Making and playing music, or musicking, has become activity almost exclusive to properly educated specialists, also known as professional musicians. To prove the point, let me ask you a question: When was the last time you made a completely free choice to listen to some amateur musicians? Instead of relying on a proven consumer products sold by the music industry?
I suspect, that you have a hard time to remember. Unless you have small children and have enthusiastically participated in a school concert of some kind. But that doesn’t really represent a free choice, does it?
And what we are talking here about, is listening. If I asked about your active participation in musicking, I bet that many of you would need to go way back in your memory. Sadly, this is not okay.
I am sure, that many of your memories and important moments in life somehow relate to music. Your life has a unique music soundtrack. And a few melodies are so strong that when you hear them, they immediately recall those great memories.
The sad part here is, that your life soundtrack has been written and played almost exclusively by someone else. Sure, they are professional musicians and many of them are doing a great job. But why would you leave such an important part of your emotional life completely to others?
I challenge you to change your relationship with music and consider working on your own life soundtrack. Start making music mindfully. And those great memories of yours will be triggered by melodies you perform, even you compose and produce.
How can you do it? It is simple – you make the decision to start playing. And Musicably can help you with your beginning steps.
Musicably promotes simplicity in playing music, or musicking. Please don’t confuse simplicity with easy. If you want to reach anything of value in life, you know that you have to dedicate a time and effort, to make things happen. It is no different with playing a music instrument.
Don’t worry, I don’t want you to spend popularized 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to master a skill. The reason is, that you are not reading this to become a musical virtuoso, in the first place. Right?
Also you hardly have that much time for musicking anyway. You are busy in your work, at home, with your family and friends. But you need to play. See, I am not saying practice.
So what makes Musicably different? It is in the approach. Your approach!
Even those 10k hours are not set in stone. They don’t guarantee successful results, if practicing mindlessly.
Here is an interesting TED-Ed video about practicing.
Two important information from the video:
– Effective practice is consistent, intensely focused, and targets content or weaknesses, that lay at the edge of one’s current abilities.
– Effective practice is currently the best way we have, of pushing our individual limits, achieving new heights and maximizing our potential.
So why am I writing about practicing and at the same time NOT insisting that you practice, and instead just play? Because I am sure you want to have fun and still reap benefits of musicking.
The key is in your approach to the whole process. I want you to mindfully combine your practicing and performance approach into one – playing. I want you to entertain yourself from the very first moment you hold the instrument. You can compete with yourself, make jokes about your steps, laugh about your stumbles. You can invent and play small games with yourself and your instrument. You can enjoy the listening experience when tuning and preparing the instrument. Every playing/practice you can decide to consciously turn into a performance for for the most important audience you can imagine – yourself.
When you play, you practice. -> When you practice mindfully, you improve. -> When you listen and search for those improvements, you feel great. -> And when you feel great, you enjoy your performance and yourself.