Motivation Monday: How to Stay Motivated and On-top of your Musical Studies During COVID-19

Motivation Monday: How to Stay Motivated and On-top of your Musical Studies During COVID-19

It is crazy to think that two weekends ago we were enjoying our group rehearsals and private lessons, and this past weekend we were stuck at home with nowhere to go. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and the social-distancing policies being put into place in our cities, it can be hard to keep yourself motivated and on-top of your music studies. All is not lost, however! Thanks to technology, we can be more connected than ever, even if it looks a little “different” for a month. Keep reading for a list of suggestions on how to make the most of your practicing in the coming weeks. We’ll even suggest some of our favorite websites, apps, and programs, too!

How to stay motivated:

  1. Reach out to your private lesson teacher and see if they’re willing to do video lessons! Just because you can’t meet in person does not mean you have to stop having your weekly lessons! Many private teachers are already setting themselves up to conduct video lessons.
  2. Along the same lines, reach out to your friends and play duets, trios, or quartets together over video calls. Once again, just because you can’t see each other at chamber rehearsal this weekend doesn’t mean that you can’t continue working on your favorite flute trios! Text your friends and set up a group video call, turn on a metronome, and play together!
  3. Learn a new piece of music. Have a solo you’ve been eyeing, but haven’t had the time to work it up? Now might be a great time to start working on something new. Perhaps you could even surprise your teacher with it the next time you play for them!
  4. Alternatively, don’t forget to practice your music for your school and extra-curricular ensembles. Make sure to keep working on your other music. Even though your concerts and rehearsals are postponed for now, that doesn’t mean practicing that repertoire gets postponed too! Pro tip: Play your part along with your favorite orchestral recording. Not only is it a great way to practice your part, it’s fun and allows you to hear all the other parts too.
  5. Record yourself. This is a good one to do, even when you’re not stuck at home all day. Use your computer, a recording device, or even your iPhone, and record yourself playing a piece of music you’re working on. Listen back and continue to improve on the parts that you’re not happy with.
  6. Record yourself v.2. Can’t get any friends on video call, but want to play horn quartets? Play with yourself! You can teach yourself how to multi-track, or use an app like Acapella to make it really easy. Click here to see what we mean!
  7. Learn to compose/arrange. Composing and arranging are both really handy skills, but take time to get started. There is plenty of free musical notation software on the internet and basic tutorials are plentiful. Now, who’s going to arrange the Super Mario theme song on bassoon for me?!
  8. Encourage and motivate each other. We’re all going through this together, and we’re all going to struggle from time to time. Check in with each other, reach out to your ensemble-mates, and stay positive. There will be a light at the end of this tunnel, and wouldn’t it be something if the next rehearsal we all attend sounds absolutely amazing?
  9. Watch your favorite operas and orchestras for FREE! Many professional ensembles are providing free streaming of their archived concerts and performances due to COVID-19. Don’t miss your chance to catch the latest Berlin Philharmonic concert, or see the MET on the big screen (or your laptop screen!). Did I see Carmen is streaming tonight?!

Our favorite FREE musical websites, apps, and software:

  1. Smartmusic (offering free access through June 30 due to COVID-19!) This is an AMAZING offer that you should not pass up, especially if you’ve never used Smartmusic before. Smartmusic contains practice tools, hundreds of pages of digital sheetmusic, piano accompaniment, and more.
  2. Musescore is a great Finale/Sibelius alternative to start arranging and composing your own pieces.
  3. Acapella (app store) will help you play all of the chamber music with yourself! It makes multi-tracking a breeze.
  4. Skype, Facetime, Google Hangouts- whatever your favorite video messaging app may be, this will come in handy to schedule private lessons and chamber dates with your friends.
  5. IMSLP  Only the greatest digital library of music of all time. Need a 1st violin part to Beethoven 7? Check on IMSLP! Want to learn the CPE Bach Flute Concerto? It’s there too!
  6. The Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall


Stay positive, stay motivated, and STAY HEALTHY!

Have any tips missing from this list? Please share with us so that others can benefit from your wise words!



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