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RPM Challenge February 2021

Tomorrow is the start of the RPM Challenge! For all of February 2021 I will be working on producing an EP of original music. And as a bonus... I'll be sharing my journey with everyone! You can follow along at this blog for regular updates as to how I'm doing.

I've decided to track my journey for a few reasons:

  • This will be the first time I've worked on anything of this magnitude in such a short amount of time, and it will also mark the first time I'll be releasing music to people on a wider scale (there are reasons why I haven't released music yet that I'll get into another time, because I think it's worth talking about). I would like to have documentation of the process so that when I do this again next year I'll be able to look back and see what worked and what didn't.

  • I want to be able to share my experience with other people, including my students and any other aspiring musicians who may be considering writing and recording their own music at some point. I've been incredibly inspired by musicians who have shared their creative process with the world, and I'd like to contribute to that what I can. We're all in this together, and seeing someone doing what you're doing, or what you would like to one day be doing, can help you to feel less alone.

  • I want to have as many people as possible hold me accountable to get this thing done and out there. In the past I've let fear hold me back, and I have backed out of finishing and/or releasing projects because they weren't "perfect enough" or exactly where I wanted them. Well not this time! This time I'm seeing this through to the end.

Here are the intentions I'm setting for this challenge:

  • The most obvious one: get it done! I've found great comfort in this line from the RPM challenge's FAQ page: "It doesn't have to be good, it just has to be done." A great mantra for anyone who has perfectionist tendencies, and my mantra for this project!

  • To continue to take care of myself. This means that I'll be making sure I'm going to bed early and continuing to eat well and exercise regularly.

  • To embrace my limitations, both in terms of what I'm able to do, and in terms of the gear I have available to me (making the most of what I have from where I am).

  • To hone my writing, recording, and mixing chops (mixing is still quite new to me, so I really appreciate having a project like this that will allow me to exercise my mixing muscles to this degree).

  • To maintain some kind of a practice routine. The exact routine I keep will likely change from week to week as I move through the writing, recording, and mixing and mastering process, but at the very least I want to make sure I'm maintaining my guitar and vocal chops (whatever else I'm able to fit in will be a bonus). But I also want to be willing to let go of anything that's getting in the way of getting this project done, which includes practicing.

This is a rough plan for what I hope to accomplish each week (this is just a general idea to give me some guidance):

  • Week 1 - Come up with and develop ideas for the songs.

  • Week 2 - Finish developing the songs and record them.

  • Week 3 - Production stuff, mixing.

  • Week 4 - Final mixes and mastering.

The wonderful and talented Robyn Lester will be designing the cover art for this EP and I will provide a link to it upon its release at the end of the month.

If you are interested in checking out, or even participating in, this year's RPM Challenge, you can find out more information and sign up here.

Thanks for coming along on this journey with me!

- Michelle


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