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Musicians – Go Back to the Woodshed!

Posted in A Day in the Life, Back to the Woodshed! | No Comments »

Wood Shed
Let’s Go Back to the Woodshed!

As the summer air is already turning cool and brisk, most kids and parents are thinking “Back to School!”
Here at the Rock Star Life Lessons blog, I’m thinking about going “Back to the Woodshed”!

In the good old days of the frontier, homesteaders had to set aside time at their woodshed. In order to have heat for their homes during the winter, they would chop wood into logs, and stack them in a dry shed. As wood logs burn quickly, and electricity wasn’t available, there would be lots of chopping and stacking going on – surely a tedious job – for months before the cold set in. But when the air turned cold, and the snows came, you knew that your woodshed would be filled with dry logs, and that you’d have heat.

In musician speak, “Going to the woodshed”, also referred to as “shedding” meant that a musician was going into a period of self-imposed retreat to study, practice and learn. One musician’s period of shedding may have focused on one particular song, or set of songs, for an upcoming performance, while another musician’s time in the woodshed would be used to sharpen or refine their style, or improve a particular musical skillset. Regardless of the reason, going to the woodshed, or shedding, enables a musician to bring the heat to their performances.

I realize now that I also went into the woodshed this summer, as I found myself drawn to certain activities that required me to stretch my capabilities as a musician. If you asked what I did for my summer vacation, you might think I went to summer school, as I found myself learning and stretching, via:

* Jazz Piano Lessons
* Private Vocal Coaching
* Performance Workshops and DVDs with Tom Jackson
* Cabaret Performance Debut
* R&B Open Mic Debut
* Songwriting Circles
* Mentoring and hosting an aspiring singer/songwriter

I learned so much from these summer experiences, and I know that these experiences will take my musical and performance skills to the next level.

While the current economy has a lot of people feeling nervous, now is actually the best time to invest in yourself, and your skills. This month’s Rock Star Life Lessons blog will present a collection of blog posts, articles, and interviews that will enhance your woodshed experience. Some articles you may remember from the “Recession-Proof Musician” series, while other posts may be brand new. The common theme will be topics to inspire and motivate, which is the mission of this blog.

Please feel free to share your woodshed stories with me here in the comments section. I look forward to sharing in your musical growth experiences.


Photo Source: Celebrate Canada Blog [Nova Scotia’s wood-chopping John Brown (pictured) turned 79 this year!]