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12 Tips for Staying Motivated

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

Are you feeling tired, unmotivated, apathetic, or disinterested? These feelings are normal - we are in a Pandemic that has placed a tremendous amount of stress on each of us. Let's overcome this together! I've experienced a lot of these feelings and I believe you will find these strategies helpful for maintaining that natural desire to pursue your dreams! Let me know what you think of them

1. Have a Hero/Musician you Admire

-Find someone who you see yourself in- a musician who plays the type of music or moves and experiences music in a way that is inspiring to you. This will take some intentional time on the internet or in conversation. This person may change over time. That's okay. Derive inspiration from a few inspiring people at a time.

2. Get Posters of them

-Remind yourself of that hero by surrounding your space with them. These can make for good talking points as well. Talking to family or friends about your hero/listening to them together can help generate even more motivation.

3.Declare Goals/Dreams/Vision

-A good vision and dream should produce strong feelings when you think about it. Start with a big dream/vision, spend time feeling those emotions, then move towards creating smaller, more achieveable goals towards that vision.

4.Share your vision or goals with others

-Sharing your vision can help you feel it more deeply. It will become more a part of your identity. That's why I openly share my Teaching Vision for Students, Parents, and the Community. I also have dreams to perform in the biggest bluegrass festivals. You can also ask what people think of your vision. This feedback can help you refine it further.

5.Put it on the Calendar

-There is nothing more motivating than having to show up. Whether its a rehearsal or a time that you declared for yourself that you were going to share/post something, having it on the calendar creates a sense of urgency and can even give a little adrenaline boost as the date comes closer. For me, this is a rehearsal I have with a new band two weeks from today. I want to make a good impression, so I'm listening to a 55 song playlist on my commute and am feeling more motivated than ever to practice.

6.Hang out with people who feel similar to you/play the same music

G Rockwell in the recent Q@A session said it best, find people who love the music you love and hang out with them. These people will make you want to practice more because you know that the direct result of your practice means MORE FUN with these friends of yours. By the way, you can watch the whole replay of last week's livestream here. Check out the timestamps for specific moments.

7.Keep instruments out of their case

I've mentioned it over and over again, and my violin is sitting on my chair at home right now... Taking it out of the case is half the battle. Beat that battle by keeping it out. By the way, did you notice what the walls looked like in the musician house I was staying in? Check out the livestream above to see what I mean...

8.Get feedback from people you trust

I pay $200 a month to get unlimitted feedback on my teaching, my musicianship, and my life skills. I trust this teacher and they make me feel like I can achieve anything. Sometimes I ask a question, sometimes I post a video of my playing. Either way, they make me feel like I can accomplish anything and give me self-confidence in pursuing my dreams.

9. Get a good pair of headphones or speakers and respect listening to music

We have gotten used to hearing music through terrible mediums. It hurts me to hear music played through these projector systems in most school classrooms. Develop a deep love and appreciation for music by investing in a good pair of headphones or a speakers system and transform the way you experience music. I love my beyerdynamics. They make my feel like I am right there next to the musicians.

10. Attend weekend workshops, camps, festivals, or live music events

-I'm doing this as often as possible and my attendance at them is a big reason that I have the such a deep love for music. Some of my favorites are Ashokan, Podunk, and Strings without Boundaries <-- this one has backlogged/recorded all of their recent online sessions. Click "Choose an option" under class to see if any of them pique your interest

11. Scour the Internet for inspiration

-Another memorable moment from the Q@A was G Rockwell talking about how he got inspired to play. He mentioned going down the path of "Internet Banjo Mania", where he searched obsessively for everything there is to know about banjo online.

12. Personalize your instrument or case.

-Have you seen my violin case?

My case carries so many memories and decorating it has been a big part of my building an identity around my musicianship. I also know musicians who decorate their instrument with feathers or roses. You can even get colored bow hair or bows. Just be careful with the colorful instruments. They can be lower quality. Get them from a trusted source like the electric violin shop.

What do you think of these tips? Let me know in a response. I'd love to hear from you. Would you consider forwarding this to someone you think might benefit from it?

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