How not to get too bored at home

What with so many music events cancelled, performers and fans of live music alike are finding themselves with a lot more time available to them. Even non-musicians working from home have extra time without their commutes.

So how can we stay active and not get swept up into a vortex of Youtube videos or Netflix binge-watching?

Here are some jigsaw puzzles I completed not too long ago, all over 1,000 pieces. How many can you do in the next eight weeks?

Here are 10 suggestions:

  1. Pick a piece of music to work on each week and invite other performers to work on it as well. Discuss your progress and challenges, and look for videos or recordings to listen to, follow along to, and discuss with your peers.
  2. Explore music new to you using free sheet music resources such as imslp.org [Edit: Many libraries have a free streaming service to NAXOS recordings! Thanks, Karena]
  3. Revisit old repertoire in your library you haven’t seen for a few years, even some of those student materials can focus your mind and get your fingers moving again.
  4. Unless we are placed under lock-down/ quarantine, meet with one or two other performers at home, and read through chamber music or practice parts together.
  5. Each day, look through your contacts and choose someone you haven’t spoken to in a while – call, private message or email them, just asking how they are doing and how they are keeping themselves busy (or, not bored).
  6. Utilize existing resources to stay connected with other performers and fans of live music, such as the Building Profitable Performing Careers Facebook Group
  7. Plan and write down the musical activities you would like to participate in for June and beyond, to avoid over-doing and over-committing yourself once restriction are lifted. Look for concerts to attend as much as perform in.
  8. Look out for and participate in new online events such as the Dunedin Music Society‘s repertoire workshops, playing challenges, virtual ensembles, etc.
  9. Read one chapter a day of a composer’s biography or musical non-fiction book. I will share a list of recommendations before the end of this month.
  10. Do something different – cook a meal you’ve never cooked before, walk a trail, do a jigsaw puzzle, grow some flowers or herbs in pots.

Remember: we are not yet confined to our homes, we are not likely to lose power or access to resources (such as after a hurricane), and we are not prevented from meeting with others at all.

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