quality of container

Published July 27, 2021

Have you ever been working on a medium or larger project (an album, a concert, a piece of theatre, a novel) where you didn’t have at least one moment where it felt incredibly difficult on some level?

Yeah, same here.

Quality of container
Challenges take many forms


  • I might be tortured by a decision about whether to repeat a section of a song
  • I might start to believe the voices in my head that say this album isn’t good enough and it never will be
  • I might have a nagging feeling that the chords should be better, but I can’t come up with any ideas I like
  • I might think my collaborators suck
  • I might feel vaguely sleepy every time I go to work on the project
  • I might get overwhelmed with how many tasks are still left to do
  • I might get a common cold the week I’m supposed to go into the studio
  • I might get lost in thoughts and doubts for an hour of my scheduled songwork time



That container can be the deadline of an opening night of a show or concert.

There’s no time to delay this musical decision any longer – I need to send the parts to the players.

That container can be an accountability partner.

I told my songwriting friend that I’d play her something when we meet tomorrow, so I better try my hand at a new accompaniment before I go to bed.

That container can be the cohort of a class.

Although it’s easy to get pulled into a kind of despair around comparing myself to others, I know that this album must get made because I committed to this in front of other people. I’m going to block out a whole day next week to track some background vocals.


And my experience is that even though I’ve dramatized the situation in my examples above, and even though it can feel that dire at times, much more often what happens is that having a good container (people that lift you up, generous instructors, a mindful and creative collaborator) actually buoys you effortlessly. The right container can not only mitigate some of these crises, it can bring you gifts you didn’t even know you wanted.

I can’t contain my enthusiasm for you,
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We created these tips just for you! Why? Because we know that you have a song just waiting to emerge and we want to help you share it with the world! Free for a limited time.