My Views on Learning to Play an Instrument
I’ve been playing and teaching music for over twenty years now. In that time I’ve taught guitar, bass and piano to all sorts of people, from the ages of 6 to 60. And I can honestly say that there are few things I enjoy as much as sitting down with a student to help them work on their music.
So this is the first aspect of my philosophy of teaching – I want you to have as much fun learning as I’m having teaching. The old adage about there being more than one way to skin a cat applies here. There are countless ways for me to help you get to your goal, and if one things doesn’t work, we can try another until we find what we need.
Everybody is unique in the world of music. It’s a cliche but it’s true! We all start from a different place For some of us we are determined to learn our instrument of choice, inspired by our musical heroes who manage to move us.
For others it is less dramatic – maybe we’ve grown curious from seeing other people play a musical instrument, maybe a friend, and we wonder if we could learn to do the same thing.Or maybe you have a child who you want to start giving a musical education to early.
All sorts of people learn to play and the thing I want to stress is that doing music is valuable and worthwhile whether you’re bashing out a 12-bar with your garage band, playing a folk song at an open mic night or rattling off the moonlight sonata at a classical recital. How about tearing off a metallica solo with your tribute band or swing like a gypsy at the local Django jam night? I could go on like this for ages because music as an art is so diverse and fascinating…
But whatever you want to learn, the crucial thing is that we go about learning in a smart way. You see I want you to succeed. You’re in this for the long haul – if you learn properly, music can be something that you do from the ages of 8 to 80, enriching your entire life. And it’d be a shame if you let yourself get put off by the numerous obstacles that dog our path when we learning something as difficult as music.
I’ll be honest, it hasn’t always been easy. I was no prodigy myself. My main strength was my motivation to learn and understand music. Even though I’ve been playing for many years can still appreciate and difficult and confusing it is to be a student and I want to do everything I can to make the learning for you as easy and enjoyable as possible.
But I’m not just a teacher offering you the best strategies of learning and understanding the music you love. I’m also a coach. Progress in music is rarely even. You can spend a month practicing a difficult technique before you see any improvement and sometimes you’ll feel like giving up before you make that vital breakthrough. Your mind will try to convince you that you lack the talent to do it. But the truth of the matter is that this is just the nature of the beast. I know that if you stick at it then you will improve and I can keep you motivated and inspired through the difficult moments. Not just with will power alone but by finding ingenious to make that next breakthrough, and encouraging you to pause during you difficult assent and smell the roses (after all…you can play music now can’t you?)
Essential Points to Remember
- Music should be fun – don’t make it a chore!
- Everyone is different – and that’s a good thing!
- Worker smarter not harder! Take the shortest path to achieve your goals.
- Stay confident – you can do it!