Marching season is officially over: we’ve worked 5 competitions, pushed through 3-1/2 months of rehearsals, and given silly awards and hot pizza to everyone in the percussion and brass lines. After growing accustomed to the hustle and bustle of marching season, it can be straight up weird to see a relatively empty November calendar! What are we gonna do will all this extra time?
Unfortunately, it can be easy to answer that question with “Sit and drink coffee!” or “Daily movie marathons in our pajamas!” After all, freelance musicians don’t have bosses, and we have nearly complete control over our schedules. But we also have chops to maintain, and a studio to keep healthy, and music that needs making. So the real question is, “How can we enjoy our extra time, while still doing what we need to do for our music?”
So, I’m treating these next couple of weeks as my musician’s transition. I’m going to treat myself well and allow some extra chillout time, but also make sure that I devote plenty of time to practicing and working toward my musical goals.
It’s in the transitional times when structure becomes so vital for creative people, especially musicians with chops to keep up. Structure doesn’t have to mean ironclad, nose-to-the-grindstone discipline–it can be anything the creative person wants it to be! For me, structure in the form of a flexible schedule, or a list of the top 5 things I’d like to do, helps me have fun and relax while still getting things accomplished. Goals and intentions also help a great deal, because they give me something to work toward.
If you’re a marching band clinician, or a marcher yourself, how are you going to make the transition from marching season back into the “real world”? What kinds of structure work best for you?