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#156: How to Prioritize Your Creativity and Still Get Ahead

Are you a free spirit, a rebel? Or maybe you just hate being told what to do?

I have to admit that sometimes one or more of those labels fits me. Most of the time I toe the line but there are moments when I just don’t want to do the thing I know I should do. Now I’m not talking about anything illegal, immoral or dangerous. It’s more like sometimes I just don’t feel like practicing. Or maybe I’d rather play the new piece of music I just bought instead of slogging through those four measures that are giving me so much grief. Going over and over those four measures doesn’t feel like making beautiful music. It doesn’t feel creative, and even though it may make me feel a little virtuous when I’m finished, it doesn’t always bring me joy in the moment.

Because playing the harp is not only as important to me as breathing but it’s my job, I know I need to buckle down and do the important work, and so I do. But that doesn’t mean that I have to shut my more creative side in a box somewhere. It does mean finding ways to nurture my more artistic side, feed those creative impulses and get my work done too. 

I’ve worked with students who struggle with trying to tame their own free, creative spirits and most of the time, trying to tame it doesn’t work. Creativity shouldn’t be, and truly isn’t, a force that hinders your practice. It can fuel your practice, helping you make progress faster at the same time that you’re enjoying it more. So if you’re one of those free spirits who resists having a practice plan, or just has trouble sticking to one, I’m here to help. I want to help you get a new perspective on what your practice could be like if it didn’t feel so much like homework and not like making music. This is also going to help those of you who battle shiny object syndrome and have stacks of music you’ve bought because you heard it and wanted to play it NOW. (Actually, I have to admit I fit into this category myself.) And if you are on the other side of the fence and the practice plan is no problem for you, but you’re not sure how to feel more creative, you’re going to find some interesting ideas in this show too.

Links to things I think you might be interested in that were mentioned in the podcast episode: 

Get involved in the show! Send your questions and suggestions for future podcast episodes to me at [email protected]


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