Is your schedule as busy as mine? Do you wake up realizing you haven't picked up your instrument for … days … weeks …??? It's so easy for our time to get filled - I've been caring for aging grandparents, remodeling my house, and keeping up with daily life. I'm sure you have your own list of things keeping you busy. So how can you make sure you are making time for the seemingly less important things that really do matter, like making music? Here are a few suggestions:
Keep your instrument out where you can pick it up and play it for even five minutes at a time. For me, that is while I'm waiting for my computer to boot up in the morning or while my next cup of tea is steeping.
Keep some of your favorite music out too – a few songs that you love to play, a few you are currently working on.
Schedule a performance, commit to a playdate, or put a jam session on your calendar. Having a date on the calendar helps you prioritize time with your instrument. You have to play – you have a deadline!
Find new music that inspires you – listen to recordings or dig out a new song from the GPDA music packet. Having something fresh and exciting will make you want to play more.
Give yourself ONE goal to work toward – cleaner flatpicking, smoother strumming, more dynamics, memorize one song, learn three new chords, etc. Don't try to accomplish everything at once or you will feel overwhelmed and won't be as likely to practice.
Give yourself lots of grace. Tomorrow is a new day. The sun will shine (maybe … it's spring in Kansas, so no guarantees!). And your instrument will still be there for you when you are ready to pick it up.
Now, I'm off to play my dulcimer for five minutes before I start my next project! Maybe you can do the same?!
-Erin Mae, president