Its the age old thing - you start learning this awesome new skill, all you want to do is focus every ounce of your time and energy on it. You start progressing (woohoo) and then just like that, a new distraction comes along and maybe this new found skill of yours starts to fall to the weigh side. It happens to the best of us, that's life my friends. So, how do we stay motivated? I have been playing the drums for half of my life, that is such a crazy concept if you think about it! So much time has been put into this skill of mine. But in theory, am I always itching at the bit to sit down and practise? Hell no! I'd be a frickin superhuman if I was.

For me, it's finding different ways to cultivate excitement, otherwise we get bored and plateau out. Here's a few of my top tips to keep that motivational fire burning:

1. Watch your favourite musicians on youtube - Visually seeing my favourite drummers and musicians smash out a live performance ALWAYS makes me want to go and practise. They are my idols, my main motivational push and in an ideal world that's where I'd want to see myself one day. All of this helps to steer me in the right direction, even on days where I simply cant be bothered.

2. Listen to your favourite songs/albums on Spotify - Whether this is commuting to and from work/school or simply setting some time out for yourself to sit, listen and soak it all in. I find that discovering new music gives me the urge to transcribe (write out) the amazing drum parts that I'm hearing. Or better yet, going back to the classics that always gear you up! We are so lucky to have so much amazing music at our fingertips.

3. Get down to gigs - My number 1 motivator!!! Being front and centre watching the magic happen. I'm constantly looking for new gigs to go to. My favourite place to be is on the stage, so for me, seeing it all unfold in front of my eyes is sheer bliss! I always leave feeling incredibly inspired.

4. Make sure you have a comfortable space - If your setup doesn't feel right, or you're too cramped to feel like you can move around freely, you will barely ever want to sit down and get things done. I make sure that I have enough room to move around my space and my drumkit, I don't want to feel contained otherwise I won't be productive. And if this is the case, switch things up! Move out to the living room if you have to - maybe your sick beats will get the rest of the family involved and before you know it you'll have a rockin' family band!

5. Go in with a plan - Having an idea of what you want to achieve in your practise time can be crucial and super beneficial! It means you are already going in with the intention of success. This can be a totally rough idea or completely thought out. End of the day, it's better than going in blind and noodling around.

6. Quality practise not Quantity - I tell this to my students all the time!!! What's the point of sitting down for 5 minutes every day and thinking that you are staying on top of things? It takes 5 minutes to sit on the seat and open your book!! Instead, try sitting down for 30 minutes (put a timer on) for 3-4 days a week instead and see how much more you will achieve. In theory, this isn't much time at all to sacrifice and if you feel like its working well with your schedule go from there and start practising for longer periods of time/extra days. After all, there is always time, you just have to make the effort to find it.

7. And last but not least, LEARN THINGS THAT YOU LOVE! - Make sure you learn your favourite songs, this is the best push to get you motivated. If I try and learn something that I'm not too keen on, I always fall short and don't follow through. Make a list of all of your favourite songs and start ticking them off the list with your music teacher in your drum lessons. You will feel so accomplished once you're bashing away to your fav tune, it's the best feeling in the world!


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  • bangonmusic

As I sit here, a little overwhelmed by the idea of writing my first blog post EVER, I reflect back to the idea that these writings are based solely around my inspirations and the things that drive me musically. At the end of the day if these writings can relate to a select few in whatever way possible, than that's a pretty awesome thing in my books! So here goes…

I thought it would be incredibly appropriate to kick things off by going back to a saying that has circled around my musical upbringing for quite some time now. “You’re only as good as your last performance”. So simple, yet filled with so much meaning. A philosophy that has reflected powerfully with me ever since my first drum teacher back in high school spilled those few words from his very lips. The year 2005, a bright-eyed kid dreaming of a life that was filled with nothing but music, performing and becoming a drumming sensation. A kid who had finally found her instrumental calling, after countless years of cringing and many shed tears over the fact that she had to continue to practise her clarinet and go to orchestra rehearsals every damn Saturday. Now a philosophy I have always tried to live by since tattooing it on my arm 6 years ago. As I sit here I think about all the moments it has pushed me to achieve more in so many different musical endeavours. For any musician, if you sit and reflect and honestly think back to your last performance, whatever that may be - gig, exam, jam, practise session? How was it? Did you leave that situation feeling accomplished? Did you walk away feeling like you pushed yourself to your limit? And what if it’s a no? How do we change this?

We can also think about this notion not just in a musical sense. If we humour the idea that whatever we find ourselves doing in our day-to-day grind, that we unlock a 100% passion fuelled element within ourselves that maybe we only tap into a small percentage of the time, what would life look like? Or more importantly what would life feel like? What could my life become if this transcends to my everyday? Maybe sometimes (and for a lot of us, a lot of the time) actions can be much harder than words. And sure, just like everything we do it may not be perfect, but at least we are letting ourselves be open to the thought and the idea of complete creative success. If we think of any one moment in our life where we gave it our complete all, chances are, that moment was nothing short of rewarding, fulfilling and invigorating. Lets think that if our practise sessions, our jams, our performances on stage and off stage all revolved around this idea, we are left with the essence of unlocking new musical heights and the opening of many doors for ourselves as musicians, and more than that, as people seizing all opportunities that come our way.

I have vivid memories of my Dad always reiterating his own take on this philosophy. “Mon, don’t leave anything in the tank”. He was completely right. It really hit hard in times of need, when I needed that extra push or when I knew deep down that maybe I was half assing something. You’re left thinking what’s the point? What am I going to achieve within myself if I go into something with half a mindset? Is it even worth it? At the end of the day I truly believe that life is based on balance, and as mentioned before sometimes actions can be much harder than a few measly little words, but its how you say those words and how you commit yourself to those words and the concept!

“You’re only as good as your last performance”. Just knowing that it can stem to a much deeper level and becoming aware of the possibility of living your life to your utmost creative potential is truly a remarkable realisation. Always try pushing yourself to your boundaries and finding new, exciting and deeper musical platforms, maybe ones you never even knew existed.

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