How to Look After Yourself

ICMP BA Creative Musicianship alumna Natalie Lindi discusses her creative career now she's finished her studies...


ICMP's What's Next? Podcast, hosted by Jordan Olukanmi, Graduate Outcomes Assistant and Masters in Songwriting alumnus, aims to explore student journeys once they have left ICMP. 

In the first episode, Masters in Songwriting alumnus Thiago Jorge discussed his industry moves while Caroline Ramos, a Masters in Performance alumna, talked about the best ways to stay creative. 

Alumna Natalie Lindi is the latest guest to speak. She graduated from ICMP's BA Creative Musicianship and now works as a artist, performer and part-time barista.

In this episode, Natalie chats through balancing music and work, performing and becoming an artist.

Here are some essential insights taken from and inspired by the conversation. You can also find out more about career opportunities facilitated by ICMP's Careers and Industry Hub

If we're constantly trying to create something it can feel forced or pressurised, it's nice to have something else that I'm doing that's unrelated to my artist project that still provides inspiration."

Taking care of yourself is critical to maintaining your ability as a musician. If you never give yourself time off, you can develop a performance injury. Even if you do not, you might struggle to maintain your personal relationships. 

It is therefore important to set boundaries for yourself so that the work does not become overwhelming. Work never stops, and it never will if you do not let it. Our path should look more like a marathon than a sprint. Remember, constant exhaustion is not a badge of honour - it is a sign of health problems to come. 

Also, taking care of yourself should not be considered selfish, or self-indulgent. In fact, getting yourself to do the things you know are good for you is often extremely hard. It can take a lot of effort to cook a healthy meal or take time away from work to recharge yourself. But it always feels better when you have, and in the long term, it can drastically improve your overall wellbeing. 

It is important to note that while self-care often involves adding healthy activities and habits into your life, it can also mean refraining from the things that you know are bad for you. 

Let's look at different methods to help with looking after yourself.

Spend time with loved ones

In general as a musician it's good to keep a supportive set of friends and family who aren't connected to the music business.

Someone who isn't invested in your career will keep you grounded, and give you an outside perspective.

Sometimes it's good to be reminded that there's a world happening outside of your industry." 

Get enough sleep

Sleep is essential to your physical health. Additionally, it is essential for you to be able to do your job effectively.

Don't give up your sleep to a wandering mind. Write things down. If ideas or issues are swirling around in your head, write them down and leave them on the list. Your sleep is sacred. Some people need more sleep than others. You need to figure out how much sleep you need to perform your best. Then, you can determine what time to go to sleep and when to wake up each day. And you can find a good pillow or pillowcase to help you sleep comfortably. 

Focus on your first love

Take time to help reignite your own connection to music during the school year.

Make it a point to spend some time each day listening to something old that you enjoy, as well as something brand new. Attending performances and concerts of musicians you enjoy listening to.

Strive to keep your music profession from becoming a source of stress that makes you forget how enjoyable music can be aesthetically. Instead, let music be a source of relief."

In the middle of all the yearly business, remember to listen to great music regularly to help relieve tension and bring about mental and emotional relaxation. 

Turn off the screens

Try to find time each day to do something that does not involve a screen. Take a walk, or start cooking for yourself, and print off recipes to avoid looking at your phone.

Doing something without a screen isn't easy. But it can be a great way to take a break from the pressures of social media and the internet. You can do something that you love. And you won't have to deal with looking at a screen from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep. Find half an hour or so to do something without your phone or computer. You will thank yourself later. 

Try something new

In a world full of side hustles, it can be tempting to turn everything you do into an income stream.

But you should have at least one thing that you do that doesn't have money attached to it. Consider what interests you have outside of music and your career. For some, music is that hobby. But for others, it may be cooking, running, or just doing a puzzle. 

Take the first steps in your music career with ICMP

We've been developing and delivering contemporary music education for over 30 years – longer than any other music school in the UK. With a proven track-record, countless music industry connections and unrivalled access to facilities, it's easy to see why hundreds of students choose ICMP each year. 

To completely immerse yourself in your music career, chat with our friendly Admissions Team via email or give them a call on 020 7328 0222.

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by ICMP staff writer
January 19, 2024
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