We are all in the same situation at the moment. We spend most of the day sitting at home. As students, I think we can all agree that at this stage in our lives we should be making music together, going out to parties and just enjoying ourselves. Now, of course, the best thing for us to do is to stay at home, but that can get very old very quickly.
At first, I was a bit enthusiastic about having more time for myself. That lasted about two days. So, today I would like to tell you how to not get completely consumed by boredom when you are locked up with only yourself for a long period of time.
There are several things that can keep you distracted and busy. Some of them may even make you more talented and sharpen your mind.
Spend Time in the Kitchen
It is obvious that food can make people happy! So why not use cooking and baking as a mental balance? Besides my passion for music, my biggest passion is probably eating, so I have invested all the free time I have into trying out new recipes. And don’t worry if you are not a star chef; you can’ t exactly let anyone else try it when we’re self-isolating..
It’s best to start out simple and use the things you might already have at home. For example, you could process all the Easter chocolate that you might not have managed to eat yet. I have baked the most delicious chocolate cake ever with the simplest ingredients! And if you prefer savoury dishes, I can highly recommend this lemon spaghetti recipe. It’s easy to prepare and extremely tasty!
Explore new music
I find it pretty hard to find inspiration right now. I love to create music, to bring in new elements that I might have picked up from another artist, or to incorporate everything that inspires me; be it a situation in my hometown – the lively city of Hamburg – or just a story a friend has told me. But now it is exactly this inspiration that I am missing. What really helps me to overcome this is to listen to completely different records, artists and playlists.
Most of you probably use Spotify. And right there in the browse section, you’re offered new music every day. This selection is mostly based on what you already listen to, but just take the time to listen to some newcomers that might be exactly what you’re looking for to have that strike of inspiration.
Apart from that, you might as well find something completely unexpected under ‘Genres & Moods’. Are you a jazz fanatic? How about the newest techno newcomer? Indie Pop more your cup of tea? Maybe you can improve your guitar skills with a little Country. New inspiration during the lockdown is exactly what you need to keep you from getting stuck with your music.
Get off your couch
Now that you’ve found thousands of new artists that you’re totally going wild with while baking a chocolate cake, maybe it’s time for some sports, right? Just because you’re not allowed to leave your house doesn’t mean you can’t stay fit. In Germany, you can still go out on your own for a run. However, things are quite different in places like Ireland. So how do you exercise enough if you really only leave your house to go shopping and for a doctor’s appointment? After all, not everyone has a balcony on which they could run a marathon, like Elisha Nochomovitz, a 32-year-old waiter who has already done so. The answer is home workouts.
It’s really crazy how many free YouTube videos and channels you can find. There are the likes of The Body Coach TV – who creates and shares workouts for every level – and Pamela Reif from Germany who is currently building a huge community on every social media channel by creating a weekly set of workout plans based on her YouTube videos. Think about it like this: for every home workout, you can have one more piece of cake right! Of course, we’re not saying you have to look like a bodybuilder for when quarantine is over but working out can provide that needed balance, and leave you feeling more energetic than you would after a session of Netflix and Ben & Jerry’s.
Become a music genius with YouTube
Speaking of YouTube: as a musician, you can actually learn a lot here. If you don’t have the money to attend expensive Masterclasses or online courses, you’ll definitely be able to find something.
Many great musicians, producers, PR professionals and music junkies have made it their mission to share their knowledge in a way that is accessible to everyone. In the last few weeks, I have found some channels where you can study a lot of music-related material. For example, David Bennet Piano is a very talented pianist and musician who makes music theory palatable. Using popular songs, he explains numerous music theory phenomena, such as special modulations, modal interchange or modes and scales. Music theory has never been so easy!
If you are not enthusiastic about music theory, how about actually recording your quarantine songs? All you need is a laptop, a DAW of your choice and Produce Like A Pro by your side. This channel provides you with a variety of audio production topics. Warren Huart explains everything about recording, mixing, mastering and lots of other informative topics. Some of the videos are extremely detailed and can reveal completely new techniques and approaches for you. With this, you will certainly take your DIY production to the next level!
Unleash the new you
If none of this works and you end up going crazy after all, there’s probably only one thing that will help: a new hairstyle. It’s kind of like that strange voice after a breakup that somehow manages to convince you that a green bob with pink highlights is what you absolutely need right now.
You can give your hair a whole new look with the simplest tools from the supermarket. And, if it turns into a disaster, nobody can see your new ‘do anyway. If you need a little more inspiration, check out this video about quarantine-inspired hairstyles.
Play Live and Stay Safe
Last but not least, social media allows you to stay in touch with your loved ones and also gives you the chance to share your music from home. As you’ve probably seen, Instagram Live concerts are the latest trend. Even Facebook and YouTube have this live feature where most musicians now perform gigs. Just three or four songs is enough to create a small concert for your followers, get feedback on your latest tunes and bring joy to others.
Even your greatest idols and well-known artists feel the same way; they can’t perform either and have to stay at home. So, many of them are also using social media’s live function. Well-known musicians are currently utilising Instagram Lives to make music and interact with their fans. These include Tori Kelly, Jacob Collier, John Mayer, Chris Martin, John Legend and many more. You can also find many other artists by exploring #togetherathome.
You can start cooperative live sessions as well; these are where you can perform live with someone else. Sometimes there’s a delay in the artists’ feed, but some musicians still manage to create beautiful and entertaining music together. Keep collaborative music-making alive!
And, if you’re not in the mood to be creative right now, that’s completely fine. You can still support your fellow students by watching the BIMM Lockdown Sessions on Facebook. They take place every Wednesday and present the best music students from each BIMM location. With all these tips, you should be able to keep a clear mind and not drive yourself too far into boredom. However, just remember that the only thing that really matters is that we all stay healthy, keep in touch with our loved ones and be respectful and thoughtful – even if that involves getting a little creative every now and then.
It’s important to remember that you’re never alone in these times. If you need support or advice during this lockdown – or you just want someone to talk to – our friendly and experienced Student Support Team is here to help. You can reach out via your college’s dedicated Student Support email or send us a DM across our social channels.
Author: Marie-Sophie Weber, Vocals Student at BIMM Institute Hamburg