Discipline

Published on July 2, 2010

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It is hard to live a balanced life when you are a singer, and even more so as a student. First of all, you have to make sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. In the morning and between rehearsals and courses throughout the day, you need to be efficient, but not rushed. Time must be scheduled to practise, which so often falls on the list of priorities as academic responsibility, coachings, lessons, and socializing seem to be more important, or at least more urgent. On top of all this, we must eat healthy meals, drink alcohol every day or not at all, exercise and do yoga, and somehow cultivate other interests and hobbies. How can we make this work?

One thing that I have slowly realized is that organization and time management takes alot of time. It is easy to use organization as procrastination – planning your practise time rather than actually sitting down with your score and learning your music. (Or, writing a blog about discipline while my score is sitting right next to me on the bench.) I have practised both extremes – over-organization, and a lack of organization. I have realized, very slowly, that organization has become my safety net – I am afraid to admit that I actually don’t need to spend so much time organizing my time. I am afraid to actually do the work, because that would mean facing the fact that I have alot of work to do. The fact is, that when I more or less abandoned my organizational efforts, I got more done, I was more inspired, and I felt much more alive.

In my mind, all my faults can be imagined away, and I can convince myself that by the power of imagination I can become a better performer. I am a firm believer in the power of the imagination, but it is undeniable that it is not possible to execute that which is in my imagination without the power of discipline. It is time for me to stop being satisfied with my own second-best because of the approval of others. I need to be much more disciplined in my practise. For me, this means that in the same way I wake up in the morning, eat breakfast, check my email, and do yoga, I do not consider the day complete without singing and studying my music. It is really all about developing good habits, which must start now. A habit will not help me if others think I have it, but I really don’t.

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