Are You Ready For Music Lessons?

Playing music is fun. There’s nothing like the feeling of being able to pick up an instrument and have music come out of it. But it’s not an easy journey and many people get discouraged, especially in the early stages when they start to realize how much of a commitment music takes. So before you run out and buy a bunch of gear, read this guide and see if you’re really ready. If you are, don’t wait another minute–get out there and get started!


Most musical instruments are not cheap. For example, a decent entry-level acoustic guitar will run around $300-400, and that doesn’t include things like a case, strap, stand, or instructional materials. Other instruments can be much more. A ‘student’ saxophone can easily cost $3,000 or more, which is why many music stores have rentals available. Even if you rent an instrument, it still costs money and will add up over time. This makes it daunting for beginners but if you look at the value of playing an instrument over a lifetime, it’s a really good deal.


No matter what some infomercial or website may tell you, nobody can learn to play music in an hour, a weekend, or even a month. It is possible to make some pleasing sounds come out of your instrument in a short time, but being able to add to those sounds and play a song that sounds like a song can easily take several weeks, and that’s for something like a 2-finger song. Even the person you heard struggling through a tune at an open mic night has probably been playing for many years.


You cannot play music without practicing. There are no shortcuts. You can’t sit and think about playing and call that practicing. You can’t watch a DVD or read a book about how to play and call that practicing. Practice means actually picking up the instrument and playing it, with purpose, at least several times a week. Those sessions can be as short as 20 minutes, but it still takes several of them each week. If you don’t practice, you will not get better. It’s as simple as that.

Everyone says, “Oh sure, I’m willing to practice every day. No problem!” Let’s not forget the biggie…


As you just read, music takes years of practice. Yes, YEARS. Every day. For years. Those 10,000 hours it’s supposed to take to become an expert at something? That’s 1 hour a day, every single day, for more than 27 years.

But don’t despair! That’s what it takes to become an ‘expert’, whatever that actually means.

Once you acquire some skills, practicing isn’t so bad. You get to play music and work on various elements and often you have some goal in mind, like learning a new song or preparing for some kind of performance. But the hardest time of all is right at the beginning.

When you first start to play, you’re going to sound terrible. It happens to everyone, but that doesn’t make it any less discouraging. It is frustrating when you can hear the song in your head but your fingers are too dumb to play it. Add to that the fact that we all listen to music created by professionals using multiple attempts until they get it exactly right, and that we hear those songs over and over again until we assume it’s so easy that anyone can do it.

So you’re going to make some very unpleasant sounds as you learn how to actually play your instrument, and then you’re going to struggle with each new step for a while because the techniques you will be learning are all new and not built on existing skills.

Active Learning, Not Passive

Music is an art form. That may seem obvious, but people often misunderstand how that translates into their practicing and learning. Students often want a music teacher to give them very specific instructions such as, “Play this verse exactly like this, using exaclty these fingers, and don’t stop until it’s perfect,” as if playing music is simply a set of physical skills. The student is to use the instrument as a machine, everyting in perfect working order until the result is achieved, and then they will move on to the next task. That’s a great way to teach robots to play, but humans don’t respond as well to that as they think they will. As a student, you need to use your brain to learn from the things you are practicing, to explore and find new techniques and how to make them work.


This isn’t like doing an assignment in school because the teacher says you have to do it to pass the class. There are no grades to earn, no graduation to hope for. You study music because you choose to. A teacher may help you keep going when you get discouraged, but they aren’t going to give you a lecture on how you need to get better so the team can win the big game. In some ways, this makes it too easy for people to quit studying music.


So all you have to do is ask yourself one question…are you ready to start the most exciting adventure of your life? One that will take you to new places and help you learn about the world, other people, and yourself? If the answer is yes, then do it! The rewards are worth all the work.


    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Phone # (required)

    Area(s) of Study

    Your Message