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Riley Music Academy Music Cast: Creating Balance

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I’ve recently discovered I have a back injury. It was probably caused by the crazy run that I told you about last year. I’ve been trying to get to the bottom of it and I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m out of balance. I’ve trained some parts of my body and not others. It’s caused imbalances and I’m seeing symptoms. I guess proper fitness people know about this, but for a sporting dunce like myself, its all come as a bit of a surprise. Surely training regularly is good for you? Well, it is and it isn’t. If you build up such strength in one area and neglect another then problems can arise.

I started to realise that this is the case for music too. So I drafted a quick Radar Diagram of some of my musical attributes.

Of course, the diagram has made me out to look amazing but thats just because of the settings I chose. SIDE NOTE: Something to bear in mind when reading infographics and statistical representations with an election imminent, but I’m sure you all know that anyway!

I found it quite useful to first of all think about the areas of focus (Listening, Tone, Theory, Technique etc) and then to self assess where I am with each one. You may think I was rating myself 9 out of 10 but I was actually thinking 9 out of 100!

Why don’t you give it a go and see where you place yourself? Are you a well rounded musician? Do you have huge strengths and/or weaknesses?

If you do discover some imbalances then consider the repercussions. If your Reading is great but your Improvisation sucks then you will be locked into the boundaries of musical notation and perhaps miss out on the joys of interpretation and the fantastic “Ad. Lib”! If you are a Theory boffin then you will just come across as a “know it all” and you may lack practical application. If you have impeccable Technique then its easy to play like a technician rather than a musician. I feel its important to keep balance. Having strengths and weaknesses is inevitable but keeping the gap as small as possible can help. Play to your strengths but work on your weaknesses.

Just because I spent some time working out a) what the name of this diagram actually is (Radar/Spider Diagram) b) inputting all the data to make it work and c) some of you may find this next example more relevant, I decided to do another one for my professional administration.

Work and Social Ratio is quite good at the moment which keeps me happy (if I’d have done this a month ago the results would have been skewed). Bad sales drive, book keeping and advertising means I’m not a millionaire yet. Or is that because I’m a jazz musician? No….it must be because I hate book keeping!

Have a play around and see what results you get for yourself.

You can let me know here and if you want any advice about creating more balance then send me an email.

Have a great week!



One Comment Add a Comment
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    May 26, 2017

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