Giving Purpose to Your Music: Two Tips to Avoid Burnout

Giving Purpose to Your Music: 2 Tips to Avoid Burnout Feeling burned out? It’s a common feeling for beginners musicians, especially if you’re stuck on tough techniques or specific songs. So how do you get over the frustration? Take a look at this great advice from Long Beach, CA teacher Glenn S

Hello, all. My name is Glenn, and I teach guitar, ukulele and banjo lessons in Long Beach, California. Playing an instrument is a skill that can give you a lifetime of pleasure, by expressing yourself musically, writing your own pieces, or playing with other people.

Frequently, students suffer burnout from a routine. To combat this, I feel it is important to set musical goals to give importance to your music. I’d like to address a couple of ways to get out of ruts, and move forward with your music.

1) Participate in recitals

Recitals offer you a chance to work up some of your pieces to the best of your ability, from start to finish, and share your music with an audience, while seeing others perform as well.

Nervousness is a common hurdle to overcome: I suggest choosing pieces that are easy for you, as this can help in getting used to being in front of people. Mentally, it helps me escape into a person, place, or experience that I describe musically. This helps relax myself, and really get into the music itself. Also, by learning to play an entire song as well as you can, new standards are reached, and can be applied to the rest of your repertoire.

2) Jam with others

Playing with other people is also rewarding, and teaches you the skill of playing your part, and hearing how it blends with other instruments. I host performance workshops in my Long Beach studio a few times a year- 5 rehearsals followed by a small concert at a local venue.  Everyone has a good time and becomes a stronger, well-rounded musician.

If you don’t have access to these kinds of workshops near you, try putting together your own performing groups. Ask your teacher to introduce you to other students who share your musical tastes, and select a time to meet up. Be organized: choose a few songs to learn beforehand, and decide who will play what parts, vocal chores, and so on. Songwriting is fun, too – bring ideas and an open mind!

I believe that music is a social skill – by playing with other people, performing at recitals, backing singers at church, or playing “gigs” at farmers markets and such, musical goals are established, and will give direction to your musical experience, and make your relationship with your instrument more meaningful. Hope these ideas helped out, and by all means, keep growing through music!

GlennS2Glenn S. teaches guitar, ukulele, and banjo lessons in the Long Beach, CA area. Glenn has been teaching students for 20 years, playing all styles and levels of music, from day-one beginners to seasoned pros seeking to sharpen their playing skills. He joined TakeLessons in December 2012. Learn more about Glenn, or search for a teacher near you.


Photo by nathanrussell


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1 reply
  1. Phil
    Phil says:

    These are great tips for a challenging aspect of music that is not often talked about. Having a recital or specific songs to play with others can really help channel the energy.


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