music advice

🎶 Practice positivity 🎶


• You are improving, even if it doesn’t seem like that.

• As much as music can be stressful, think about why you started and how you love music.

• No matter where your musical ability is right now, you’re doing great, and you’ll do great.

• Remember, no one sounds perfect when they’re practicing.

• Music takes time- you are constantly learning and improving. Where you are right now is not an accurate indication of where you will be in a few years time.

• Sometimes you will have bad days, bad weeks, even bad months, but you just have to work through them as best as you can and things will get easier.

• There is always time to get better. Whether you’re at the beginning of your musical journey, or the middle, there will always be time to improve.

• There is no level to reach that defines you as a good musician. Even the greatest musicians are constantly learning and improving. And the fact that you’re working hard at your music is part of what makes you a good musician.

• Music is not a race- you are only competing against yourself- and you’re winning! You don’t need to compare yourself to others.

• Sometimes things will happen- things that are out of your control and interfere with your playing. This are things you can’t stop from happening, the only thing you can do is accept them and work through them as best as you can. And that’s all anyone can ask of you.

• You have improved by so much since last year. You will have improved by so much next year.

• We all go through difficulties with music. You’re not alone. You will get through it.

• Although there will always be someone better than you, the thing that matters is that you’re improving.

• You have strengths in your playing, not just weaknesses.

• You are allowed to take care of yourself. Your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing is more important than your music.

• Improvement in anything (but especially in music) takes time. When you want immediate results, it can be discouraging when you don’t get them instantaneously, but if you keep pushing on you will get there eventually.

• No matter where you are on your musical journey, your love of music is valid. You don’t have to be amazingly talented at something to have a passion for it.

• Where you are right now is fine.

And finally…

• You can do it!! Now go practice.


Okay so this ended up more like advice then positivity, but thinking this way about practice and music in general (especially when you’re stressed or feeling bad about your abilities) can be really helpful. Music is as much of a mental game as it is anything else, and I think it’s important to acknowledge that.

FEEL FREE TO ADD YOUR OWN POSITIVITY OR ADVICE HAVING TO DO WITH THE MENTAL SIDE OF MUSIC!! 🎶🎶

Dear parents, if your child is spending all their time locked in their room listening to music and distancing themselves try talking to them and not calling them “lazy” thanks.

How to be a successful professional musician

  • Be AMAZING at sightreading
  • Be 5 minutes early
  • Have your music with you
  • Have two pencils with you
  • Have water and a snack with you
  • Keep your calendar current
  • Check your calendar often
  • Show up with your part learned
  • Stay engaged until rehearsal is done
  • Fix your own mistake before the conductor has to address it
  • Smile and say “thank you” often
  • Be proactively friendly to conductors, ensemble members, and audience members
  • Have an exceptional work ethic
  • Learn to drink with other musicians until two on Friday night and still rock that wedding gig Saturday morning at ten
  • Make beautiful music every time you open your face or touch your instrument. Every. Single. Time
  • Be reliable
  • Pay attention
  • Kick ass at sightreading. If you can sightread you can pay rent

“It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.”

Hi, everyone! If you’re like me and you love a good game soundtrack or a great playlist of all sorts of game music, this is the masterpost for you. I’m one of those people who studies better with some music in the background, and what better way of making a study session more enjoyable than by listening to the soundtrack of your favourite game?

Why listen to music while you study?

Multiple studies have proven that certain students who listen to music while they study perform better academically. Unfortunately, it’s not for everyone, so you should really figure out if this is the right method for you before commiting yourself to it! The main arguement for studying with music is that research has proved that listening to classical music in particular helps the brain absorb more information and also helps stimulate one’s thinking! 

On the other hand, some people tend to lose all concentration when there’s any music or noise in the background, which leads to procrastination and lower productivity. In short, if you can’t concentrate on the task at hand and get distracted easily, this isn’t the best method for you! 

Playlists

I started actively looking for playlists with game music about two years ago and instantly fell in love. There are so many good playlists of various lengths and genres that are accessable on platforms like spotify, 8tracks, youtube, etc. All of the playlists include the tracklist in the description below them! 

Note: I won’t be adding any playlists from 8tracks because they only work in the US and Canada. 

i. General

Game music for studying: Some of you might have already heard of these videos before. They’re roughly an hour and a half long and include some of the more calming tracks from a lot of different games. All the names of the tracks are listed in the description below, which is super handy if you want to find out which game it’s from! I thought I’d put in the playlist of all of them so you can just press play and enjoy!

Video game music! 2.0: Probably the longest playlist you’ll find anywhere. a n y w h e r e. 223 hours of amazingness that you’ll never regret! 

ii. Calming/ relaxing

5 hours of atmospheric game music: This is one of my personal favourites. It’s very long so you don’t have to worry about looking for another playlist when this one finishes. 

Relaxing video game music: Another gem! Once again with all the tracks in the description. This one’s great for shorter study sessions since it’s only and hour long.

More relaxing  video game music: If the previous playlist was too short for you, check out this 3 hour one! I used this one a lot last year! 

Calming Nintendo music: A super great playlist for all you Nintendo fans! It includes some really nice tracks from the Legend of Zelda series, if you’re into those soundtracks!

Jesper Kyd playlist: Ever since I first played Assassin’s Creed 2, I’ve loved Jesper Kyd’s work. This is quite a long playlist including some of his best tracks from various games. My favourites are towards the end!

Relaxing Legend of Zelda music: You had to see this one coming. The LoZ series has some of the best soundtracks to study to (, in my opinion,) and some of the prettiest and most calming tracks. I highly recommend this 42 minute playlist for those times when you just don’t feel like working.

2 hours of sleepy video game music: This is also a little series of playlists. There are 4 of these videos in total, which adds up to 8 hours of sweet, sweet music. 

iii. Epic/ badass

Epic video game music: For all of you who need a little badass music in the background! 2.5 hours of epic and awe inspiring music to really get some work done! 

Focus - video game music: Spotify has some really great playlists, so I thought I’d include a few! This playlist is a little more epic and loud, but if that’s the mindset you really need to push through, this would be great for you. It’s an amazing 11 hours long so you’ll never run out.

Orchestral video game music: Another epic playlist, including the occasional lullaby. This is a 7 hour long playlist, so a little shorter than the previous one, but by no means less epic and badass!

Soundtracks

Compared to the playlists, soundtracks tend to be a mix of epic and calming music. Most games have their perilous moments and their I’m-so-relieved-I-managed-to-beat-that-boss-with-only-one-heart-left moments. The world of video games is vast, so I’ve selected a few of my favourite soundtracks to share with you instead of listing all of the ones I can find.

Legend of Zelda - Skyward Sword: One of my favourite all time games! The soundtrack is long too, so you don’t have to worry about looking for a new one afterwards. 

Legend of Zelda - Ocarina of Time: This game is widely believed to have the best soundtrack in video game history. All I can say is so sit down, gather your work and to just enjoy.

Final Fantasy VI: This 1994 gem has an avarage playtime of 65-70 hours. The game has such a good storyline and the soundtrack is a little old school with a lot of non-orchestral tracks. I’d still recommend this to everyone who likes an older style of video game.

Suikoden Tierkreis: I have memories of me just going to the overworld map so I could listen to the music. It’s that good. 

Bioshock Infinite: I’ve only ever played the first in the series, but I watched a walkthrough of this particular game and I loved it so much! The music is slightly creepy and loud sometimes but it’s a really great soundtrack overall.

The Last of Us: Another game I’ve never actually played, but the walkthrough was amazing. The soundtrack is very atmospheric and doesn’t have a lot of loud parts, so it’s generally calm. 

Assassin’s creed 2: My all-time favourite game ever. As you know from before, I think Jesper Kyd is amazing, so putting these two elements together makes a truly great game. The soundtrack is actually quite well known because a few of it’s most popular tracks are featured a lot in other playlists. E.g. Dreams in Venice and The Madam

The Elder Scrolls V - Skyrim: I’ve listened to this one a few times and I think it’s really good! It starts off quite strong but it has a lot of calmer songs too.

Fable 2: The Fable series is well-known for being short, so the soundtrack is also on the shorter side. I know the dialogue in the game almost by heart and I can guarantee you that there’s a lot of atmospheric music in this soundtrack. 

Fragile: This one was recommended to me by a friend on tumblr years ago. It has really sweet songs and has a lot of piano centered tracks. 

Now get to work!

I hope I’ve helped you find the perfect game music to accompany you while you study! If you have any recommendations, feel free to send me a message! I’m always up to discovering new playlists/ soundtracks.

More posts

X Lou

orchestra kids in love
  • cellos: will serenade you until you cry and marry them. do not mention pachebel's canon or they will dump you.
  • first violins: too stressed to date, they will ditch you for practice unless you bring alcohol
  • second violins: like to chat with people from different sections, lend them a pencil and they'll love you forever
  • violas: wallflowers to the max but very down to earth, they just want to be noticed and you have to make the first move
  • double basses: sassy as fuck and always taller than you
  • flutes: very pretty. also dramatic. i have been witness to flutes fighting with boy/girlfriends and it's heavy stuff
  • clarinets: need all the love srsly go talk to a clarinet
  • oboes: chatty as fuck and can be smooth when they want to, never pay for food
  • bassoons: always weird but in a kooky way. will probably stare at the person they like and never tell them
  • saxophones: made of sex. the most chill ppl in the room except for maybe percussion
  • french horns: dorks who will make you laugh, probably already dating someone
  • trumpets: flirts and loud and proud about it. will flash you for a 20
  • trombones: boner jokes, but actually really nice
  • tubas: always smug about something. good hair
  • harp: ethereal and serene, date if you've always dreamed of finding a faerie
  • piano: damn those fingers are skilled ;) nerds who will blush if you tell them pickup lines
  • percussion: always hot, male or female. will wink at you and take you to music festivals
How to Keep Practicing Over Break

This post is as much for me as it is for all of you. Break saps all motivation to practice, especially since so many people go back to their parents house and lose access to the practice rooms we take for granted. However, if your goal is to keep improving, then practicing during break is essential!

  • Give yourself a routine. Seriously, knowing that you’re going to wake up at 8 am and practice at 9 am or whenever is hugely helpful. Part of the reason I practice so much less than I do during the semester is because I don’t HAVE to squeeze practice in somewhere - I have so much free time, I can do it later! And then I never do it. Setting up a defined schedule makes the process much easier.
  • Get rid of obstacles to BEGINNING practice. Have a phone call to make? Do it now, or decide it’s going to Wait until After Practice. Dishes need doing? Ditto! Want to get through four more pages of Tumblr/one more episode/two more chapters of that book? Sorry, those aren’t productive procrastination, they Will Wait. If you have little things hanging over your head, either do them or practice. Saying you’ll practice ‘after I do that chore’ and then never doing the chore is Procrastination2. Don’t do that!
  • Have goals for when you go back to school. Do you want to wow your teacher with the polish on a piece? Have two new pieces decently learned? Improve your trill speed by 15 bpm? Know what you want, and practice it. Otherwise you’re just noodling around, not seeing Progress because you don’t have anything you’re aiming for. HOWEVER, do not beat yourself up if you don’t achieve them - by practicing you still made progress somewhere!
  • Think about your favorite pieces. I want to sing Carmen one day. I might be adding an aria from Carmen to my rep by learning it this semester. Choose a piece that makes your heart sing and try it!
  • Motivate yourself with little gifts. Give yourself a nice bath for every 5 hours of practice. A hot mug of apple cider for every one. A new movie for a complete run-through of the piece at x bpm. It helps! I just got a 40 pack of teabags, with each being a different flavor, and I’m gonna give myself one every time I practice.
  • Have fun with it - juries are as far away as they can be! Hey! This is about as low stress as practicing can be! Having goals but no real deadline should let you have fun with your instrument. Play that flute piece you enjoy on your tuba. Practice operatic technique with Ella Fitzgerald songs. Practice double-tonguing while beat-boxing. (I don’t know how either of those things work I’m sorry if that isn’t something you can do.) Don’t stress, try to remember why you play your instrument in the first place.
  • Remember that practicing does in fact help. This is related to what I said above - even if you don’t reach whatever goal you had in mind, practicing is helping you improve. You’re getting in part of your 10,000 hours. The more you pay attention to what you’re doing, the more useful it is for you in the long term, even if it doesn’t feel like it. You Are IMPROVING.

Practicing can be hard, and I know I’m going to struggle with it this break, but I believe in you all! Message me when you practice and maybe that will help everyone (especially meeee) to practice more!

How to Work During School

It is an unfortunate fact that most college students are obligated to work at least some during the school year. It’s not easy to do, either. A full course load is designed to be roughly equivalent to working a full-time job, in and of itself. Most schools recommend studying for a class at least three hours per credit. If I actually had the time and will-power to do that, I would be spending 19 hours in class a week, and then studying for an additional 57 hours. Each week. That’s TWO full-time jobs.

Now, I do not study that much, for various reasons. I do, however, volunteer and attempt to have a social life. So balancing the roughly 25 hours a week that I work is sometimes a little difficult. However, balance it I do. Working while being in school is totally doable, as long as you know your own limits and use time relatively wisely.

When applying, look for desk jobs. Desk jobs, especially on-campus jobs, are great, because you can usually do homework during them. For example, this post is being written while I work my reception job. Anything where you can work on other responsibilities is great. If you enjoy running, maybe think about becoming a dog-walker! If you’re an education major, think about nannying! It’s all about getting your job to hopefully mesh with your schedule at least a little better than a random McDonald’s gig.

Don’t take overnight shifts unless you don’t have class until after noon the next day. This is experience speaking. Don’t do it. Leave if at all possible at least 10 hours between the end of your shift at night and the start of your first class the next day. If you close at midnight and have an 8am the next day, you’re going to have a long day tomorrow.

There is no shame in working on-campus food jobs. Seriously, on-campus jobs are the best. And if you end up working in the cafeteria? Hey, you get free food out of it. That’s a bonus.

Be strict with your study schedule. If you have a job where you can’t study during your shift, then you need to be strict about your time when not in class or at work. Yes, free time is awesome! But get your homework done first, so your free time is really free. It’s way nicer to watch Netflix and relax when you don’t have a five page paper hanging over your head. When you have to factor in time lost to your job, you’re going to need to be more on top of everything else because you don’t have nearly as much time to procrastinate.

Be firm about when you’re available. If you don’t have an on-campus job, then you need to be prepared to stand up for yourself when it comes to scheduling. You are NEVER available to work a shift if you have class at that time. You physically CANNOT work more than about 35 hours a week if you also have a full course load - trust me, I tried. Be prepared to argue on your own behalf when it comes to this, because off-campus jobs tend not to care much about people’s school schedules.

If you keep this in mind, you’re going to be pretty well set up to work during the school year. Now go and make minimum-wage bank.