Procrastination, Motivation & Discipline

The Two Set Violin guys call it Pracrastination. Pracrastination? Yes: Procrastination for practise.

Particularly for student musicians, I think it’s a common issue. It can often be very easy to put off the hours of practise and say you’ll do it with it later.  Also, the fact that no-one else is watching makes it easier to procrastinate.

It’s definitely something that I struggle with from time to time.  At times, I can be super motivated and utilise my time well; at others, I can be quite talented in the art of procrastination.

Finding different sources of motivation is imperative for me in order to avoid procrastination. I’ve noticed that I often procrastinate when I’m feeling demotivated. Lack of motivation leads to procrastination. This cycle can last for a few days or a few months however the longer it continues, breaking out of it becomes increasingly more difficult.

One of the benefits of learning an instrument from a young age is that one can easily learn discipline as a by-product. Having a routine and something to focus on and have fun with definitely lays some foundations for skills like organisation, creativity and becomes an advantage later on in life. Unfortunately, I didn’t begin learning the violin at a young age  so the foundations of discipline were not already there. I kind of had to work things out   by myself i.e. a practise schedule and balancing that with homework etc. Despite this, I’d say that this helped me to find motivation from myself and no one else which is always a good thing to have when no one else is there for encouragement.

I’m constantly looking for new ways to freshen up my practise so that it doesn’t become stagnant.  I believe that musicians can adopt certain attitudes pertaining to sport. In the way that athletes train to maintain their fitness and work towards a tournament or competition, musicians can do the  same. Practise is our training for a performance. For me, thinking in this way gives me a new lease of motivation.

“I hated every minute of training, but I said ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion’”. – Muhammad Ali

I love the late Muhammad Ali’s quote and the same idea is relevant for musicians. Practise and having the motivation to practise is not always easy. Some days are better than others and they can be quite tedious. However, the more good practise we do, the better musicians we’re able to become. Don’t quit, stay motivated!






New Year, New Blog, New Music

My introduction into the world of classical music is hazy…I don’t quite remember how it happened. I received a violin as a birthday present and one thing lead to another. Before I knew it, I went from having violin lessons at school to leading the seconds in the Nottingham Youth training orchestra within a year and a half of actually starting violin lessons.
Music has always been a part of my life, there’s always music playing in my home however, I’m the only one who’s ever taken a strong interest in classical music.
I think it’s safe to say that in the vast majority of Afro-Caribbean households, classical music is not a staple. Music – definitely yes, but classical music? It’s not considered part of the Afro-Caribbean culture.
So how did I get into it?
To be honest I can’t remember exactly how but I think I just decided to try something new. I guess I was fed up with listening to Capital FM all the time so I may have tuned in to Classic FM. Or perhaps, in the early stage of learning the violin I wanted to hear what it could sound like in it’s full glory and so I put on a classical CD found in my Mum’s extensive CD collection. All I know is that I took a step out of my comfort zone and I discovered a new world of music that I immediately but unexpectedly identified with.
It’s 2016 – a new year! Try something new, take a wander into the world of music – and that’s myself included. I’m always trying to listen to different music styles, not just my favourites. Whether it’s classical, jazz or punk rock, just try it – you may surprise yourself with what you find.
Happy New Year and happy discovering!IMG_0001

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