Beat Notes

Taking care

If you want to do your best, you have to lose a little sleep.

-Jenny Morgan, student musician

One of the hardest lessons to learn as a musician is how to take care of yourself. It’s a lesson I am still trying to figure out.

I came to Linfield as an only child. A very independent only child, who liked to go to the movies alone and didn’t want Mom and Dad around when she did her homework. But, the problem with being an only child is that your parents coddle you in secret ways. They pack your lunch, they will go to every performance, they do your laundry.

And if your parents are truly among the worst (or best, depending on your point of view) parents of only children, they are helicopter parents. All your decisions are quietly made for you.

Thankfully, my parents weren’t helicopter parents. But I didn’t realize how dependent I was until I started falling apart this year. Each school year I’ve taken on more responsibility academically, socially…and in the ways I’m responsible for myself. I’m more financially independent and don’t call my parents for advice unless a situation is majorly tripping me up.

Those may seem like small things, but when you are…

  • taking 18 credits,
  • peer advising,
  • tour managing for choir,
  • working,
  • a sorority member,
  • and then responsible for those small things like
  • feeding yourself and
  • getting your car repaired

….well, it’s a lot for someone who is 20 years old.

For musicians, there’s a fine balance between getting everything done and actually being able to make music. You can’t make music when you’re exhausted. You can’t make music if you’re too cranky or worried about other things. That doesn’t mean that music is made in a vacuum, but it does require a certain amount of free physical and spiritual space.

I’m still learning how to juggle all of my responsibilities and be able to make music. Hopefully I’m starting to get it right.

Thanks for stopping by. 

Featured photo from flickr user ahalkegabe.

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This entry was published on February 28, 2013 at 9:54 AM and is filed under Music. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Taking care

  1. I’m not surprised to finds you’re at your best when you write in this intimate voice. This is powerful stuff. I tweeted your link on self care. I think we can all benefit from that advice. All the elements are here. Nice work.

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