What becoming a Musician is teaching me

The past month has been dedicated to learning music, recording music videos, doing photo-shoots, editing those photos, reaching out to people, and developing marketing strategies. I am currently writing after editing photos for my “musical debut” of a cover song(which sounds really funny to me in retrospect, may be because of how mentally exhausted I am at the moment) for the past 2 hours, after working on an essay for another 2 hours. Usually I would space out such tasks throughout the day so that I would be able to get a lot more done, but I have a dinner appointment with a professor, and so I had some time constraints. And so, with the crazy mindset that I have, I decided to barge through the day by working for around 5 hours straight.

And due to my excessively active schedule, sitting for 5 hours makes my body very anxious, and the desire to move around and work out is almost driving me crazy, the mental fatigue seems to cancel my physical freshness(?) out though.

Anyways, that is not what I wanted to write this blog post for. I wanted to use this opportunity to relay a key life learning of mine, a theme that has been reoccuring throughout my life, and something that I have utilized many times.

Big projects such as these forces me to learn at an accelerated rate.  And there are a few key factors that you can replicate to achieve similar effects.

  1. A HUGE GOAL
    When I decided that I wanted to learn piano, I did not start out by playing chopsticks or anything simple. It would have been too boring, and all I would think about would be the songs that I actually wanted to play. Instead, I started by learning exactly the song that I wanted to play. The beautiful masterpiece, Moonlight Sonata, specifically a movement within his piece, I provided a link to a masterful performance below.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zucBfXpCA6s
    By choosing such a difficult song, you force yourself to learn the basics along the way. It is a pretty much a sink/swim mentality. By choosing the song, I had to be proficient with learning how to read notes, hand positioning(listen to the song, it’s obvious why),  as well as other key intricacies to playing piano.
  2. A DEADLINE
    For my music channel, I assigned myself due dates for tasks that I need to get done. For example, when I filmed the music video, before filming, I told myself that 1. I was going to film a music video, and 2. that I was going to film it by the end of November.
    This forces me to look at what time I have, and if I have a packed schedule(which I always do), I MAKE the time. This is something that I learned from being a chef. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS NOT HAVING ENOUGH TIME. THERE IS ALWAYS TIME. YOU JUST HAVE THE WRONG PRIORITIES. And so, I pushed a couple of things aside, scheduled things beforehand, made sure I had all the tools to film, brainstormed film sequences and places to film, and basically prepped until the shoot date.

Going into starting the music channel, I thought I was going to get better at guitar, get better at editing videos, learn how to record music, and get better with advertising/marketing videos.

WHAT I REALLY LEARNED

Facebook advertising, and how to select customer profiles, as well as test customer profiles to attain a more specific archetype that would appreciate my content.

Cross testing ads.

How to make logos.

Sequences in which successful korean music companies like to market album releases(strategy for marketing)

How hard it is to edit photos.

Instagram strategies for attracting attention and growth.

The idiosyncratic intricacies of voice editing software, that defer from software to software.

Little tricks within my voice editing software to get rid of annoying sound ticks, and makes things smoother.

How to learn songs on the guitar faster.

Branding yourself as a musician, and the importance of not allowing yourself to stick to any single medium or mode of presentation. Allowing diversity into your space of performance.

And this is all that I could think of after working for 5 hours straight(meaning my brain was fried).

You learn so much more than what you set out to, and the bigger the task, the more learning there is to come. I like to use my winter breaks as time to become obsessed about something outside of scholastic learning, and devote myself entirely to whatever I want. I have used winter breaks to learn piano, violin, languages, can’t remember what else, but the point is that I love winter breaks, because for me, they are a time of passionate and fun learning. A time where I can really devote myself to a single craft, and improve myself rapidly.

I encourage you to take on such a task. And even if you do not have a winter break coming up, I advise you to still try to  bite off more than you can chew, and see what you absorb after.

It’s that simple,

Sam Choi

 

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