Going Against an Established Rehearsal Agenda

red and white piano instrument on brown wooden table
What happens when you go against an established rehearsal agenda that has worked so well for you in the past?
This is the question that I have faced at many points in my career. Whether it is due to a change in my mood, a shift in a client’s request, or a personal desire to explore new sounds and songs, going against an established agenda can be both challenging and rewarding.
I would like to share some of the benefits and the risks of going against an established rehearsal agenda, as well as some tips on how to do it successfully.
The Benefits
One of the main benefits of going against an established rehearsal agenda is that it can help you grow as a musician and as a person. By challenging yourself to try something new, you can learn new skills, gain new perspectives, and discover new possibilities. You can also demonstrate your creativity, initiative, and adaptability to your fellow musicians (bandmates) and clients, which can enhance your reputation and credibility.
Another benefit of going against an established rehearsal agenda is that it can help you find more fulfillment and satisfaction in your music. By pursuing your passions, interests, and values, you can align your music with your purpose and meaning. You can also enjoy more variety, excitement, and autonomy in your music, which does boost your motivation and engagement. I have found this one to be the main reason I do it sometimes. But until today, although I knew there WAS a flipside to this coin, I had not figured out WHAT that flipside is…
Going against an established rehearsal agenda ALWAYS comes with some risks. One of the main risks is that it can cause conflict and resistance from others who are used to your status quo. You may face criticism, opposition, or even hostility from your inner self, or your peers, who may not understand or appreciate your new approach. You also have to deal with uncertainty, ambiguity, and complexity that come with breaking away from the familiar and predictable. Having taken a while to establish my regular rehearsal agenda, it always gives me a much-needed sense of stability to stick to it.
Another risk of going against an established rehearsal agenda is that it can lead to failure or disappointment. By venturing into uncharted territory, you encounter unexpected challenges, obstacles, and setbacks that may derail your plans or goals. You can also realize that your new agenda is not as feasible, desirable, or rewarding as you thought. You may have to face the consequences of losing time (most valuable), money (still pretty valuable) or credibility with your peers. Not good.
Tips for going against an established rehearsal agenda successfully
Here are some things to consider:
  • Do your homework. Before you decide to go against an established rehearsal agenda, make sure you have clarity about the situation, the reasons behind it, and available alternatives . Gather some information to support your new agenda and to anticipate challenges or objections.
  • Communicate effectively. Once you have decided to go against your regular rehearsal agenda, communicate your desired results, and goals clearly and persuasively to your stakeholders–which includes yourself. Explain the benefits and risks of your the new agenda and how it aligns with your purpose. Listen to feedback and address any concerns constructively.
  • Be flexible and resilient. As you begin the new agenda, adapt and adjust to changing circumstances. Remain open to learning from mistakes and failures and use them as opportunities to improve and innovate. Be persistent and optimistic in pursuing your new agenda and celebrate your achievements along the way.
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