33 Fun musical challenges to keep you motivated while you’re at home

For everyone out there who is stuck at home for the unforeseeable future, here are some fun challenges and ideas to keep you occupied and motivated until you can return to your normal schedule:

  1. Listen to all Mahler symphonies in a single day
  2. Listen/watch Wagner’s entire Ring Cycle (Der Ring des Nibelungen, WWV 86)
  3. Have a photo shoot with your instrument (hello, new DIY headshots!)
  4. Make a carrot clarinet (or see what other vegetables work well)
  5. Write a chronological list of your instrument’s major works (bonus points if you do it from memory)
  6. Tour music museums virtually
  7. Take advantage of all the free concerts online
  8. Make an arrangement of your favorite song
  9. Offer your services via free or reduced online lessons / tutoring
  10. Collab on a multitrack with a friend
  11. Organize, label, and database your music collection
  12. Listen to five new pieces each day
  13. Clean out your case – organize each compartment and use a small vacuum/lint roller/other device to deep clean the interior lining
  14. Read a book about your instrument’s history
  15. Catch up with your musician friends from band camp, festivals, or other events
  16. Make a repertoire bucket list
  17. Send fan mail (aka DMs to your favorite artists)
  18. Watch Leonard Bernstein’s Norton Lectures for free on YouTube
  19. Learn another instrument
  20. Practice a different language
  21. Organize all the programs from concerts you’ve played
  22. Revamp your warm-up routine
  23. Read through an entire etude book
  24. Have a virtual scale showdown with your friends
  25. Update your website
  26. Listen to all of Mozart’s symphonies
  27. Learn about the physics and acoustics of your instrument
  28. Learn an extended technique – double tonguing, circular breathing, multiphonics, etc
  29. Host a virtual practice party
  30. Find a composer or performer who shares your initials
  31. Learn about music history in another country
  32. Brush up on your theory skills
  33. DIY crafts for your practice space – pencil holders, reed cases, mirrors, and anything else you can think of

Leave a comment and let me know what you’re doing to fight boredom at home!

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