Has it been in the back of your mind for a while now?
Is there this one song you’ve always just LOVED and you’ve always wanted to be able to play it?
Do you say things like, “I’ve always wanted to learn the guitar” or “I wish I would have picked up an instrument when I was little”?
You may be just sitting on the fence about it. I’m here to push you over the edge and hopefully get you to finally go for it!
Let me just start off by saying music is for everyone.
It doesn’t matter if you can only play 2 chords on a piano or if you can play “Flight of the Bumblebee” by memory on the violin.
It doesn’t matter if you invested $10k into a 14k gold flute or if you got a more reasonably priced one on Amazon. As long as you play what you are playing with passion, you are a musician!
It’s important to keep in mind that music is for you.
There’s absolutely no pressure to be great. Learning an instrument is to make you feel happy and good about yourself when you accomplish something! In fact, one of my most favorite things about learning music is working on something a lot and finally mastering it. It really gives you a sense of fulfillment and gives you something to really be proud of.
Learning music is also a great way to set aside time for yourself.
I get it. In adult life it gets really busy! So it’s easy to forget to set aside time for yourself and do an activity that makes you feel like you are bettering yourself.
Picking up an instrument is a great way to make sure you are getting in that “me time”. I personally enjoy engulfing myself in practicing the piano as a way to meditate.
Admittedly, I myself suck at sitting on a yoga mat and closing my eyes in order to meditate. But playing music brings me to a meditative-like state that makes me just straight up feel good.
My mind is just constantly racing in day-to-day life, so it’s nice to have something that allows my brain to concentrate intently on one thing.
Basically, there’s a million reason why you should finally just go for it and pick up that instrument. You probably know the benefits already (good for your brain, fun, stress-relieving etc.) But when it comes down to it, it’s better to just start rather than spend years wishing you did.
Here’s some advice to get you started:
I will admit I am pretty attached to my phone and spend a lot of my time scrolling through Instagram. However, I turned that into a positive thing by following musician accounts that musically inspire me.
So instead of my Instagram feed being oversaturated with mindless aesthetically pleasing pictures, it’s now filled with posts that make me feel motivated and excited to learn music.
One of my all time favorite Instagram accounts is this beautiful lady. She is a performance major at the University of North Texas who absolutely radiates passion for the clarinet. What I love about her is that she is more than willing to posts videos of herself practicing, doing musical exercises, and/or learning something completely new–even if it isn’t quite perfect yet. It is so refreshing to see someone who shows the reality of practicing and isn’t afraid to show what goes on behind the scenes of a flawless performances.
Have Realistic Expectations
You are probably not going to be able to play like Kenny G after a few months of hard practice (sorry, but that’s just how it is).
Learning a new instrument is a lot like starting to go to the gym for the first time ever; it takes work, time, and you’re probably not going to have your dream body in 6 weeks. You have to start small: five pound weights (the musical equivalent of learning your scales).
If You Can Afford It, Take Lessons
Lessons also are great for giving you structure and direction, as well more personalized help that you can’t really get from a Youtube tutorial.
If you can’t afford lessons right now, that is okay too!
Your goal is to learn your instrument, not just how to play a bunch of songs. There is a difference!
Look up tutorials on how to play a scale or how to read music! The fundamentals will be your key to success.
Bottom line: if you are teaching yourself, do yourself the favor of teaching yourself music, not just a bunch of songs.
Now Let’s Talk About Obstacles Adult Beginners Often Face
A lot of times, adults get frustrated when they can’t play their favorite song right away.
Often people will make their end goal the starting point.
They will find the sheet music to their favorite song, try to play it, then get overwhelmed because it’s too hard, then ultimately give up.
(I’ve been guilty of this too).
If you want to learn your favorite song, make that a goal for yourself! It will happen with time, you just have to learn the fundamentals first and work your way up to that point.
Allow Yourself To Sound Bad
The good news is that learning an instrument really teaches you how to be patient, especially with yourself. And that’s actually a valuable lessons music can teach you.
Don’t Compare Yourself
You also need to keep in mind it’s not a race, as long as you are doing better than you were before, you are doing great and deserve to celebrate your achievements in music no matter how small!
Patience Patience Patience
Never feel bad about any struggle you run into. They’re all normal and it will pass with patience and mindful practice.
Don’t Make Excuses To Not Practice
A lot of times we as adults feel we are “too tired today to practice”, and then fall into a hole where we say that seven days in a row then end up loosing a week’s worth of practice.
Or we feel we are too busy to fit in some practice.
Or sometimes we just straight up don’t feel like it.
To conquer these excuses, I tell myself I just have to sit down and practice for 15 minutes. That way, if I don’t want to continue after those 15 minutes I can stop and feel good that I at least tried. However, most of the time I easily pass those initial 15 minutes getting lost in the music and I end up feeling glad I made myself at least try because now an hour went by and I didn’t even notice!
Of course, if you are sick with the flu I am by no means saying you need to pressure yourself to practice. I am talking about weaker excuses that you can get past with some self-discipline.
In the End, Your Greatest Advantage Is Yourself
You already want to learn the instrument. You have the power in you. You will amaze yourself with what you can do, you just have to actually do it. Thank yourself for even considering this in the first place. Now go do it, and share this with someone who also needs a push to finally do something they’ve always wanted to!