Learning A New Instrument
Becoming A Student Again
I’ve recently started to learn to play the Piano after 20 years of playing the guitar. I thought I’d share my experience so far to help others take up new hobbies and learn new skills. As a tutor you forget the struggle and strife most students go through when learning a new instrument. What I’ve learnt over the last few weeks of learning is to stick to little and often. I find reading music quite intense and find I get mentally tired very quickly. I find 15 – 20 minute sessions of practice are effective for me as I also get bored pretty quickly and hate the thought of practicing for long periods of time. Even the word practice itself makes me feel a little put off due to the visions it conjures up in my mind.
Life Gets In The Way
I started learning the guitar when I was eight years old so at that time I didn’t really have that much going on apart from playing with my Action Men and building lego. At that age you are a sponge and constantly learning new things daily, once I got into the guitar through lessons I used to pick up and practice my guitar all of the time. It would give me an immediate sense of achievement which I found hard to find elsewhere. I wasn’t very good at sports or other activities, I remember by Dad taking me along to football training and looking embarrassed at the side lines as I just didn’t have what was required to be a footballer.
As you get older life gets busier, time seems to go by faster and you struggle to find time to focus on new activities and learning a new skill. All I will say here is that it’s important that you allocate time every week to something you are learning or enjoy doing. I go to the gym 3-4 times per week as it’s something I love to do and I try my very best to keep this time free every week for it.
Be Proud Of Your New Skill & Tell Your Friends
It’s important when learning to talk to others about what you’ve been up to. I find it helps to keep you motivated. If no one knows you are learning it’s very easy to stop practicing and eventually give up. When you start to tell a few friends and family what you are learning you feel like you are letting them down if you just chuck in the towel, or it puts you in an awkward situation if they ask about your new skill and you’ve given up.
You never know you might even be the motivation for them to pick up an instrument or try a new skill. People like to feel involved so being apart of something or being able to discuss progress is really good for you.
Take Your Time
Learning any new skill requires patience, practice and time. With regular short bursts of practice you can expect to see steady improvements though. It’s not a rush to learn so just enjoy the process, chances are you will look back in a few years time and realise just how far you have come. This is normally reason number one people give up learning a new skill. Struggling to achieve something or really having to put in lots of effort can make you feel like you are not good enough or you may as well give up. That’s the easy route though so stick with it and if it becomes frustrating take a break for the day.
Find A Great Teacher
Finding a motivating, hard working tutor is so important. Not only does it feel good to have someone guiding you and showing you tips and tricks it’s great for keeping up the motivation. If you constantly turn up to lessons with no practice completed you will start to feel bad for your tutor who has to repeat the same content over and over again. This is a great motivation to put in the practice as we all hate to let people down.
What Is A Great Teacher?
A great teacher should inspire and motivate. They should also be a great listener and be able to listen to your goals and help plan a way forward for you to achieve them with you at the centre of everything.
Don’t forget we were put on this planet to learn, progress and develop so try not to let life get in the way and stop you from achieving your goals. Find a balance which you are happy with and stick to it. Hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and who knows it might have inspired you to start something new.
Thanks for reading,
Rich & Henry