Musician Shop Talk: The Art of Daily Practice with Devotion vs. Discipline


By Cari Cole

Most musicians struggle with implementing daily practice, until they don’t. What’s the secret? How do you slay those inner demons that keep you from becoming your best? The ones that talk you out of those 30-40-50 minutes that will boost your vocal endurance or make you rule at your next recording session?

However, contrary to what you may think, the problem may not be your discipline, the problem may be your “devotion”.

So what’s the key to slaying those inner voices and deepening your devotion?

Here are the top 3 tips that have helped me and so many of my students over the years.

 

1. Daily Gratitude & Intention Practice

Your love of music is never going to go away, so stop treating it like a hobby. Every day when you wake up is an opportunity to lovingly strengthen your commitment by setting your intention. Upon waking up, first say one thing out loud that you are grateful for “I am grateful for this restful sleep”, “I am grateful for this new day” etc. and follow it with an intention. I.e. “Today, I intend to deepen my devotion to my music”, “Today, I desire to work on my music with passion and dedication” etc… Starting with gratitude infuses your day with positive energy, and stating your intention deepens your commitment and tells your subconscious mind what’s UP! 😉

 

2. Raising Your Devotion Quotient

Every creator is fueled by passion first. The love of the craft, the passion for the art of it. Ask any musician if they want to make a million dollars or reach a million people and 99.9% of the time you’ll hear the latter. Passion is not the problem. That is why the word “devotion” is so perfect for your practice.

Wikipedia says that devotion means: love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause.

So what can you do to raise your devotion quotient? Take a class, go see music and get inspired by other performers, strengthen your loyalty to your art by taking lessons or joining a group of other committed artists. Fall in love with your love of music again. When you raise your devotion quotient, your commitment deepens.

 

3. Track Your Practice

If you need a little extra kick in the tush, set up a system to track your practice. This helps my students stay on track and really see what they are, or aren’t, doing. You can use any calendaring system to do this. We create a document in Google called a Gsheet (figure below) where you can make columns for the different areas of practice or daily routines. Then in the fields we put the amount of minutes that we set to tally at the end of each week so you can actually see your practice more tangibly! I’ve found that the students that track their practice see better results overall. It’s motivating and exciting to see the hours and commitment on paper! Try it!

 

I hope this helps you fall in love with your music and get closer to your goals!

Need more motivation and help? Consider joining our Vocal Freedom Circle!