There’s a Billion Awesome Reasons Why Anyone Would Want To Pursue Music Lessons
This following is an email I sent to a student who was taking classical guitar lessons years ago, and who eventually started slacking in her lesson frequency, which led to feelings of demotivation creeping in.
It touches upon progress, results, regrets, and persisting through obstacles.
- Learning an instrument is tons of fun, and is good for mind and body.
- Music and guitar provide a great way to blow off steam in stressful times in life.
- Music and guitar are great companions on one’s life journey.
- Music gets all the more fun the better you get at it.
- Nothing that teaches one more about life than music. The study of music trains patience, balance, persistence, personal organization, math skills, courage, drive, focus, self-love, attention to detail, memory, interpersonal skills, IQ, communication, thought structuring, and so much more.
- I learned in a 6-hr lecture by Dr Richard Restak (Professor in Neuroscience at Washington University) a couple of weeks ago, that dexterity training improves memory and even raises one’s IQ. It is for that reason that he recommends learning an instrument and taking music lessons.
- For reasons explained above: someone who studies music, never grows old.
- You did really well, and showed great aptitude for guitar. Things just started a downhill spiral at the time where you started taking frequent breaks from lessons. It’s quite challenging to keep motivation up in something as challenging as classical guitar, if you stop seeing the great progress that comes when you have regular lesson meetings.
You would totally get really good at guitar: all it would require is getting back to the regularity you used to have in lesson meetings. As you noticed in the past in your lessons: even though you didn’t have time to practice, as long as you met regularly, you could keep up really well and you kept improving. That only stopped and you only started forgetting stuff, when in addition to not having time to practice, your lesson meetings also became infrequent.
- It’s a given that classical is challenging. It’s not for someone who doesn’t have time to practice and who can’t attend lessons frequently. The catch 22, as usual is the case, is that the most challenging style of music, is also the one that gives the deepest feeling of gratification and joy when one gets better at it.
Strumming songs while singing is fun, but being able to play a whole classical guitar solo piece all by yourself that sounds like a complete composition combining all melodies, chords and rhythms as 1 arrangement, while much more challenging to perform, also gives you a feeling of accomplishment that is priceless.
- The student who bites through the little challenges (#’s and b’s, etc…), getting comfy with being out of the comfort zone, is the one who reaches the nirvana like state of tremendous victory, achievement and joy. The student who gives up and stops the journey, is the person who will always keep wondering how good he/she could have really gotten. That person always ends up with the regrets over not pursuing the journey past the little temporary hurdles in the learning process.
- Sometimes, you find out that the style of music you wanted to pursue, is maybe not entirely your thing. Nobody says that it needs to be classical, right? 🙂 Maybe strumming songs you like might be more your thing. Maybe you just like fingerping, just not classical fingerpicking. Anything is possible in lessons with a top teacher. However: the morale of the story: is that everything is better than giving up and completely missing out on all the above totally awesome benefits.
- People who take long breaks from lessons: always have an incredibly hard time getting back to it, partially because in their minds, people ALWAYS think the worst and play out scenarios that are much worse than reality.
However: when they get over that mental hurdle or over the stories they tell themselves, and eventually get back to guitar lessons, they ALWAYS say thinks like: “Man that was fun. I’m so happy I got started again. I thought it was going to be much harder. I had forgotten how much fun lessons really are”.
That is just how it is. I have never experienced it any different with thousands of students in past 20+ years. (Which is exactly why I always dissuade anyone from taking breaks: nothing good ever comes from that)
Conclusion: There’s much more joy and benefits in learning music, than there are benefits in giving up on pursuing music lessons. 🙂
I do speak from personal experience.
When I was 6 I started music school, and gave up on pursuing it any further by the time I was 8 because I totally hated going to music school.
It was classical, it was boring, and my mom and dad should have motivated me more to pursue it.
THAT… is the only regret I have in life haha. If only had kept going to music school when I was a kid. God knows how much better I really would have become.
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Have fun! 🙂