you spend at your harp is an investment in yourself – make it count!  And the more you perform the better you get at making it look easy (think of performing frequently as, you guessed it, practicing performing!) .
  4. Cheerleaders are always pushing the edge – more complicated routines, bigger tricks, and lots of precision – you too need to learn new tricks!  Whether at your weekly lesson or at workshops available throughout the year, you can add more, bigger and better to you bag of tricks.  Seek to learn new things – everyone has something to teach you.  And that precision will come with steady work and progress (and will make you a better musician (and more ready to play with others!)).
  5. Cheerleaders typically look like they’re having fun – and they probably are!  Follow suit – one of the nicest things to hear is that your audience enjoyed that you appeared to be enjoying yourself!
So, dust off your metaphorical pom-poms, grab your theoretical megaphone (or plug in your amp!), and cheer for you!  It will lift your spirits and help you to achieve more.

No comments: