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What practices help with building motivation for music artists?

So as a singer songwriter who's also going to college, I feel very unmotivated to do music or expand my music expertise even though that's what I'm in college for. I feel like I'm behind even though I've built a platform for myself. I don't know how to refocus my passion when I'm so busy with work and school. I just want to find time for my music and be consistent with it. music music-industry singer college music-production

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Judeanne’s Answer

Hi Naomi!

There's one thing I wanted to clarify... you're a music major in school? I wasn't certain if you're going to school as a music major or to get inspiration from school for your music. Feel free to clarify that.

Motivation comes from inside, no matter what it is that we do. Sometimes we start holding back for various reasons. That's ok. We all need to step back once in a while - for a little while. Your motivation is an issue for you so, you're at a place, emotionally and psychologically, to figure these things out.

What year are you at school? Freshman, maybe? just getting used to things? That could be part of your overwhelm but that's for you to decide.

Usually, in situations like yours, I say you need to do something differently. If you usually write or practice your music alone, find people to collaborate with. Getting to know someone musically can spark all kinds of fires, including your motivation.
If you're stuck creating only in your dorm, go exploring your campus for someplace you can claim as yours to create; find a lab or out-of-the-way classroom that's empty at certain times. Find any place where you feel comfortable and inspired to practice or write. Your atmosphere can make a big difference in your creating, so experiment.

Here's my big challenge to you - perform. Play in your dorm where other students gather to blow off steam, play outside in the quad, or anywhere you can get away with it (where you're not disturbing classes or the library, of course). You can also go to whatever town is nearby your school and play there. If you don't know already, it's called "busking". Play your own music or covers, or both. Do what you are comfortable with and see how performing feels to you. It could be the stress relief you, your campus, and your town needs.

You don't need to make a lot of time for any of these options. 1 or 2 hours a week should be fine unless you find something you really enjoy and decide to make more time for it. At this point in your life/career, you have the luxury of going by your heart - do what you enjoy. That will spark your motivation and your creativity.

Let me know how it goes! 😃

Judeanne recommends the following next steps:

Find someplace to create
Find others to jam or write with
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Melisa’s Answer

Hi Naomi,

Great suggestions from Judeanne and Michael.

I majored in music my first two years of college and there were days that I definitely found challenging when I was juggling college, a job and hours of practice time every day.

Judeanne's suggestion to try something different was one I found very helpful. Maybe try practicing music at a different time of day or in a different area if you can. I also found it helpful to play with others who had varying musical skill levels than me.

When I play with people who are so much more experienced than me, I can learn from them and ask their advice and tips, etc. When I play with people who are beginner, it was fun to also offer advice and help to them.

Give yourself time to try different things that may work and stay inspired by surrounding yourself with others who have a passion for music as well.

I also find inspiration in quiet times. I'll put on my noise cancelling head phones and try listening to a new artist or song. Something different I haven't heard before. Often times, after I've done this, I feel like going back to my piano because it makes just makes me want to play more or try working out a new song on the keys.

Best wishes to you for success in your career, college and music goals.

Melisa recommends the following next steps:

Join a Facebook or social media group and connect with other artists and musicians.
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Racheal’s Answer

I went to a performance arts school growing up and I noticed that motivation and discipline are the two factors that build and artist career.
Motivation is the mental and emotional work and discipline is the actionary steps one takes to get things done.
I believe and using both to keep up with practicing with self and others to become better about your niche as an music artist.

The second part is finding a mentor. This can be challenging because it requires trust. You can test people by giving them something of your worst and best performance, and see how they react and provide feedback. Watch how they treat others during their best and worst days. This will help you grow as well.

Racheal recommends the following next steps:

Practice at least 1 hr a day
Crticique your own performances
Have other critique your work as well
Be careful about who you choose to critique you