Lindsay Brazell

Music Educator and Creative Professional

Please Don’t Stop The Music: 3 Ways To Make Music Outside of School

Sorry, that is stuck in your head now, isn’t it? #SorryImNotSorry #ButIReallyAmSorry #PleaseForgiveMe

I recently polled some music educators on Twitter about how they de-stress during the school year. Here were some of their answers:

  • Long bike rides/time in nature
  • Netflix
  • Reading
  • Cooking
  • Sports
  • Socializing with friends and family

All good answers! I like all of those things, too. Minus the nature ones…the outdoors actually stress me out probably more than any job I’ve ever had. I digress…

Then there were a few answers that brought some joy to my heart!

  • Composing
  • Singing with my band
  • Playing my instrument

One teacher said, “I always try to make time for music-making outside of school.”


That made me wonder how many music educators actually dedicate time to musical activities outside of their jobs. Depending on the size of our programs and demands of our responsibilities at school, finding time to make music may be difficult. Here are 3 ways to incorporate music into your week:

Take some private lessons.

Either choose a new instrument or continue on one you already play! If you can’t afford weekly lessons, try to price out less frequent lessons, or maybe trade lessons for meals or some other service if they are your friend! I recently took a mandolin lesson from a teacher at Groove House, where I teach private lessons, and in 30 minutes I had enough to practice to keep me busy for a while! It was rejuvenating, and even better, it was FUN! It’s exciting to obtain new musical knowledge! Plus, if you don’t think it’s fun, how could your students think it’s fun? You can just call me MandoLindsay from now on. 😉

Join a community or church ensemble.

Sometimes it’s nice to remove your director hat and be someone receiving direction! Even though I was a staff singer at our church in Charleston, I enjoyed Wednesday rehearsals in the alto section where all that was required of me was singing! I didn’t have to plan the rehearsal, or manage behavior, or prepare a concert/service. I just had to show up and sing the right notes! I also sang with a semi-professional ensemble for a short time as well, which fueled my love of Renaissance choral music! There are all kinds of ensembles to join, and if there aren’t, consider starting one! Find a musical outlet where you just need to show up!

Keep yourself accountable via social media.

That sounds weird, right? I recently started posting a #SundaySong on my Instagram and Facebook page, simply for the reason of making myself play my guitar more often. As much as I’m not into the selfie angle on my iPhone camera, it’s been an enjoyable experience to just post a song every week! Sometimes I post one of my own songs, and sometimes I do covers! Maybe a video or photo each week about your practice time, or playing a piece, performing with friends, or whatever you feel the need to do more of, could be just what you need to fill your musical cup! It can also start great conversation with colleagues, friends, and whomever stumbles upon it!


Making music could be a priority in your week if you are intentional! If students see that we are still actively engaged in music making as an adult, they will be more inspired to do the same!

How are you making music each week? Or, what’s keeping you from doing so? Leave a comment below!



About Lindsay

I’m Lindsay, a choral music educator by day, a singer-songwriter by evening, and a writer when time allows. You can find my latest album, The Room I Found – Lindsay Morelli on iTunes.

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