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Riley Music Academy Music Cast: Celebrate the Small Wins

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Celebrate the Small Wins

A lot of musicians struggle with motivation, low self esteem, nerves, lack of confidence and the ongoing realisation that nothing is quite ‘perfect’.

I have faced many of these demons and I get a lot of people asking my advice for overcoming these issues. When the s&*t really hits the fan then there isn’t really a get out of jail free card but preparation can play a big part and having a plan in place can be hugely beneficial.

Any person who spends time in their own mind has a tendency to be creative but unfortunately it’s also easy to over analyse and get trapped in a negative spiral of thoughts. If you are longing for fame and recognition or just moving from a beginner to a decent player it’s likely that it sometimes feels like you are stuck in a quagmire and not moving forward.

It’s like watching the minute hand of a clock; you know it must be moving but you can’t see it!

As with any big obstacle, there is not necessarily a quick fix, but here’s a simple tactic that you can immediately implement; celebrate the small wins.

When my wife had just given birth to our second son I came home from a day of teaching to find her beaming with joy. When I asked her why she was so happy, she replied:

“I managed to get a load of clothes washed AND dried!”

That was her accomplishment for the day and it was a small win. With a huge amount of other pressures she managed to complete a small task and the celebration was enough to give her the boost she needed.

These days she’s back on the career ladder and absolutely killing it!

So, when you are playing that scale for the 100th time, or you make a mistake on that same phrase, or you lose your way in that same piece of music, remember that you are working towards something greater and it’s good to pat yourself on the back from time to time.

What small wins have you celebrated recently? Leave a comment here (I’ve started things off with one of mine)


3 Comments Add a Comment
  1. Jay
    June 1, 2016

    I played a gig on Sunday and not only did I play 90′s music and actually enjoy it…but the motorway was open on the way home so I didn’t have to shout obscenities to flashing amber lights!

  2. Laura tan
    June 2, 2016

    Finally getting two syncopated bars of Alley Cat after weeks of not getting it. Revisiting an old piece and sailing through what I couldn’t play a year ago. Having fun instead of being a rabbit in headlights.
    Lots of littles make up the bigs I find. Not always linearly and exactly as one might expect. May be weeks of stalling and frustration and then suddenly something shifts …..yay. Little by little Groove Armarda Style

    • Jay
      June 3, 2016

      Nice groove armada reference! I totally agree. If you don’t enjoy the small things then you probably won’t enjoy the bigger ones!

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