7 Creative Challenges to Inspire Action

girl at piano

girl at piano

“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”  ~ Berthold Auerbach

This month, we’re focusing on action — creating things, doing things, making stuff happen. So much of online education takes place sitting at a computer in a passive state, but action is where it all comes to life. Action is the explosion that precipitates momentum and progress. Action is the stuff of superheroes.

Most importantly, action facilitates better learning. By putting the things you’re learning into action, you’re solidifying the fragile knowledge structures you’ve been building in your mind.

But action is also hard. We have to break our existing inertia. We face a million obstacles, from time to gear to lack of direction and lack of confidence. In fact, tons of research shows that creating “desirable difficulties” or working at the edge of your comfort zone leads to more long-term growth.

So, below are seven of our creative challenges from our courses to prompt action in your music-making adventure. Pick one or two and try them out.

If you’re a Soundfly subscriber already, you can click through any of the links below to go directly to the lessons mentioned. If not, subscribe here for access to every one of these courses and share the fruits of this month’s experimentation on Slack with all of us, and your fellow community members.

Our Favorite Creative Activities

One Note Singing Challenge

From our new Kimbra: Vocal Creativity, Arranging, and Production course, sing a single note in as many different ways as you can, using your body and mouth to create different timbres. Time est: 10 min.

Stranger Things Synth Challenge

From our Advanced Synths & Patch Design for Producers course, recreate the iconic synth arpeggiated pluck from the Netflix show Stranger Things. Check out the full lesson if you need help. Time est: 15 min.

Hip-Hop Subgenres Challenge

From The Art of Hip-Hop Production, make three short loops, each of them in the style of a different subgenre (trap, Reggaeton, boom-bap, West Coast, etc.). Time est: 30 min.

The Morgan Freeman Olympics Ad Challenge

From Unlocking the Emotional Power of Chords, try your hand at making a 30 second backing track for a Morgan Freeman voiceover. Time est: 1 hour.

Time Signature Challenge

From our Introduction to the Composer’s Craft course, try composing a short melody in 4/4 time and then translate that same melody into a different time signature. Time est: 15 min.

Lydian Groove Challenge

From our Theory for Producers course series, create a short 30 second groove that uses the Lydian mode. If you don’t know what that is, check out the course to learn! Time est: 15 min.

Harmonizing Backing Vocals Challenge

From Modern Pop Vocal Production, practice harmonizing a lead vocal using thirds (or sixths or any other interval). Time est: 10 min.

Looking for more?

Check out the rest of our in-depth online music courses here.

Jlin: Rhythm, Variation, & Vulnerability

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