“That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has improved.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Are you one of those people who started music training but somewhere along the line you decided to …tune out? Or maybe you (or your children) have not quit, but are not spending enough time practicing with a teacher?
Learning to play an instrument, like anything else you undertake in life, requires commitment, motivation and discipline. But, the good news is that, unlike training for the Olympics, you don’t have to practice many hours each day. If you play for your own pleasure and enjoyment (rather than preparing for a concert at Carnegie Hall), 30 minutes to one hour of practice a week with a teacher should be sufficient to keep improving your skill. It sounds totally doable, doesn’t it, but you’d be surprised at how many people just won’t do it.Let the music begin (and continue!)
There are many reasons people cite for not practicing regularly or giving up music altogether. Even if they don’t blame their dog for ripping up their musical scores, they may come up with other excuses for not doing their “homework.”
For example, perhaps they thought that the instrument would just play itself – like those “magic” pianos you sometimes see in music stores – and no input of time or energy would be required of them. (Okay, so we are being a bit facetious here, but you wouldn’t believe the lame excuses people give for not practicing!)
Seriously though, many people give up because they underestimate the effort it would take to master the instrument. If they don’t become virtuosos overnight, they become disappointed with their lack of progress and decide to stop.
Or, they may genuinely have very busy jobs and lives, and decide that playing an instrument is too time-consuming.
Needless to say, we disagree with all these “reasons” and can offer some compelling counter arguments of our own.Busting some myths
We find that all too often people harbor misconceptions about what it takes to learn an instrument. They may believe that they need to devote many hours every week to their music training – not so!
This particular myth falls under the same category as the one about having to exercise intensively for hours every day in order to get physically fit. In fact, federal recommendations call for half an hour of moderate physical activity five days a week to stay healthy (of course, if you want to work out more than that, you certainly can). However, people who are not aware that even a little exercise each day is beneficial get discouraged by the idea of time-consuming daily workouts, and give up fitness altogether.
We are bringing this up to demonstrate how misconceptions can throw us off the track. Just as it’s not necessary to pump iron or do other strenuous exercises each day to stay in shape, long-winded and too frequent practice sessions with your music teacher are not a requirement either.A musical interlude in your busy week
We do realize that many of our clients – adults and children alike – are very busy. We get that, which is why our Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Riverdale music lessons are tailored to your schedule. Not only that, but we make those lessons easy and convenient for you because we come right to your home or office, so you don’t have to waste valuable time commuting to meet your teacher.
Out of out of 10,080 minutes that tick along each week, you can surely put aside 30 to 60 of them to get that all-important music exposure and all the benefits it offers: a healthier brain, sharper focus and concentration, improved motor skills and coordination, and better mood. (But, if you want to devote more time each week to your music training than the bare minimum mentioned above, we certainly wouldn’t stop you).
As Greek philosopher Aristotle so aptly put it, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”