One common misconception that many people have is that musical ability is something you either have or you don’t. Musical skill is definitely something that can be improved upon and strengthened with consistent practice, just like everything else. Even the most popular and iconic artists had to spend thousands of hours practicing, spending days upon days just perfecting their craft.
Here are 3 practical non-musical activities that can help you improve your musical ability:
1. Mindfulness Meditation
Meditation gives us the silence and space we need to rest from the business of daily life. It helps us reconnect and ground our mind to allow for better practice sessions and performances. Whenever you need to find inspiration, create new music, build stage presence and confidence, or even release mental and physical strength, mindful meditation can do wonders.
For those just starting out, the hardest part is to simply begin. Once you’ve experienced the benefits and power of meditation, you’ll find it easier and easier to make time for the practice. Taking a couple of minutes each day to do away with distractions and become fully aware of your self will definitely take your playing and communication skills to another level.
2. Breath Control
Proper breath control is essential for both aspiring and professional singers. Wind players will also hear a significant improvement in how their instrument sounds. You can hold longer notes and reduce the likelihood of injury or strain.
Need a quick exercise to boost breath control? Lie down on a comfortable surface with your knees raised and your feet flat on the floor. Let go of any stressful thoughts and start breathing in. Notice how your belly and diaphragm are expanding and make sure that your stomach doesn’t go in while doing so. Hold this breath for 5 to 15 seconds before slowly exhaling. Repeat several times!
3. Rhythm Recognition Exercises
Many artists, even those who have been performing for years, can find it challenging to find their rhythm. Following or even recognizing the beat can be difficult at times, but when you struggle with rhythm, you are also likely to have trouble with tempo and beat as well. Looking for easy training methods can help anyone get better at recognizing rhythm in music, but remember that it takes time.
There are several ways to better your musical ability, even when you don’t have access to your actual music. Don’t forget: be patient and take things one day at a time!