Guest Blogger: Jenna
If you are thinking about learning to play a new instrument as an adult, it can be intimidating living in a world where there are so many talented musicians. There are a few things to keep in mind as you take music lessons. The key is to keep practicing despite the desire to give up.
First, you must stop hesitating. This may sound like common sense, but most adults never move past the stage of considering lessons. Of course living in an area where there are many opportunities makes it easier to learn, no matter the instrument. However, companies such as TakeLessons are making it very easy to find local music teachers, regardless of your hometown. TakeLessons even offers guitar lessons in New York. Location should not deter a passionate student.
It is not uncommon for adults to become extremely critical of their skills. Comparing yourself to professionals and other students can be discouraging. Instead, compare your skills to those you had just a few days earlier. As long as you are setting and meeting realistic short and long-term goals, you will witness improvements. In the meantime, allow yourself to be a beginner. You cannot be expected to key Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony or shred guitar in the first few weeks.
It is important to vary the information you are taking in. You cannot learn to read music perfect without playing an instrument along with it. Learn to read and play at the same time. While it is important to read music, you must also learn to keep a beat and improvise. Do not focus on reading music so much that you forget that there is more to playing.
Use your new music knowledge as a way to socialize. Make music a part of your life. Play your instrument in front of people. Not only will you meet some new people, but you will also become a better musician.
As a student, you should be aware that it is possible to practice too much. You should not do this. Playing an instrument is a work out. You are building muscle with each movement you make and it is possible to exert yourself too much. You should practice every day, but not to the point that you are exhausted. This will also prevent you from feeling burned out.
The hardest part of learning to play an instrument is starting. Take lessons with a professional who can guide you to the right area. You will soon find yourself playing by ear and reading music you once thought impossible.
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