A Day in the Life: Songwriting Tutor Audra Kubat

 In the latest installment of our Day in the Life series, we asked DIME ONLINE Songwriting instructor, Audra Kubat, to describe a typical day

MORNING

First thing in the morning I stretch my body and practice a short meditation. This helps me get ready to focus and get into the day with my mind ready. Then it is on to communication. Being a working artist is all about the hustle. I am constantly working on writing, performing, and promoting in regard to my musical life. I spend a few hours in the am writing and responding to emails, updating any news on my social media outlets, and following up on leads related to musical opportunities. I also try to spend a little time playing my guitar and either practicing new songs or just noodling around. I often start new songs when I am just playing around on my guitar, so if inspiration comes, I will make a simple recording of it. Sometimes when this happens will be different times of the day – when it comes, I drop everything and get into the writer mode.

LUNCHTIME

During lunchtime, I try and rest my mind. I usually have been going since 9am and I need to put things aside and clear my head. I try to focus on eating something nourishing and take time to connect with the food that I am putting in my body. After eating I get back into checking emails. I also spend some time thinking about my vision for my work and make lists of what my goals are for the rest of the day/week/month/year. I have a whiteboard with those lists and I add new ideas and decide if I am working towards the goals I have or not.

AFTERNOON

Currently, I am working on developing a soundtrack for a full-length documentary, so each day I send a few hours creating musical ideas for that project. I am working with Logic Pro, some great sounds, and a full-size keyboard to build some special themes for the characters and different plot points. So, for the next few months, I will be focused on not much else then finishing this project. Many days I spend a little time working on collaborations that I have got in the works. I sing with a harmony-based trio, Kubat, Finlay, and Rose, so we send song ideas to each other and work on our own for a bit, before demoing our contributions and sending them back for comments. I also work with a few Hip-Hop artists and we do a similar practice where we email ideas and then work on our parts separately before sending them back for feedback. Collaboration is super important to me and it helps me gauge where are am within my peer group and also pushing me outside my comfort zone. If people want to work with you, that is usually a sign that you are doing something right. If you push yourself to work with people that you feel are better than you, it helps you drive your work to a higher level. My next live show is a collaborative show with Kubat Finlay, and Rose, supporting Emily Rose on August 18th in Detroit.

EVENING

I often play live in the evenings. When I’ve not got a gig, I work on some aspect of music. Sometimes I practice on the piano and wait for inspiration to come. Other times, I work on specific ideas and try to develop them further. I also have a way to record ideas at hand. Whether it is my phone or laptop. It is very important for me to be able to capture material in the moment. After a long day, I like to sit back and check out what others are doing with music. I will listen to music on line or watch a movie and listen to what the music is doing behind the action. After that I usually do a short meditation. When I am finally in bed, I spend about 10 minutes thinking about what I need to get done the next day.

For me, being an artist is a 24 hour job and I love it!

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