My music making tip for this week goes outside of anything actually having to do with the music itself. There are several habits that I established in the last year or so that improved my focus and in turn my musical output. Today the one I will mention is… meditation. Despite growing up in a pretty open minded family with a mother who practiced many eastern philosophies, I myself never paid much attention to it for many years. It’s only in the last few years that I’ve picked up some books and applied some of the knowledge to my life. I still wouldn’t consider myself very “spiritual” so to speak but much of it really isn’t all that “woo woo” and just makes sense, like Meditation.
There’s a lot of different kinds of meditation out there. Transcedental Meditation makes a lot of headlines because of the high profile list of people who say they practice it. I’m sure it’s great but I dont have the extra cash sitting around to dive into all that. So for my purposes, I just started with an iPhone app called Headspace. It starts you off on a free 10 day meditation routine. It kind of gamifies it in a way. Which for me is great, Im a sucker for gamifying anything, I think most people are. After the 10 days, it asks you sign up for a paid service, which I think is $8/month. I’ll be honest, I never did the paid version. I ran through the 10 day trial 3 consecutive times and by then I had established a nice 15 minute meditation routine I could do on my own each day. I may pay for it at some point because it’s supposed to take you a bit deeper but I’m OK with what I’m doing for now and I may explore some other alternative forms of meditation.
For those new to meditation, it can be strange at first. Most newbs always wonder if they’re doing it right because there isn’t usually an immediate result. It takes time to get it down and it also takes time to even realize it’s doing anything for you. It wasn’t until a month or so went by that I realized my studio sessions were way more productive than they had been in the past. I was able to get locked into the creative zone much more frequently and for longer periods of time. Granted, I’ve made some other changes to improve my focus as well but I still think meditation plays a large part. Anyway, I would recommend it to anybody. It certainly can’t hurt. There is some pretty substantial evidence out there it can do wonders for your health as well. Just Google benefits of meditation. At the very least, there is so much white noise and chatter in the world today, it’s good to just take a few minutes to yourself and let all of it go.