In the pursuit of learning to play music, there are often misconceptions and myths about music lessons, what success looks like, and how to go about the process. Often, these misconceptions deter us from taking the simple steps down the path of learning that can be so rewarding.
Music Lesson Myth 1: “I won’t have time to practice.”
Practicing music can take many forms. Even listening is a form of practice. If you have time to listen to music, even if it’s in the car while driving or while cooking dinner, that’s valuable listening time that can be used to improve aural skills and ear training.
The idea that an individual will not have time to practice ignores the reality that practice does not have to look the same for each person. Practicing does not require hours of sitting in a chair working on rote exercises or mechanics. Practice can include simply playing songs you know, or improving your tone, timbre, vibrato, feel, phrasing, and articulation. While it can include things like exercises or reading music, or certainly doesn’t have to.
The other critical thing to remember is that consistency is paramount. Even playing 15-20 minutes every other day is still better than 2 hours of practice once per week. Finding 15 minutes before bedtime is usually a very convenient way to squeeze in some quality time.
Music Lesson Myth 2: “I won’t get to learn music I actually like.”
This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the opposite is true. Most teachers really stress the value of learning the music you love, as a way to motivate yourself and continue to inspire. All music has value, and students can learn valuable concepts regardless of the music that is being studied.
Learning music is a personal journey guided by students’ tastes, preferences and unique, personal aptitude. Teachers may recommend certain pieces a student may be unfamiliar with as a way to expand their musical palette and also help students achieve some technical proficiency with specific concepts and techniques. Certainly some repertoire may have more challenging passages than others, but through the creative process it’s possible to make any music easier or more challenging depending on how it’s performed.
At the end of the day, learning music is about connecting with the sounds and songs that move you and make you want to learn to play or sing in the first place. Finding a teacher who can lean into that and inspire you to create the music you’re drawn to will inevitably make the learning process more fun and fulfilling. In short, not only can you learn the music you like, you can learn the music you love.
Music Lesson Myth 3: “There’s no value in learning music”
The benefits of learning music are well documented. This music lesson myth reality is that there are countless physical, psychological, and emotional benefits that can last a lifetime.
Beyond the physical benefits that include improved coordination, muscle memory, hand strength, posture, tone, and endurance, music can help us manage anxiety, build self confidence, and fight depression. Music is inherently social and provides avenues to connect with others through a fun and engaging, non-competitive medium.
In addition, learning music can help improve communication and social skills, reading, writing, and arithmetic. It can increase mental processing speeds, delay cognitive decline, and improve focus.
Bottom line, music makes us smarter and happier. The process of learning music itself leads to higher self esteem, and a more positive outlook on life, and gives us tools we can apply throughout our daily lives in work and school. Engaging in a creative endeavor that provides a channel for self expression is a critical component of a more healthy and fulfilling life.
Music Lesson Myth 4: “Music lessons are only for kids”
Not only are music lessons for adults also, even the professionals still engage in music lessons. As the saying goes: once a student, always a student.
Music lessons are great for kids. But music lessons are an incredible way for adults to invite the arts into their lives on a very personal level. And studies have shown that those who study music show improved skills development compared to those who do not. Music has proven to delay cognitive decline as well, making lessons a fantastic way to stay sharp.
Music relieves stress, and as we all know, adults harbor stress. Perfection is not necessary or expected in music, and getting lost in song is a great way to leave behind the day-to-day stressors that work and family can often create. It’s also a great way to socialize, especially for those in retirement who are interested in spending time with others that share similar interests.
One of the biggest myths of all is that it’s not possible to learn music as an adult. Adults have incredible aptitude for music, especially when learning is approached with an open mind. Adults often have a preconceived idea about how they may learn or what they believe they’re capable of, which can only interfere with the learning process itself. With a little effort, an open mind and can-do attitude, adults can learn music too, and have just as a rewarding experience as children.
Music Lesson Myth 5: “I can teach myself”
It can be fascinating to watch someone who doesn’t know what they don’t know try to teach themselves something new that they have no experience with or fundamental knowledge about.
Teaching yourself a new skill can be a challenge. Many will resort to using videos or YouTube as a means to self-teach. While this method can have some limited success, there is a significant risk to developing bad habits and a frustration that comes along with missing big picture concepts.
Self-teaching can have some benefits like avoiding any technical structure, which can allow someone to develop a distinct style. But development will be limited and a student will be more likely than not to find their growth stymied in the process. It’s unlikely a student would simply stumble upon tried and true tricks of the trade all by themselves. Teachers can help students break through plateaus, and keep challenging students to improve beyond what they may have felt possible.
Remember, video will only help so much. Plus, they can come with vantage point issues when trying to drill down on specific techniques. They don’t allow teachers and students to play together in real time, and students can not ask questions, which is a hallmark of why private lessons are so successful.
Music Lesson Myth 6: “Lessons are not in my budget”
Many have a preconceived idea that the costs of private music lessons are too expensive. The reality is that many, if not most, have a sliding scale based on lesson length and long term commitment, which can dramatically decrease the cost of lessons. This should allow most students to find a comfortable budget.
Forbes Music Company has several types of scheduling plans for in-home lessons as well as online music lessons. From monthly and semesterly billing and scheduling options for in-home lessons, as well as package and subscription plans for online learning, there are possibilities for just about any budget. Biweekly and intermittent scheduling are possible as well.
Online lessons have become a very effective way at lowering costs for students while keeping optimal convenience. The efficacy has been remarkable and many prefer this medium as well. By removing the travel expense in both time and fuel, online lessons are a great option to lower the budget and still get a great lesson experience.
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Music Lesson Myth Explained
There are many preconceptions about lessons, many of which come from irrational fears about taking lessons. The important thing to remember is that lessons are for everyone, young and old, and can be personalized to fit your goals, your interests, and your budget.
No two students are the same, so working with a company like Forbes Music that can customize your experience is critical to finding success. Give us a chat today and we’ll tell you the truth behind the music lesson myth vs. reality.