Are You a Closet Musician? 5 Tips for Getting Yourself Out Of There.

First of all, we’re all made out of music. So there’s that. But many of us had some sort of formal music training or love for music early on in life and then as life happened our connection to music faded into the background for whatever reason.

This does not make you “bad at music” or “unable to carry a tune”. This just means you’re disconnected right now. But if you clicked on this article, then I will bet that there is a closet musician inside of you just waiting to serenade the world with a unique song.

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1. You clicked on this link.

Personally, I only click on articles about things that are interesting to me. So if you’re reading this right now then there is something inside of you, maybe even very very deep down, that wanted you to read this and get inspired. Because here’s the thing… being music is NOT about playing music. It’s about connection to yourself at a cellular level. At a vibrational level. The human body is made up of electric vibrations within each atom and element and organ. They pulse and dance and move to their own rhythm from the moment of conception. Your heart beats to a rhythm that changes based on the way you feel at any given moment. And that pulse you put out into the world, however faint, is the “vibe” you give off to people around you. Imagine that!! You are, I am, we are ALL made out of music. And it’s time to start listening to the beat of your own drum.

2. You once played an instrument but it’s in the closet now.

Okay so, if you have an instrument collecting dust in your closet then you are probably a closet musician. You have obviously spent some time with the instrument in the past whether it’s a clarinet, upright bass, guitar, violin, or whatever. You two have history! It’s like an old friend that you haven’t caught up with in a while. And she’s just in there knocking on the door of your heart like “um… hello? Can anyone hear me out there?” I bet you can hear her if you listen closely enough. She’s got songs ready for you. Pieces from your past that you might only remember a few notes of. But she’s ready. All you gotta do is open that door and pull her out. Let her shake the dust of years off her body and stretch out in your hands. She might not sound exactly right at first but that’s because she’s a little bitter that you’ve left her in there so long! Take a little time to show her that you care and that you genuinely want to see how she’s doing. You’re going to have to earn her trust again. But eventually you two will be back to where you left off years ago.

3. You love listening to music.

You probably have songs for when you’re feeling low that can pick you back up. You probably have songs that calm you down at the end of a long day. You probably  play certain songs over and over because you like the way the bass line bounces or the melody moves your heart. Everyone has different songs that they feel connected to because everyone has a different heartbeat that moves to a different rhythm. What are your favorite songs? They can be from the radio or they can be from your past. Maybe they are on CD. Maybe they are on cassette or vinyl. Pull one of those songs out today and reconnect. Dance around with your favorite Donna Summer track. Cry to Mozart’s Requiem. Play Joni Mitchell’s River for your 15 year old and talk about what you love about the record so much. Bask in the glow of good vibes and you will begin to feel a pull on your heart begging for more. You’ll remember another song and another. Before you know it, on Saturday you will be cleaning the house with the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill album on full blast. And the rest of your weekend will be inspired.

4. You hum along to the radio but barely let your voice above a whisper.

God forbid anyone hears you singing! Then you’ll get comments like “wow, I didn’t know you could sing” or “hey you have a nice voice” or, worst case, someone will think to themselves “jeez dude, shut up, you’re scaring all the passengers”. It’s true, not everyone appreciates an impromptu serenade on the subway platform at 8am. But the point here is that singing is one of the absolute best ways to reconnect with music. Because you know why? You don’t need an instrument to do it. God (or The Universe, or Source Energy, or Yahweh, or whatever you call It) gave you an instrument at birth. All you have to do is open your mouth and give yourself permission to hear your own voice. If you’re already humming along to the radio it’s a sign that your voice is calling and it wants its confidence back. Singing is not reserved for pop stars and opera singers and American Idols. Singing is a human right that everyone can do at any given time. And it feels awesome when you stop worrying about what other people think about your voice. Especially your kids, by the way. Little kids don’t care what you’re voice sounds like, they just like making music with you. Older kids may be more opinionated about what’s “good” or “bad” about your singing, but what a gift you’re giving them when you show that you’re doing it simply for the love of singing, not to impress anyone. This is a lesson they will remember growing up, guaranteed.

5. You’ve played with the idea of taking music lessons.

There is truly no better time to start than right now. Whether you already have some experience with playing music or you have always wanted to, now is the time to connect. If you want lessons, look for a teacher that will treat your new-found connection to music as an exciting turn filled with possibilities. This teacher shouldn’t expect you to be able to practice with the regularity that you could have as a kid because, adulting is hard. They will help you figure out the best way to commit and connect. An adult coming back to music should have as much fun with the experience as possible. Play songs that you love. If you were classically trained and still read a little music, find songs that you love and learn to play them on the flute. Or violin, or whatever your instrument is. The other thing you can do is look up local musician groups who get together regularly just to jam! Some of these groups perform occasionally but some just do it for fun and fellowship. Either way, it’s a great way to connect with music AND find a musical community that is not trying to be famous, they just want to play. In my town we have a free community choir, a ukulele group, and tons of opportunities to watch quality musical theater productions.

Music is about connection with Self and with community. There is no right or wrong way to reconnect. But the fact that you read this can only mean one thing… it’s time. Find me on Social and let me know how your musical journey is going!

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Here are a few online resources to help you get started:

www.smule.com – a karaoke site that allows you to sing your favorite music, make videos, and even do duets with others.

www.takelessons.com – plug in your desired instrument and your zipcode and you’ll find a ton of teachers in your area with varying levels of expertise and pricing schedules.

Why adults play music – a long list of reasons adults play music with cognitive, developmental, and social implications.

www.musicnotes.com – you can search for sheet music of all styles and varying levels and then print it out to play. You can also download digital versions of music for your tablet.

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