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How to become a musician - Owning our Study

// There are many activities that can empower us to own our study, not as property of course or to have power over it, but in the way it manifests as self-assuredness, intent and responsibility.

Creativity in composition, improvisation, sharing, and performance. These are examples of our String Camp's focus and activities. Each has a powerful potential to bring meaning to our study and to help us realize its inherent value in our lives. This is of particular import when we are young and many decisions are necessarily made for us. Relatedness to our subject can be elusive. Continuing to find value and inspiration is important for adults too, and the ideas in this article are useful for music study at any age.

As parents and teachers, we would like our children to not only do what is needed to 'do' music but to find personal value in it and take responsibility for their participation. This is something that cannot be easily conveyed by simply explaining theory and concepts, but it must be experienced.

Owing one's study is a constant topic of conversation for us at Songbird Rising; how to elevate responsibility and how to provide ways to make it experience satisfying and fun. Once strong ownership is realized then what was once a chore becomes a charm. We are no longer doing what we are told or think we have to do, but doing as we wish, as we are inspired.

Any subject that we find deep value in is easier to study. This value will be unique for each of us but we can describe its feeling, the keystones of ownership -








For both our summer string campers and our year-round violin students, we work to engender the experience of ownership. For your child's (or your own) home practice, it is highly recommended to be creative in keeping the sense of ownership alive. There are many ways that you can do this, and we can name some ideas here for you to try out.

Perform Often

It does not matter if you are a beginner or an advanced player, you can perform! After all, this is what learning an instrument is all about. Remember, performing may always be scary so there is no reason to wait!

  • Busking

  • Open mic nights

  • Birthdays and holidays

  • Cheer up a friend in need

  • Find friends who play and meet regularly to play

Create a Nurturing Environment

One of Songbird Rising's core values!

  • Honor practice, make it sacred and intentful - Check out THIS BLOG for inspiration

  • Immerse yourself in the music that you are learning and love - listen and share daily, and find out its history and meaning

  • Find other musicians who inspire you with their compositions, performance, and character

Get Creative

Anybody, no matter their experience level can do this. If you need some help, ask your teacher. We have plans for a future blog post describing ideas and suggestions for composition and improvisation.

  • Make part of each practice creative and spend a few mins improvising

  • Compose your own music - be adventurous and nonjudgmental

  • Ask to share your compositions with your friends and especially your teacher

  • If you have a piece you are proud of (and you are a Songbird Rising student) we can record it for you!


Recognize and celebrate your achievements as you would for another. When helping your child practice, remember to celebrate their hard work. When you meet your practice goals, complete a performance, write a great piece of music, or any other awesome accomplishment, give yourself or your child recognition well deserved! Make a big deal about it!

Maybe the most fundamental and beautiful celebration is the music itself, as we play we are celebrating life!

// Start today and take your study up a notch in enjoyment and sense of ownership! If you have any ideas for how to engender ownership, please share them with us and the Songbird Rising community in the comments and share the blog with your friends.

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