MUSIC 4 LIFE, LLC

Motivating teachers and students in the world of music


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Musical Focus is No Hocus-Pocus

One skill musicians need to learn is how to focus. In every facet of life learning to focus on one task, or prioritizing high payoff activities is a challenge, especially in the social media world in which we live.  Our lives are surrounded by technology, cell phones, instant Facebook notifications, tweets, beeps, and this overload of stimulation makes it a  challenge to stay focused.

Research done by Scientific Reports has proven that listening to music you like actually improves focus. It is ironic that the same trait which make musicians creative individuals also work against us in our struggle to FOCUS. Yes, I said it, musicians and artists have a higher incidence of ADD (attention deficit disorder), but does that really surprise you?

Musical Focus is no Hocus Pocus, Inspiring and motivating posters for music teachers and educators from JW PepperMusical Focus is No Hocus Pocus

Importance of Musical Focus

Musicians tend to fall into one of the following two categories:

  1. Those that maintain their musical focus.
  2. Those that lose their musical focus.

Musicians that possess a bona fide ability to maintain their focus when performing are inclined to play accurately and maintain a high level of musical excellence. These musicians remain poised, relaxed and confident throughout their execution of the music, because they rely upon their training, preparation, composure and ability to remain focused as they navigate comfortably throughout the entirety of the composition.

Alternatively, musicians who for one reason or another have not developed the ability to remain focused during a performance, tend to play inaccurately and are prone to losing their place within the music.

Moreover, when they perform, they are very susceptible to the infamous “crash-and-burn syndrome,” which can totally derail their performance with catastrophic results–something to be avoided at all costs!

In some instances, musicians that fall into this latter category can overcome their lack-of-focus, which often results in performance anxiety and other musical insecurities, with proper training from a skilled professional musician.

In addition to developing more consistent musical focus with the input from an esteemed professional in their field, they need lots of experience performing in front of people in a variety of contexts and venues in order to better solidify this technique.

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Preparation Requires Planning

It has been just two years since I stood outside Steve’s music room in 100F heat hunched over his patio photographing mallets in the blazing hot sun. I had no idea that a year later we would be launching a music poster line with J.W. Pepper and introducing our creations to the music industry. But, all of this didn’t come about without planning.

My initial plan was to create new graphics for Steven’s website that would be “PIN” worthy on Pinterest. I planned ahead of time to bring matte boards of various colors, I planned to create negative space in the photographs for text, and I was prepared when I arrived. The results was beautiful images which incorporated Steven’s “Raybineisms” (words of wisdom) and when we were ready to approach national music industry distributors with our motivational posters I was prepared and called J.W. Pepper

Preparation requires prior planning. Motivational poster for music teachers, business and classrooms from JW PepperPreparation Requires Prior Planning

  • Are you chronically late for rehearsals and performances;
  • Do you forget to pack essential musical equipment when you perform;
  • Do you bring the necessary music to engagements and do you practice your parts in advance of the performance;
  • Do you bring the appropriate clothing for shows; Do you return all phone calls, texts, messages and emails promptly;
  • Are your instruments in proper playing conditions at all times; If you’re a band leader, do you pay your musicians in a timely manner?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these scenarios, you are not sufficiently prepared for your obligations as a contemporary musician. Think ahead and anticipate what is expected of you as a professional musician. Above all, be prepared; be prompt and plan ahead for all musical situations.

How has a lack of planning affected your life?

Did you lose a gig? Where you asked to leave a team, or band group because of your chronic procrastination or preparation for the gig?

If you know of a good way to stay prepared leave a comment below. Share your expertise and experience so others may not have the same fate.