Not everyone is exposed to the hobby they practice for life as a child; some have to wait quite a bit longer to figure out what sounds fun and what’s worth learning. If this sounds like you, congratulations! It’s always worth it to pick up learning a musical instrument, and there are a few tips that can help improve your journey from the beginning.
Study Music Theory and Your Favorites
When you decide to start learning an instrument, the first thing you should do is pick out the genres you want to focus on and study music theory, relating to the songs you like. This makes the process fun, so you don’t have to focus on the technical aspect only. Picking music you like and want to study helps make the hours of practice you’re about to pour into learning feel worth it; this way you’ll also have a base set up for making your own music in the chosen genre if you decide to after studying. It may sound boring to study theory, but starting your musically educational journey will build a stronger foundation if you do.
Find an Instructor
It’s difficult to start a new hobby or learn a new skill from square one, but having someone along for the journey to teach you is extremely rewarding. Not only will you know exactly what to practice to maximize the quality of each lesson, but an instructor can help you learn techniques that you wouldn’t have on your own and break bad habits that beginners often make before they arise. This will undoubtedly boost your skills much faster, as you won’t get confused about what to learn next. If you are having difficulties finding someone nearby to teach you, don’t forget to check online. There are plenty of free and cheap resources available from learning how to play your favorite song from the ’60s or browsing for the best violin strings.
Utilize Current Skills
It may generally sound harder to adapt to a new skill as an adult, but there is an advantage to it that younger learners don’t have. Later in life, you’ll know yourself pretty well after various life experiences, and in a way, you’ll be easier to teach since you’ll know what you need. A young student most likely will not know what works for them, whereas you may know your learning style by name. It’s a lot easier for an adult to stick to a skill than a child, even if it takes a little longer for the practice to set in; but on the other hand, you waste less time after learning about your needs in being taught.
Set Realistic Goals
People of all ages and life paths struggle with setting realistic goals, and beginning to practice a musical instrument is no different. You must remember that it is very important to set realistic goals that are specific, measurable, and achievable. It’s extremely common for people to set the bar too high for themselves at the beginning, which possibly discourages you from continuing after a short amount of time passes. Avoiding goals entirely isn’t the answer either; having a drive goes a long way in starting to learn a skill, so keeping motivation will be your life force. Setting goals can be hard to accomplish if you haven’t pursued a hobby in this fashion before, but you can find plenty of tips on goal setting online, even specifically for becoming a musician.
Don’t Be Afraid To Share
Performing, even if just for friends and family, provides a wonderful learning experience. The added pressure of others watching you can be daunting, but it’ll go a long way in your practice sessions if you can learn to pick up from inconsistencies and other mistakes when playing. This will also reveal to you if you truly are learning what you’ve been practicing because a performance is continuous.
Of course, it can be difficult to find where to begin, but learning a musical instrument provides beneficial aspects to your life; don’t let where you are in life dictate what you can and can’t do. Keep a support system near, and don’t forget to cheer yourself on too.