What I Learned From Being in a Family Band #2

Playing Music and Balancing Life: An Interview With Drew Whinery

By: Micah Upham
Drew Whinery said that as musicians, “We are dumb, and we love messing with things.” As a fellow musician, I couldn’t agree with him more, so please feel free to ignore all of the following music puns that might fall rather (ahem) flat. If you haven’t had the privilege of meeting Drew, let me introduce him to you. Drew is a student here at FCM working towards his bachelor’s in music with a minor in religious studies. With practice, he has mastered various musical instruments: the drums, marimba, xylophone, timpani, snare, piano, bass guitar, Cajon (box drum), Doumbek/darbuka, kalimba, almglocken, and over 500 other percussion instrument variations! While he might not be in a family band, he has learned a lot about balance while learning to play music and also being a student at Alabama. This week I got to talk to Drew about his three biggest life lessons that he believes will apply to everyone. I won’t leave you on a clef hanger (ba dum tsss), so without further ado, here they are.

Lesson 1: Plan stuff out! Drew explains that being able to see your schedule visually is an immense help. You can glance ahead to see what is looming on the horizon so that you are ready for it. This is also critical to make sure you plan out only the work you have time for while still leaving yourself time to eat and get good sleep. Despite what people say, food and sleep are not optional or a bonus for your day. They are critical components to keep you moving forward at your best. Drew didn’t start planning everything out until his sophomore year but the difference in what all he was able to accomplish was drastic. Knowing what work you have to do can also stave off procrastination and wasted time until you have finished that day’s work. The weekly planning might take an hour or two every Sunday, but the time saved and the peace of mind knowing all the planning has been done is well worth the work ahead of time.

Lesson 2: Prepare ahead of time. If you have already planned stuff out, as described above, then preparing ahead of time is much easier. If you haven’t planned, those horrible weeks where everything seems to stack up will hit you hard and you’ll be in…. treble. Preparing ahead allows you to look ahead to that killer week and spread the work out ahead of time. This will allow you to stay calm amid the storm. No more need for sleepless nights on those special weeks, instead if you prepared ahead, you know exactly what is coming and when you want to do it so you can remain peaceful even in the hardest part of that week when your fellow students are struggling. Drew also suggests meal planning. This gives you more freedom to eat what you already have planned for yourself as well as the ability to squeeze crucial meals into those small gaps between classes.

Lesson 3: Seek Discomfort! Put yourself out there. Complacency will not serve you well in the long term. We are not supposed to be comfortable in this life because as Christians we know that we will face trial and tribulation. This doesn’t mean that it is a problem to enjoy the periods of peace and prosperity that God gives to us, but it does mean that we are to pursue paths even when they are uncomfortable. Drew suggests that if a door has been opened to you, say yes if you are nervous, but say no if you know you can’t live up to the standards. Not all discomfort is good, but pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones and into where we are nervous will grow us into better people. So, while you may never play as many instruments as Drew, you can certainly pick up these useful ideas and carry them forward into your life.

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