Last — but not least — of the four tendencies: rebels! They resist both inner and outer expectations. It seems that it would be harder for them succeed at something as exacting as music… and yet there are a lot of rebels among high-level artists. How do they manage that? And what can help rebels succeed in spite (or maybe thanks to) their difficult tendency?
Dear rebels, one very efficient way to bypass the bad side of your tendency is to trick yourselves. Here are some examples:
Rebels hate to do what they are expected to do. If their teacher tells them to practice 30 minutes a day, they are going to do the exact opposite. And remember that they resist inner expectations as well. How can they solve this issue? They have to challenge themselves, with goals that go beyond what is normal and expected. The opposite of a regular practice with 30 minutes every day can be not to practice at all… or to practice twice as much! Being a rebel can lead you to immerse yourself into music all day when you only planned one hour, or practice on 3 pieces whereas only one was expected from you, or finish at once the transcription that was due in 2 weeks. Feeling that there is a choice is the most important thing for rebels. They may end up working… but they will do so in a rebel’s way.
Have numerous projects:
Rebels need to avoid binary choices. They should not be making the choice between, say, practicing the clarinet or hanging on facebook. Instead, it could be a choice between long tones, scales, mechanical exercises, studies, pieces, sight reading, improvisation, score analysis, listening to records… All those possibilities are clarinet or music-related, so whichever choice is made, it will be a step forward. Making that choice makes the rebel feel free, so he is faithful to his rebellious nature… while being productive!
Be the artist you dream to be:
Rebels have a strong ego, so identification is a good motivator for them. They act according to values that they identify with. If their dream is to be an artist, then they will more likely do whatever it takes to match this ideal. If you are a rebel, remind yourself of your goals regularly. By describing yourself as a musician you are more likely to practice your instrument on a regular basis. Thinking “I’m a clarinetist” can motivate you to act accordingly and pick up your instrument for practice. A great daily reminder of musical identity? Why not a customized mug 😉
You are unique:
Rebels like to be different. Having the same routine as other musicians is not an option. To have the feeling of being unique, you can find original methods, attend workshops or academies, read books, find a mentor. A rebel who discovers a method making the link between, say, clarinet and karate, will be more likely to practice this way because it makes him special. This singularity becomes a part of his unique personality. Regular practice is no longer associated with rules but becomes a way to break them.
Dear rebels, do tell me what you think of those tips, and share some other strategies you may have set up!