Music Studio Interior Design: What, How & Why
Walk into my music room and you'll see one third of it is full musical instruments, another third is covered in quotes, photographs and scribbles on napkins, and the last third is a bunch of paper slips, soy beans, antlers and a mirror... Confused? ha! Allow me to explain my ingenious approach to interior design...
I have chosen and designed the room's content and layout to maximize my progress towards accomplishing my goals.
Firstly, everything in the room is intentionally related to my music goals. Anything that was just sitting there looking pretty, looking ugly with no purpose was removed. When I am in this room, I am only surrounded by music related objects and this aids my focus. It also sets an intention for the room; when I am in this space, I am engaging with music. Other activities are not permitted and thus the sacred nature of the room also aids in focus; when I cross the threshold, my mind switches into music mode, purely out of habit.
Secondly, the room is laid out to be spacious. No clutter is allowed. All chords, accessories, papers etc... are stored in baskets and draws (unless currently in use). Everyday, when I finish playing, everything is returned to it's allocated spot. A little bit more work on my part but this habit ensures the room stays tidy, I always know where to find things and I have a fresh start every day when I walk into the room. This tidiness and daily clean slate aids with focus and creativity.
Thirdly, the room's contents are divided into three categories: WHAT, WHY AND HOW.
Music. I am playing, composing, studying, recording music. I am playing piano, guitar, some percussion toys, singing and recording with microphones etc.. I have all the instruments for the actual making of the music; the WHAT.
Music is life. When I play music, I'm feeling, expressing, connecting, communicating, inspiring etc... It's fun and it makes me happy and it's how I work through problems and share my experiences. It's one way I can add value to the world and meaning to my life. Music is how I connect on the most deep and beautiful level with the world and other people.
So I have an entire wall covered in things that remind me of WHY I play music and WHY I am capable of accomplishing my goals. This wall includes a card from my mom that says "The thing I love most about you daughter is your childlike spirit and how gracefully you face challenges...", a picture of Steven Tyler who reminds me to be a badass and do what I want, the "Top 5 Regrets of the Dying" that gives me perspective, pictures of my friends giving me thumbs up which remind me that people believe in me, a bunch of pictures lined up; one for each of my proudest accomplishments in life so far, post it notes with little phrases I sometimes repeat during the day to keep a strong mentality, like "Have fun with it!" and "What could you accomplish if you forgot about being perfect?", and a framed napkin on which, when struck by divine inspiration in sushi restaurant, I scribbled the meaning and course of my life in the most uncrackable code...
On days when I don't feel like practicing music because I'm tired, discouraged or stressed, I can look at this wall and remember what matters most to me, how powerful I am when I put my mind to something, how happy I am when I'm overcoming challenges and doing things that used to feel impossible. This part of the room keeps me going.
Progressing towards goals requires missions, measurements, and milestones. A part of my music room is dedicated to tracking this progress. There is a table with a mirror, a Buddha statue on the left, glass jars with soy beans in the middle and antlers on the right. The mirror reminds me to smile. The Buddha statue reminds me to stay patient and calm. I move soy beans from one container to another to track the hours I've practiced piano. The antler is a symbol of freedom. I look at this table and remember this formula: Be positive and peaceful while consistently putting in the practice time, and I will feel freedom in my music. I also have another shelf that holds a box of paper, a jar on the left and a box on the right. Whenever I make a sacrifice for the sake of my goals, I jot it down on a piece of paper, roll it up and drop it into the jar. Whenever I enjoy a victorious moment of success I write that on paper and place it into the box. Taking the time to acknowledge sacrifices and victories keeps me mindful on my journey so I appreciate the growth that is taking place. It's empowering to reflect on sacrifices or successes that felt SO BIG at the time, but now seems so little compared to what we've moved on to
And there you have it. My music room; designed for a musician who needs help staying focused, driven and empowered. WHAT. WHY. HOW. And if you're wondering, but where are all the music cables (the necessary evil and eyesore of the electronic music era)? Well, I've hidden behind blankets and stuffed into baskets. Having tangled black wires all over the place is NOT how this lady runs her music studio. ha!