I don't have time Part II

In my last post, I talked about all the different things that can destabilize your schedule and how that shouldn't stop you from taking music lessons. Today, I want to get a little more detailed and talk about some strategies for keep music in your life, even if you have a crazy schedule.

First, let's talk about the actual lesson. Once per week, 30 to 60 minutes. It seems like a small amount of time, but I totally understand the undertaking it can be, even just between two busy adults. In college, scheduling lessons between the underclassmen who were all taking roughly between 45-92 credits and our college professor who seemed like she was on stage during her bathroom breaks was a real task. Add another schedule in there, like a sibling's soccer schedule, and picking a time becomes almost impossible.

Tip #1 Schedule Music First
I know this sounds hard. What if the lesson conflicts with another after school activity? What if my daughter makes it on the soccer team? What if I get into that community musical? Don't let that stop you. First, make the best guess of your schedule you can. Second, if a conflict does come up, ask the new activity if you could just 30 minutes of time for a previous engagement. It's the least they can do, after waiting so long to tell you their schedule! :) Third, if you absolute cannot miss 1 half hour of your activity, look at our availability and see if you can change your lesson time. If there's nothing available on the website, feel free to give us a call and explain your situation. We might be able to come up with a solution.

Tip #2 Mentally Prepare for Your Lesson Time Every Week
If I have a day that starts at 8am and doesn't end until 8pm, I know I'll be exhausted by the end of the day unless I prepare ahead of time. That means just being conscious that I have to keep going until 8pm. That also means prepping or at least planning food ahead of time so I'm not starving during any part of the day. Water is key. I'm not really a coffee person, but some people are and their caffeine schedule is everything. Think about this as well! Finally, don't forget to take extra breaks that day to mentally and physically refresh.

Tip #3 Have a Backup Ride
I know this sounds silly, but you would be surprised how many students miss their lessons because of a ride mishap. Either a car broke down or the designated driver forgot. I know this isn't always practical, but try to have multiple options for ride. Whether you're a kid who needs to have a second adult that can drive you, or an adult who makes sure they have enough money for a Lyft. A real emergency is definitely reason to miss a lesson, but a little car trouble shouldn't keep you from your musical goals!

Tip #4 SET ONE MILLION REMINDERS
I broke the Rule of 3 just to tell you, ADD YOUR LESSON TO YOUR CALENDAR. Paper, electronic, it doesn't matter. Again, you would be surprised how many people miss their lesson just because they forget. This is an even sillier reason to keep you from your musical goals. If you don't have a calendar, regardless of who you are and how busy your schedule is, I would recommend you get one. Want to challenge me on that? Comment below. :)

It looks like making time for practicing is going to come in Part III...

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Ashley Wright

Ashley has a breadth of experience in administration, music, and music management. She currently works as the Office Registrar at the Nashua Community Music School and manages the New England Chamber Players and Barbershop Ladies of Tallahassee (where she was a founding member). Ashley designed and implemented both the NECP and BLT websites, as well as designed the BLT logo. She was formerly an usher and stage crew member at the Florida State University Ruby Diamond Auditorium, and a resident assistant and office assistant at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.

Ashley has played with the Nevers’ Second Regiment Band, the Southern New Hampshire University Wind Symphony, and she attended the Belgian Clarinet Academy last summer. She recently graduated with a BA in Music from Florida State University as a clarinet major, where she studied with Dr. Deborah Bish. For other musical accomplishments: last year, Ashley composed a film score that was recorded by the Florida State University Philharmonia Orchestra and played tenor saxophone and sung backup vocals in the FSU Ruby Diamond Auditorium for the FSU Blues Band with Charles Atkins.

She received her first bachelor's degree in physics (with a music minor) from Boston University. She worked as an engineer for two years in Quality Assurance and Software before returning to school for her music degree, and she spent last summer as a software intern. She has a lot of experience developing independent Python tools, especially for data processing.