Did you know there are currently 1 billion active users on Instagram? That’s insane!
But did you also know that classical musicians make up a huge part of that number? So how can we use social media as musicians to benefit our personal growth, rather than allowing it to make us feel discouraged or distracted?
ALL ABOUT BALANCE
Just like anything in life, you have to find a balance. Spending all day on social media watching videos of incredible flutists is not the same as practicing. Doing that limits our growth just as practicing 20 hours a day and not taking time to listen, step back, or reflect would also do.
To avoid mindless scrolling, set limits for how much time you spend on social media. While it can be a resource or social tool, it should not be the entire focus of your day.
ENGAGE WITH OTHERS
Follow and engage with musicians who are positive, supportive, and can become part of your tribe! One way to do this is by including profiles dedicated to the #100daysofpractice challenge, which has helped end the myth that a professional musician’s development happens overnight, or that any video you post must be “Instagram-worthy.” I also recommend interacting and engaging with a variety of musicians, which will allow you to get an inside look at different music schools you may want to attend through a current student’s perspective or even be introduced to possible career options.
When you build a tribe on social media, you are creating an opportunity to expand your support system with people all over the world, and who couldn’t use more love in their life? Plus, if you have the opportunity to attend the National Flute Association Convention, it’s essentially a family reunion for all of your insta-flute-friends to meet in person!
Recently, there have been more and more professional musicians becoming active on social media, where they share tips ranging from tone development methods to difficult excerpts required for auditions. It’s almost like getting a mini lesson from a pro—how cool is that? In addition to orchestral musicians having a large presence on social media, the music industry also makes up a sizable component comprised of instrument brands, flute accessories, sheet music, and method books. By following industry accounts, you’ll always be in the loop on new product releases!
The other beneficial type of account to follow is musicians who focus on mind/body wellness. Practice-related injuries are a serious issue, but you can now use social media as a resource to follow along with posts that demonstrate pre-practice stretches, mindfulness, and posture for musicians.
DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS
You are on your own journey and everyone’s path looks different. Use social media as a form of inspiration so you can create your own unique ideas!
If being on social media is ever giving you anxiety or making you feel discouraged, then do yourself a favor and go on a social media cleanse. Delete the app for a week and then check in on how you feel. If you don’t want to delete it entirely but are struggling to focus during your practice sessions, put your phone on airplane mode so that you can still use your metronome and tuning app, but eliminate distracting notifications.
I hope this helps you find a balance using social media as a musician, and may your feed be filled with inspiration, support, and beautiful music making.