Summer is the time for… working harder!! Wait – what??

Summer is here!! School is out (or will be in the next few days or so). Now it’s time for the swimming pools, cookouts, sleep overs, and catching lightning bugs in mason jars. Ok that last one isn’t so relevant in CA… there are no fireflies here, but I’m from the South and that is one of the things I loved doing as a kid on summer nights.

I guess I was a bit of an overachiever. I worked hard during the summer…. Ok,  I can’t even type that with a straight face. I wasn’t an overachiever when it came to summertime. I really loved school but I also loved getting the break from school. But being older (and hopefully wiser) I realized later what an opportunity I had every year for nearly a three-month time period. I didn’t have projects with deadlines; I didn’t have a real structure to my day; I didn’t have anywhere I needed to be. All of those things equaled a perfect opportunity to get better at music. Now don’t get me wrong, I did practice and I continued to have lessons but I didn’t go above and beyond when I certainly had the TIME to do so.

What am I suggesting? Well, what if you doubled the time you normally practice?

Now before you leave your mouth hanging open due to shock I’m not saying you shouldn’t get a break. Have a vacation. Enjoy friends and family. Hang out just because you can. But consider taking some of that time to better your music skills. Learn a new piece you always enjoyed listening to. Get a jump on the book you’ll be playing out of in class next year. Try writing your own songs.

So I have a question for you. With so many more hours in the day at your disposal for summer, what will you spend some of that time doing?

Leave a comment and tell me how you will keep up your music during the summer!

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4 Responses to Summer is the time for… working harder!! Wait – what??

  1. A wake-up call when I joined the Army Reserves as a musician: I was sent to the “Military Band School” on a base in the middle of the woods (slept in a nuclear bunker!). Almost everyone viewed military musicians as 3rd rate (Canada does not treat military bands as seriously as the U.S.A. does) but there were some top notch students there – everyone has to pay rent!
    We were working 10 hours a day, practicing (alone and band) about 8 hours a day. And still, some of them organized car pools to go do “real” practicing at night and on the week-ends. THAT’S when I discovered what being a musician is all about: it doesn’t matter if you’re an amateur, hobbyist or professional, the instrument (and/or repertoire) takes possession of your interests and passions.

    This being said, there is plenty of room for enjoying all the other aspects of life, and it’s a combination of enjoying to practice and enjoying sports, culture, science and outings with friends and so on that turns an instrument player into a musician.

    • reedpros says:

      Very well said! My students tend to look at me strangely when I suggest they practice more, especially when it comes to summer time. I love that you mentioned being in the Army band. Army musicians are extremely hard workers. It is your job to practice and perform! I think the next time I get one of those strange looks, I’ll let them know what life is like for the military musician!

  2. LiveJasmin says:

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