I don't have time

"Wow, music just requires... so much time!"

This is one of the things I hear most frequently when I talk about my long hours confined in a college practice room. Being the Office Registrar of NCMS, I hear a lot of parents telling me something like "We're not sure if he'll continue in the fall, he'll just be starting high school and we don't want him to be overwhelmed."

This is a totally legitimate concern. If something destabilizing is happening in your life, you want to have extra time to deal with it. I've definitely done it before. I just graduated from college and took about a month off, just to get settled.

Here's a list of things that might prevent you from giving your all in music lessons

  1. Starting middle school
  2. Ending middle school
  3. Starting high school
  4. Entering a new year in high school
  5. Summer vacations
  6. Moving
  7. Starting gymnastics
  8. Homework
  9. Starting a new job
  10. Volunteering somewhere
  11. Being tired after school
  12. Being tired after work
  13. Getting a new pet
  14. Starting to train a new pet
  15. Literally anything different

Are you seeing the point? Things are changing constantly, and I'm certainly not saying all things on that list are equal, but there will always be a good reason to give music a break. Sometimes it's definitely needed. Like I said, I've taken a month off before.

Here's a perspective people don't always consider, however, and something I (as a card carrying lazy person) have to constantly remind myself. Taking time off is nice and instantly satisfying, but have you ever really pushed yourself for consistency? It's almost easier to push yourself to run farther, for instance, when you're already running, but how hard is it to push yourself out of bed every day to run? Really hard.

Practicing and staying with lessons is no different than exercising or eating right or watching less TV. It's easy to get inspired and start, but staying consistent over any amount of time is the difficult part. That consistency, though, is what gives you the edge over other musicians, what makes you feel really warm and fuzzy when you look back on all your hard work.

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.