With all the uncertainty in the news and worry over the future of live performances, there’s widespread pent up tension and fear. Nerves are frayed and relationships are strained. So it’s high time we dealt with the biggest inner challenge you face.

Is this some of what you’re feeling?

As musicians, the lockdown has left us adrift without concerts, feeling useless. It seems like we’ve been treading water these 7 months and counting. It’s a perfect storm of frustration, fear, and powerlessness. Not a winning combo.

The biggest inner challenge we all face is in how we respond to our circumstances. Too many musicians are reporting varying levels of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and loss of motivation. And while these are natural human reactions, we have a choice in how we respond to our circumstances and what we do with our reactions.

So what helps?

To overcome The Inner Challenge You Face, here’s what I’ve noticed works . . .

First, realize that no one has this lockdown thing licked. We all have days that are better than others. So don’t compare how you feel inside with the shiny surface exuberance of other people’s social posts. We’re all trying to put our best foot forward. And the PR messages we put out into the world rarely line-up with all that’s going on inside.

That said, there are specific coping strategies that clearly help. The people who seem to be managing through this pretty well are using these tactics. You can, too.

#1 Renew your commitment to music

To maintain a consistent daily practice habit, stay motivated, and connect with fans and friends, create online musical experiences. Make these interactive with talk back, discussions, and collaborations. Explore new projects and partnerships to challenge your artistic growth and energize your work. Look into socially-distanced performing options—at venues, churches, warehouses. Don’t wait for someone else to make things happen—your future is up to you.

#2 Keep in contact with your circle of friends and family

Make sure you are both giving and getting support. Schedule weekly check-ins. With extended family members, silly games can help (try reading radio plays via Zoom). Isolating isn’t an option—it only feeds depression.

#3 Get outside in nature every day.

Get your dose of beauty. Clear your mind of clutter. Find a park, walk beside a stream, take hikes in the woods. It’s the best medicine—your heart and your psyche will thank you for it.

#4 Find new sources of renewal

We’ve all needed to replace at least some of what we’ve lost. I miss my improv class, my yoga class, and the monthly Creative Mornings meetings. What can you do? Find or start an online book group or social activism group. Lots of people are quilting or doing other crafts. For me, what’s helped the most is to . . .

#5 Have a pandemic project

Choose something that stretches you creatively—and that also helps others. The Inner Challenge You Face can be overcome when you get to work on a meaningful project that helps you help others.

A pandemic project of mine launched last week—it was a ton of work—and I’m excited to share it with you here. Because I created it to help more musicians succeed.

If upgrading your college teaching application materials is on your to-do list, this may be just the thing. Check out the . . . .

Musician Educator’s Super Pack

I’ve created a series of self-paced video trainings with live master class sessions — everything you need to get out of the pile and onto the short list. Each of the four courses is laid out in manageable video lessons with step by step instructions, examples, and real-world advice.

Here’s What You’ll Get With The Musician Educator’s Super Pack:

CV Master Course helps you communicate what distinguishes you from the 200 other applicants.

Cover Letter Seminar—so you never again send out a boring, formulaic letter that’s ignored.

Teaching Philosophy Bootcamp helps you articulate what makes your teaching effective—so that search committees can actually picture you on the job.

The Musician Teaching Bio Workshop—to finally communicate who you really are so you can attract more of your ideal students and guest master class opportunities.

PLUS, When you purchase The Musician Educator’s Super Pack you’ll get an exclusive bonus: twice-monthly live Q&A sessions on Zoom with “hot seat” editing feedback on your revised materials.

The Musician Educator’s Super Pack is based on my years directing the career and entrepreneurship centers at Manhattan School of Music, Indiana University, and New England Conservatory. I’ve helped hundreds of musicians create dynamic application materials and successfully navigate the college job market and beyond.

Imagine having application materials that you’re proud of because they tell the true story of who you are and what you stand for as an artist and educator.

I’m excited to help you fulfill your potential and set you up to land more teaching opportunities. Get the details and resister HERE: but act fast—registration ends this Fri. Oct. 16.

Looking forward,

Dream Big, Plan Smart, Live Well

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