I love to learn, but I sometimes forget how important it is to add learning in my schedule on a regular basis. For me personally, I spend a lot of time creating and teaching and both of those things are “output”. I forget sometimes, that I need “input” too.
Last week I attended the Jazz Education Network Conference that I go to every year, except this year it was 100% virtual. It was the first time I had ever attended a conference like this online and I had no idea what to expect. I also volunteered and ended up co-hosting one of the clinic rooms during the day and helped to monitor the chat during the evening performances. While I got a lot of interesting information about jazz and education, I also learned so much about teamwork, problem-solving, making decisions on the fly, and the importance of a timely gif in a group chat. But it also got me thinking about the last time I really dug into deeply learning something. I was reminded that we need to take time to learn. Whether it’s listening, reading, researching, taking a lesson, digging through a lesson on YouTube or anything else, we really need to take time to learn, to refill the well, and to give back to ourselves.
How do we figure out what to learn? In my opinion, this is really personal, and you can always seek guidance if you have someone you trust, but here’s some questions that might help you get started:
- What am I curious about that I’d like to learn?
- What do I need to learn in order to reach a goal I have set for myself?
- What do I have surface knowledge and understanding about that I’d like to dig deeper into?
- What tools do I already own that I don’t know how to use well yet?
- What albums do I want to hear or revisit and what am I hoping to learn from them?
- What books are sitting on my bookshelf or in my Kindle that I haven’t read yet?
Two little side notes:
- This doesn’t just have to be music related either. What helps us grow as humans also helps us grow as musicians.
- On the surface, I learn something everyday. But with this blog post, I encourage you to look for things that you want to learn deeply, that really excite you, stuff that won’t let you stop thinking about it because there’s something drawing you in. Take time to learn that stuff.
What is your “input” recently? Share with us in the Brave Musician Forum or tag @brave_musician on IG. Find Your People.