That look of pure joy while playing your instrument, the one that says you LOVE making music, you're proud of yourself and your accomplishments, and you sweat musicality.
That's what I want...
My name is Ginny Tutton
This is me making the very non-Lizzo face that I am much more likely to make while making music. Well, the face I *was* more likely to make :)
I call it my resting PITCH face...
I started playing piano when I was two years old. Apparently I threw a temper tantrum and demanded to be taught to play...
Don't worry, I'm not some child prodigy. I quit a few years later.
Music was a FUN-damental part of my childhood
I sang, I tried out several instruments, including the bagpipes, and I even played Cha Cha in Grease. My family always had music playing on the radio, and I memorized every Disney song I'd ever heard.
When I was nine years old, I started playing the flute, and I fell head over trills in love. It was toot legit to quit (hey hey...) and I stuck with it for YEARS. Like more than a quarter century.
I went All. The. Way. with the flute. I got all the degrees you can possibly get, including a Doctorate in Flute Performance, which gives me permission to wear this super cool hat.
After all of this, you'd think I'd be making that blissful musician face all the time....
The problem was...
Instead of using everything I learned to make myself a better and happier musician, I started using everything I learned as a ruler to measure myself against. (Really more or a dictator than a ruler...) And I always found myself lacking.
Instead of getting to make that deliriously happy face all the time, I got tendonitis... And some panic attacks. (Not at the disco)
You better think (think!)
Think about what you're trying to do to me
I knew I had to reconsider how I was approaching music if I was going to be able to keep playing. No more extremely long and tense practice sessions to aggravate my tendonitis. No more pushing myself to exhaustion trying to be "better," but actually making things much worse.
So I asked myself a very important question...
Who do I know who is happy as a musician!?
The answer will ROCK you... to your core
All of my students were happy playing their instruments or singing. Slap happy. Grinning from ear to ear.
They were learning a TON, and I genuinely thought that each and ever one of them was a fan-SQUEAKIN-tastic musician, even though they had much less experience than I did.
And suddenly, I knew what to do :)
We Built this City on Rock and Roll
I ditched the ruler and stopped caring about whether I was a good musician or not.
I mean, if I could think I was a "bad" musician with 25 years of playing experience and a doctorate, yet my students were "amazing" musicians just for showing up and trying their best, obviously the metrics were not linear...
I stopped asking myself what I "should" practice and started asking myself what would be the most fun!
From then on, I kicked my practice gloom out of the practice room and started prioritizing fun! It started with creating punny musical games for the SongFoolery podcast and grew into an entire lifestyle.
Now I play with pedal effects like a rock guitarist, play duets with my kitchen appliances, write songs about chocolate chip cookies, and do anything else fun that comes to mind.
AND all these shenanigans have made me a better musician in the process.
If you want to add some fun into your music practice, too