Sep 2nd, 2013

When music is work...


I'm back in business. After an incredibly busy year of conducting, arranging and teaching, I was in need of a big, big break during the last few months. And since I got some new insights out of it, I'd like to share this topic with you. 

When music is work, things can get a little difficult. First, there is a moment or period in your life in which music turns from a hobby into a profession. But that doesn't mean the hobby part is gone! You really have to learn how to keep your balance, and how to decide what's worth spending your time on. For example jam sessions; a lot of fun, but yet another night/moment away from home, and I can imagine in most cases the critical musician in you wants you to be on top of your game, too. Or doing some arranging for friends, students or people you like, while at the same time having a lot of assignments, that pay the bills...

When I look back and evaluate last year, I almost always said yes. There was always some reason to go do this gig, arrangement, workshop, jam, etc. Mostly because I love my work, wanted to help out people and liked having no financial worries. But in the end this didn't work out for me, as I'm sure it wouldn't for anyone. I was exhausted.

Next to that, we now have the possibility to reach out to our college's and friends all the time, thanks to internet, what'sapp, email, facebook, twitter and so on. And thanks to our smartphones and tablets, the information comes in 24 hours a day...

On top of that, I think it's quite a difficult society we live in. Everything is possible, everyone wants to be happy, satisfied with work, healthy. Before you know it, you're working full time, having quality time with family, spending time on social life, sport multiple times a week, take care of pets and maybe children, and on top of that you want to travel, see the world, cook nice food and be 'zen' at the same time. 

So, during the last few months, I've been working on how to improve my lifestyle, evaluating what went wrong. Some simple things that I want to put down for you to read, and as a reminder to myself: 

- Set a goal and make sure every bit of work you do contributes to achieving it;
- Scedule your 'time off' as well, weekly and monthly;
- Change the settings on your phone and tablet, so YOU can decide when you want to work;
- Take time to evaluate.

And of course there's a lot more to say about this subject, but for me this is a start. 
Hope you all enjoyed reading this. Feel free to leave a comment. 

Hugs, Merel 

P.S. Here's me and my cat Henry, this is how I spent a lot of time last months. :-)



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