Timely Advice to Students
With students the world over back at their places of learning I always like to remind students of some basic procedures that will ensure they develop their musical skills, build a solid professional reputation and still healthy and happy in the process.
I hope these 15 tips will help as the school year gets underway.
- Keep yourself informed as to what is going on ~~ If you are communicated to by your college , school or university
- by noticeboards ~~ look at them
- by email ~~ check it
- by mobile phone ~~ make sure you have one and it works !
- Keep a diary with you at all times ~~ 'I'll remember, I don't need to write it down' - who are you kidding ??
- Work as a team ~~ The music world is a competitive business but professional colleagues can be there for you for a lifetime.
- Healthy competition is encouraged ~~ if there's a competition or a audition for a seat, play to win.
- Be organised with your practice routines ~~ absolutely crucial to your continuing improvement. If you want to be consistent on stage it has to start in the practice room.
- Never be late for lessons or rehearsals ~~ no excuses, ever !!!!
- Arrive at lessons/rehearsals already warmed-up ~~ be smart, for your physical and mental well-being turn up at rehearsal and lessons ready to play. It creates a feeling to all those around you , and your teachers, that you are serious musician, can be trusted and …are employable.
- If you have a problem: attendance/punctuality/ illness etc , let someone know.. ~~ Keep all necessary phone numbers with you. When there is a genuine problem, know what you need to do to let people know.
- Organise/catalogue your solo/band repertoire/study music ~~ don't keep your music in a rubbishy plastic bag ! Keep your music collection catalogued and easy to find, carry what you need for that day or that week with you in a proper folder...you know it makes sense!
- If you sign for ensemble music you become totally responsible for it and will have to replace the complete set if parts are lost or damaged. ~~ don't lose someone else's music, either that of a teacher or colleague…you can become instantly despised !
- Think high quality all the time. Be professional in your attitude ~~ get your 'head' right, everything else follows.
- Promote yourself ~~ don't be shy in telling people what you do. There are nice ways and ugly ways to do this. Be a very efficient promoter with good ways of operating.
- Warning: Good reputations take much longer to build than to lose.
- Look after your body ~~ take exercise, eat healthily, get enough sleep and drink lots of water. Saying it is easy, doing it requires massive willpower. Are you up to the challenge ? Your body will thank you if are.
- Never lose your sense of humour ~~ even in the darkest times of the school year, find a smile, have a laugh , get up an go on !!
© Steven Mead, September 2006