Music Insider Songwriter's 4 Secret Music Tips: One Parent Tells All!
Music Insider: Kids, Work and Songwriting: One Parent Tells All
Want to write a new hit song but are too busy with a dayjob or juggling soccer practice and diapers?
Set aside a TimeSure, we all wish that we had massive recording studios and infinite amounts of time to work on our music, while maybe our kids are miraculously taken care of, maybe by a magical Mary Poppins that's like, "Hey, I know you have had that song in your head for like three months, so why don't I watch your kids so you can finally record that Top 40 wonder?"
But that's not reality (as my own daughter interrupts me so she can show me her new (stuffed) puppy family.
Instead set aside time to work on your music, uninterrupted time. This might be naptime, when the kids are in school, when the spouse and kids are sleeping, on Saturday afternoons from 1-5, or whatever works for your and your schedule. And despite any guilt or interruptions or "emergencies" (you mean that you can't find your glow-in-the-dark T Rex again??? And where in the world did Barbie's head go?), work with other adults in your life (ex. significant other, family, coworkers, friends) to respect that time. Maybe they can babysit, or promise not to interrupt, or cover a shift at work, or make dinner.
Be inspired by what you knowWhen you are crunched for time, you can't wait for inspiration. As my old professor at University of South Florida, Paul Reller, used to tell his students, "Write every day, even if it's crap." (loose paraphrase, but you get the point.). So just write when you have the time. Save it all, even the garbage. Believe it or not, all these little musical ideas will eventually make one great music ideas, so save them all. Your psyche' will point you in the right direction eventually. Until then, keep working at it until something works.
Give yourself a break
Yeah, in between caring for your family, a dayjob, and trying to be creative, you are swamped and possibly stressed out. So give yourself a break. You can't do it all, despite all the Hollywood/Big Music Biz hype. It takes a ton of work to get where you need to get in your musical life, and if you crack, it won't do anyone any good, least of all your family.
Reach out to other musiciansMaybe alone you can't come up with your next hit, so reach out to other musicians. Join a band, reach out to folks online, go to concerts, go where the musicians go. But reach out. My most successful projects have not been ones that are created in a vacuum, but those that involved other musicians, either as performers, collaborators, or even as mentors. So reach out.
Composer Sabrina Peña Young is a groundbreaking and seriously EPIC composer who loves sci-fi, electronica, and overall weird stuff. Her music has been performed throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. Recent works include her sci-fi inspired animated opera Libertaria, the social media opera The Village, and Destiny: Eondwyr for Malletkat and Comic Book panels.