This workbook is a total of 155 daily exercises and is designed to help musicians and artists learn how, what, when, where and why they create the way they create. This workbook can be utilized on your own or in a group setting, with or without an experienced instructor. One goal of this workbook is to learn the way you judge and process emotions in creation: the emotions connected with the sounds you create, what your emotional purpose in your creations are, and identifying your physical reactions to the emotional nature in music. This workbook is meant to push you and your boundaries to the point where you can identify the beautiful and the ugly in your character and in your creations. After all, being creative is not always candy canes and unicorns and sometimes it can be like swimming in the sewer. Learning about oneself and how to harness the positive and negative character traits in our creations will ultimately serve to your benefit and help to come closer to your creative goals. Here are five examples from the workbook:
Daily Med Example 1:
Creative Words: Begin Again
Creative Experiment: 90 Seconds
Set a timer for 90 seconds. Within the 90 seconds write down as many musical and recording ideas as you can that are related to the current project at hand. Combine the ideas that have some common ground and evaluate how you can use them in your project. Inversely, you can also combine ideas that have no common ground at all.
Musicians live for inspiration. However, true inspiration does not often come as frequently as one may wish. Immediate action is one of our main spiritual and creative principles to live and invent by. If we are spiritually alert, we will intuitively know when it happens and our creativity will be like an open door, ready to walk through. Not waiting for inspiration and habitually getting down to work will get us towards those doors of inspiration – otherwise, we may never get there at all if we wait! The troubling issue is we might acknowledge this contact only for a brief moment and then it slips away. Sometimes we find the time to act has passed and we missed the opportunity to engage the creative and spiritual moment. We must do more than listen. Through our cultivation we can learn how to act quickly and prolong these moments, and through daily practice they will get longer and longer, and become easier and easier.
Daily Action: Act on Inspiration
Today I will not debate or second-guess myself when inspiration comes. I will act when I feel inspired.
Daily Med Example 2:
Creative Word: Gorge
Creative Experiment: Diving Into New Waters
Pick up an instrument or piece of gear that you are not very familiar with or proficient on. Set a timer for 15 minutes and dive in without fear or judgment. Let whatever happens naturally without trying to stop it early or being critical of what comes out. Just jump in with both feet!
Just about any kind of involvement in music can make us fearful or stressed out, especially the business side of music. Without a doubt, giving into our ego driven thoughts, ulterior motives, and self-seeking messages will give us a false sense of direction in our music. How do we keep fear at bay once we are free from our ego and controlling negative behaviors? We can begin to rely on a universal message for courage, understanding, and acceptance. The musical challenges that we currently face are opportunities. When we are in the universe’s care, creative challenges are not only manageable but also achievable, and we need no longer fear them.
Daily Action: Universal Care
I know that I can rely on my creative spirit today for my musical challenges and will keep my fear at bay. If you cannot find it in yourself to trust your creative spirit then trust in gravity.
Daily Med Example 3:
Creative Word: Without
Creative Experiment: Hiding in Plain Sight
How can you hide an issue in the project while also confronting it without eliminating it all together? What could you do to try to camouflage the issue? Make it sound like another instrument? Another sound? A new voice? How about what you would change it with? Would you change it in the DAW? Through use of a filter? Re-amped and re-worked? How could it sound after you have disguised it as something else? Once you have come up with the disguise, try it again on something that is a positive within the project.
Accepting incompetence and insecurities doesn’t have to take forever or even a day past today. Looking outside of ourselves for new ways and shortcuts to a better way in music only requires a change of mind. No action is needed. Once the decision is made to stop employing old ways that bring us frustration, new things begin to happen. We are likely to find ourselves being drawn to more spiritual musicians and creative individuals that are on the same path. Maybe we will read a book or hear something as simple as the lyrics of a song that speak to us in a special way. We find ourselves a great deal happier once we have let go of old ways and start to trust in new ones.
Daily Action: Clean-Up
Today I will identify one method or idea I find obsolete and will discard it, while consciously employing another.
Daily Med Example 4:
Creative Word: Convert
Creative Experiment: Make a Short Film
A great way to launch the creative spirit is to try a different way of expressing yourself. Try to visualize the parts, sounds, and emotional movements of your project as storyboards for a short film. Using only this method of expression, try creating or framing just a few ‘shots’ of your ‘film’ to express a powerful emotion. What are you zooming in on? What’s the pacing like? How are you setting the scene? Who is the main character? Remember to not think too much about it and to be spontaneous. You can also try seeing through the eyes of a favorite director. What would your ‘film’ look like if Hitchcock directed it? Kubrick? Tarantino?
There are no shades of gray in forgiveness and acceptance: we either do it or we don’t. To say we cannot forget simply means we are still holding on to a grudge. This is deadly and will weaken our creative freedom. When we started becoming musicians, our new friends held nothing against us. Their acceptance, forgiveness and unconditional love were whole and pure. The older and more experienced musicians that embraced us did not look at the things we had done in our past; it was as if our negative thoughts and judgments never happened. The same is true with our creative spirit. It does not care whether we were judgmental or technically proficient in our instrument. Our creative spirit loves us and accepts us no matter how we perform or create. Should we do less for those who have given us a hard time or judged us? Should we do less for ourselves? Remember, the faults and judgments we view in others are really our own. The jealousy and resentments we hold against other musicians are the same we hold against ourselves. Forgiveness and acceptance frees others and will free us too.
Daily Action: Moving Towards Creative Freedom
Today I will accept and forgive so I can be creatively free.
Daily Meds Example 5:
Creative Words: Mountain Sound
Creative Experiment: Standing Still
What would sound be like if time stopped? Would there be any sonic elements or properties? Would it be a vacuum or would it be thick with molecules for sound waves to travel through? How can you imply this concept in your own creativity right now?
Allowing creativity to flow through us in our music eases us through each creative demand we come across. When we resist change and unfamiliarity, we imprison ourselves to our old ideas, and refuse the invitation for growth. By trusting and putting faith in a higher awareness, we are able to experience whole-heartedly what it is like to join a free flowing stream of music and creative flow. With a connection to a creative spirit in our music, what we once regarded as coincidence becomes intention in our music. Every creative situation and encounter weaves threads in the tapestry of our music, as we in turn are threads in the tapestry of the music of others. This pattern unfolds every day when we play music, trusting that each moment is meant to bless us, educate us, and invite us to contribute our unique and necessary talents towards it. Our creative spirit is here, right now, guiding us. We only need to open our hearts to peacefully follow it, and to find our creative flow.
Daily Act: Relax
I will relax today in my confidence that my creative spirit will provide the right answers it my creativity and guide my creative flow.