School’s out! As you pack your summer with gigs and make time to jam with your friends, listen to your body as much as your music. Good health, both physical and mental, will help you focus on your playing. Keep these five health and lifestyle tips for musicians in mind this summer.
Introduce a stretching regimen to your day. Before you pick up your guitar or sit at your keyboard, give your hands some TLC; stretch your fingers individually and rotate your wrists. If you find yourself experiencing neck pain from looking down or shoulder pain from strumming, incorporate neck and shoulder rolls into your routine. If you’re in pain while playing, stop right away and let your muscles rest.
Get Some Exercise
A moderate workout routine will keep your energy levels up. A morning run can be a source of quiet tranquility before you start playing for the day, and a good swim is refreshing on a hot summer day. Dancing can also be an uplifting way to incorporate music into your exercise!
Are You Listening?
Many people associate hearing loss with growing older, but make no mistake: you can start losing your hearing at a young age, and regular exposure to loud music doesn’t help. Get a regular hearing test once or twice a year. If you notice that your ears aren’t what they used to be, play at a lower volume and lay off the headphones.
Be Kind to Your Mind
Mental health concerns are common among musicians. The weight of your ambition and the pressure to succeed can take their toll. Make sure you get a restful night’s sleep every night. Give yourself permission to fail. Everyone hits a sour note every now and then—don’t beat yourself up over it. If you need additional help or just someone to talk to, make an appointment with a school counselor or therapist.
Have Fun With It
Give yourself permission to be silly. Laughter is a powerful antidote to a bad day. Learn a piece that’s way outside your genre or a popular song you’ve always enjoyed—play an entirely different instrument if you can! Don’t let yourself get bogged down with the same few songs; let yourself be clumsy once in a while.
As you create your own soundtrack for the summer, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Music should be a joyful expression of your creativity. Keep that joy with the help of these five health and lifestyle tips for musicians; the blues should be a genre, not a state of mind!