So you’ve got your equipment together, booked in a lesson time and are well and truly underway on your music journey. Firstly, congratulations on getting here, it’s an absolute joy for us to welcome you to the ranks of musicians, it’s a beautiful and noble pursuit and we can’t wait to hear what you come up with.
Every musician has started where you’re sitting, coming to terms with reading music, learning how to hold or play the instrument, the timing, the notes and so on. It’s a challenging but fantastic process and it’s in this time that you’ll set great foundations for your future. This article is intended to give you some “been there” tips and tricks to help you make a great start to your music lessons.
1) Set up a practice routine.
Practice is a fundamental part of learning an instrument and we recommend planning and sticking to scheduled sessions in a comfortable place each week. Set out a plan and make sure you have plenty of material to work through, practice both to improve on and enjoy what you’re doing. We recommend focussed and consistent practice much more than hours on end, though if you’re having a great time, go for it!
2) Marathon not a sprint.
Like with any skill, music takes time to do well, it’s about patience, perseverance and focus. Keeping this in mind will mean you start strong, have realistic expectations about growth and a greater understanding around the ebbs and flows of the musician’s journey. Be patient and kind to yourself and try to work through challenges and frustrations with optimism – you’ll get there!
3) Have application opportunities.
We recommend musicians try and find opportunities to take what they learning in lessons and apply these to different contexts. Whether in performances, band or group settings, jam nights, around a campfire, at school or wherever you can. The power of music really comes to the forefront when it’s put out there for people to hear and as a musician and custodian of this you’ll learn so much about yourself and really step up in your playing.
4) Join a community.
Surround yourself with like minded people, other musicians and creative types who understand the journey and can support you in yours. Working, learning and playing music with others is a beautiful thing and having the support and friendship of your peers will enrich the learning process.
Now let’s make some music!
Performing music is a fundamental and important part of any musician’s journey. It is our belief that music is better shared and performing is a deeply profound experience for both the performer and for the crowd to experience. Even if you are new musician or don’t have the goal to perform there are huge benefits to the performance process that we want to discuss with you below:
1) Goal Setting
A performance opportunity provides a measurable and time sensitive goal to work towards. Having a looming gig on the horizon helps to drive lessons, practice and adds a charge to the musicians journey.
Performing live builds confidence not just in music but in the performers own mind. Rarely do people have the opportunity to put themselves publicly and under the scrutiny of a crowd and in doing so a musician confronts and works through so many of the insecurities and concerns every person has. We see our students stand a little taller and walk with confidence more and more as they complete their different performances.
It is one thing to say that you play an instrument but is another thing entirely to say that you have performed music to a live audience. Having a performance adds a credibility to your words, you’ve followed through on your craft, you’ve become an artist and that is so inspiring and worth celebrating.
4) Break Through
A performance can be pretty nerve-racking but provides an opportunity to step up and overcome these challenges. Once you do you will find it easier to approach a bigger stage, or another musician to work with or to go and record yourself. It’s a step up and will help you rise.
Live music events are a great place to hear others play and to meet other musicians who hear you play, what about a room full of people who totally appreciate what it’s like to learn, play and perform – these are your people and performances are a great way to connect.
6) It’s Fun
When I speak to my students about performing I often use the analogy of a roller coaster – for many of us we wouldn’t describe a roller coaster as fun, but we go on them anyway. They’re exhilarating, terrifying and confronting but it’s the experience, it’s the rush that drives us and we can walk away from it with a great story and with our head held a little higher knowing we pushed through our fears and did it. This is music performance, you’ll love it and you’ll be so glad you gave it a shot.
If you’re up to the challenge speak with us today!