There are a lot of parallels between training for a sport and training for music. Some of these are obvious: you need determination, a clear goal in mind, and careful, regular practice. Others you might not have thought of, like the three we’ll be discussing. These extra insights can be borrowed from sports to give you a powerful advantage in music.
We’re going to look at three ideas from the world of sports which musicians can use to boost their chances of successfully reaching their goals.
This is a summary post.
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Before we begin, you might be wondering what kind of musical training we’re talking about, or what we mean by musical goals. Here are a few examples to keep in mind as you read through.
You might be:
- A teenage guitarist wanting to improvise freely.
- A hobbyist singer who’d like to sight-read music so they can join a choir.
- An adult learner starting a new instrument and wanting to play by ear.
In all these cases and more, the sports training ideas we’ll discuss can be used to accelerate progress and increases the chances of being successful.
Drowning and Fizzling
Modern musicians have a world of resources at their fingertips. There are videos, courses, apps and online lessons for whatever you want to learn, all just a click away.
But what if you get stuck? Who can you turn to for encouragement or expert help?
The answer is normally that sadly, you’re on your own. This means that despite being practically drowning in useful resources, most musicians fizzle out.
The Sports Solution
In sports you generally have three things that we can lack in music: team-mates, a coach, and a place to train.
These things are taken for granted in sports, but often overlooked in music, especially for the beginner or self-taught hobbyist. They can each greatly reduce the risk of loneliness and frustration, and help prevent you from “fizzling out”.
So why not bring these same three assets to your musical training?
Your “team-mates” will be musicians like you. They are working on similar skills and aiming for similar goals.
They can help you by providing tips from their own experience, support when you’re struggling, guidance when you need it and collaboration to make your training more sociable and fun.
They also provide one more powerful advantage: accountability. Your musical team-mates will remind you of what you set out to do, whenever your progress wavers. Research shows that being accountable to a friend can dramatically increase your odds of success.
With team-mates around you, you’re much more likely to go the distance.
The most successful athletes all rely on a “coach”, and the same is true in music. Some people call it a music mentor.
Your coach might themselves be a successful musician who you admire, or they might not be but have years of experience helping people just like you.
They provide you with a combination of motivation and expert insights. The motivation helps you keep moving forwards and their insights will ensure you’re moving directly towards your goal by the shortest route possible.
A coach helps you keep moving towards your goals and get there sooner.
Your Music Space
As with sports, it helps for musicians to have a place to focus their training.
You’re fortunate: it doesn’t need to be a court, track or stadium! In fact it doesn’t even need to be a physical place necessarily.
Your music space could be a practice journal you update each date or an online community where you share your progress.
It just needs to be somewhere you can clearly keep track of how things are going.
Being organised about the work you’re doing increases your odds of success.
Sporting Success in Music
Use one or more of these 3 ideas to increase your odds of success in music:
- Try to find new “team-mates” to support you in your training.
- Look for a “coach” or music mentor who can guide you.
- Be organised about your training and have a set “place” where you do it.
Here at Easy Ear Training we believe so firmly in the power of these three things to dramatically improve musicians’ training results we built a dedicated website which provides you with all three: Musical U. Learn more here.
Remember you don’t need to apply all three of these ideas at once. Just adopting one can improve your chances of having more success faster in music. Learn more about these 3 ideas and then get started with them today!
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