My husband and I recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia and love it here. Our relocation also means I have a couple of open weeks before I start my next show. After the chaos of moving and putting our house together (fun, but exhausting!) I felt ready to get back in the game and initiate a regular practice routine. It also helps that my home studio (well, I do share it with a trumpet player sometimes so I guess it's "our" studio...) is now a huge room with plenty of desk space, book shelves, etc. Being able to leave my horns set up between practice sessions makes it easy to jump right in after a break. (Yes, I do swab my horns and put away the bassoon and clarinet!). I'm also able to have a few different work stations set up at once: reed desk, practice space, and computer desk.
As a self-employed freelance musician who works from home a lot of the time (reed-making, practicing, emailing, etc.), I had to come up with a plan and mindset for my work week. Although it's tempting to go get an ice cream and walk around Old Town shopping all day, I'll reserve that for a planned day off. Today was what I consider to be my first day at work in our new home. I scheduled my work day (9:45am-5:30pm) and stuck to it. Total I spent 3.5 hours practicing and 1 hour on bassoon reeds, which is a good maintenance day for me. Tomorrow will be a bit different, with more time scheduled for bassoon reeds and errands. Here's the schedule I had for today:
9:45 - Flute & Clarinet (combined practice session)
11:30 - Bassoon Reeds
12:30 - Lunch, emails, hour-long walk with dog
3:00 - Short yoga session at home
3:30 - Bassoon
4:30 - Pick up husband from the metro
5:00 - Soprano sax (intonation practice...sorry neighbors!)
5:30 - End of work day; start dinner
Although I would have liked to start my work day earlier, I had to drive my husband to work which delayed things a little. But one of the perks of being your own boss is that you can make up that time later in the day if possible. Taking 10-15 minutes to write down your plan for the day while sipping morning coffee is a great way to get things done. Following an itinerary also helps me feel like I'm a part of the larger workforce instead of just floating around at home. I highly recommend it for anyone who works from home, whether it's as a freelance musician, stay-at-home mom, photographer, or anything else.
For more information about daily routines, I came across this book a few years ago and found it to be really interesting. Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
I've always been a hands-on, practical person. I like to know how things work - how all the pieces fit together. This blog is a collection of advice, experiences, and questions intended to be a practical guide for aspiring freelance musicians.