There was an old joke at one time. A woman stopped a man on the street in New York and asked how to get to Carnegie Hall. The man replied, “practice, practice, practice”. Of course, the meaning of that was if you want to get good enough to play at Carnegie Hall then you must practice. There was another famous situation where a woman approached a musician after a performance and said, “I would give anything to play like that”, in which the man replied, “no you wouldn’t”.
So what to do these two have in common? The first is the idea that you must put in a ton of practice to master a musical talent to be able to play in front of a large audience. The other, is that most people don’t have the discipline to go through with such a task. Many would love to be great at music, but only a few have the determination to do so.
The first thing about music is to realize that it is just like any other activity. You have to learn the physical techniques, and then practice them over and over until they become a habit. When you can perform an exercise without even thinking about it, you have mastered that technique. Then you build on that one and get to the next level. It could be compared to playing a sport. You have to learn the techniques and skills, and then practice them until they become second nature.
Of course the prerequisite of all of this, is that you must love music. If you do not love what you do then you will get no joy out of the endless practice you will have to put forth to get good at your craft. Many musicians have to play the simplest songs over and over until they can get them just right. After that is over, they can take the confidence that they draw from that experience to move to their next skill set.
Some are easier to master than others. Percussion, for example, is one of the more difficult musical instruments to play. On top of learning the music, it requires a lot of strength and stamina in which the body doesn’t normally have. Many of the muscles used in playing the drums, have never been used before, and have to be trained.
One of the best drum instructors in the world, teaches drum lessons online. Knowing what it takes to get from the beginning level to an advanced level, he starts his lessons with the basics and builds to more advanced techniques. All the while, using exercises that will help strengthen the students arms as well as build confidence in their new craft. It is important for all music teachers to create a scaleable curriculum so their students will have success at every stage of their learning. When music apprentices get frustrated, they are more likely to quit.
When novices start to get better and better at playing, they need to be commended on their performance. This gives them psychological feedback that they are doing well, and that the techniques they are working on are correct.
While learning music can be a very heartbreaking and frustrating journey, the rewards of mastery are overwhelming, and it gives those who experience it a purpose to continue with. Music speaks to everyone’s heart and soul, and being able to participate as an active player is very rewarding to many people. They feel like they are able to contribute to the arts, and to help enrich others’ lives.