4 Ways to Improve Your Musicianship In Isolation

By Miranda Wilson

Bored, lonely, anxious, and panicking in self-isolation? Yeah, me too. I wish I could go all “silver lining” about the pandemic of 2020, but I can’t really think of one. This is just rough, and that’s all there is to it.

That said, one of my favourite sayings keeps coming into my head. “You can’t control other people’s actions, but you can control how you respond to them.” What would happen if we replaced “other people’s actions” with “the current horrifying crisis”? Whether we like it or not, we currently have an opportunity for reflection, self-study, and study in general. So…

…you know all the things we keep meaning to learn and/or brush up on, but don’t? Well, the internet and especially YouTube have made it brilliantly easy to teach yourself new skills.

Here are 4 ideas for things to do at home that make us better at our craft.

#1. Learn Voice-Leading in Four-Part Harmony

I love this guide from School of Composition, which offers one of the best explanations of the hows and whys of four-part writing I’ve read.

#2. Teach Yourself Counterpoint

Have you been meaning to do this for the longest time? No need to bust out the expensive textbooks, you can learn it at Ars-Nova.com.

Or, if you prefer to learn from watching videos, check out Stephen Malinowski’s amazing YouTube channel. This is the best visual representation of how counterpoint works ever.

#3 Learn About How Post-Tonal Music Works

Open Music Theory has a fantastic explanation of the basics.

Or watch Vi Hart‘s video where she explains the subject in a fascinating way that combines her musical and mathematical expertise.

#4 Learn How to Use Your Body Better

We all know we’re supposed to do this, but how many of us musicians are actually doing it? Try the 30 Day Yoga Challenge by Yoga With Tim… or if that’s not your thing, I love Peter Chen’s Tai Chi For Beginners channel.

I love to hear from readers! What are some of your top tips and projects for ways you can grow your musicianship while we’re all stuck at home?


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