Music can be an extremely fulfilling career. But what happens when you have other pursuits as well, such as furthering your education? If you could use some pointers for balancing the two, read on for some handy tips on maintaining a career in music while pursuing an education.
First off, clearly pinpoint your focus. According to CollegeBoard, staying focused is a big part of staying motivated through college. Are you pursuing a degree in music so that you’ll have better skills and a wider range of opportunities in the field? Are you pursuing a degree in a different field like business or design so that you’ll have a more well-rounded approach to your musical career? Your end goal will help you determine how best to prioritize tasks when you’re getting organized. It will also serve as an ongoing reminder of why you’re putting in all that hard work!
It can be tricky to simultaneously juggle a growing career and an education, so you’ll have to be methodical with your schedule. The best bet if you’re already a performing musician is to opt for online classes. According to Independence University, online universities provide constant access to materials and resources which allows students to complete coursework on their own time and around other obligations. This flexibility will prove invaluable while working around gigs! Don’t forget to avoid burnout in the midst of such a busy to-do list. Make sure you take a day off every now and then to unwind and do something totally different than the usual.
One of the best ways to stay fresh once you’ve organized your schedule is to maximize your attention span within that schedule. Don’t be afraid to tweak your daily calendar to fit how you work best once you figure out your personal rhythm. Spinnup points out that many people find that alternating between tasks keeps them fresh and more able to focus. You might want to complete one assignment, and then go and get some practice in or work out the logistics of your next gig before returning to your studies. Allow yourself some flexibility within your schedule for when your rhythm inevitable changes from one day to the next. If you’ve blocked off two hours of study time for the day, break them up with other tasks to keep yourself fresh.
People need a certain amount of interpersonal connection in order to stay healthy. However, it’s equally critical to recognize when you need to simply say “no” to socialization. Maybe you’re feeling too drained and need your day off all to yourself. Or perhaps you’d love to go out for a night on the town, but you have an assignment due tomorrow. During times like these, it’s important to say no to social activities and stay focused on your long-term goals. The temporary social pressure or disappointment you’ll face are nothing next to the difficulty of catching up on rigorous work later.
Having a career in music while pursuing an education can be tricky, but it’s manageable with the right attitude and dedication. Know your priorities, stay organized, alternate tasks, and be deliberate about balancing your socialization.
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