There’s no denying it – learning an instrument can be a real challenge. When you start out, it can feel like you’re facing an entirely new language. As you progress, you may find yourself unmotivated or frustrated. Those feelings are normal. It’s what you do after they pass that counts.
In this article, we’ll look at three common reasons people give up learning an instrument. Then, we’ll offer you a few effective strategies to beat them, so you can reap the incredible rewards of making music a part of your life. Let’s get started.
1. You’re diligent in your practice, but you’re not seeing any improvement
Do you feel like you’ve hit a brick wall? Like you’re not progressing in your skill level or technique, even though you’ve been practicing on a consistent basis? Don’t worry – we’ve all been there. It’s important to work past these thoughts, because, chances are, your lack of progress is all in your mind.
The thing is, when we first pick up an instrument, we progress quickly. Everything is new, and it feels as if we make leaps and bounds every time we sit down to play. Then, as we become familiar with basic techniques, it can seem as if our progress has plateaued. In reality, you are now working toward far more complex techniques that take much longer to master. Your development may not happen as quickly, but rest assured, it is happening.
There are two ways we suggest overcoming these thoughts:
- Avoid comparing yourself to others. Everyone’s musical journey is unique, and there is no right or wrong way to grow and improve as a musician.
- Learn an instrument through a structured music education system, such as the Trinity London College system. These structured systems allow you to see your progression in a more tangible way (for example, moving from Second Grade to Third Grade).
2. You can’t play the songs you want
Often new players can become disheartened when their favourite songs are outside of their skill set. Unfortunately, there’s no magic shortcut when it comes to learning an instrument. It takes time, dedication, and a whole lot of practice.
The musicians you admire have probably been playing a lot longer than you have, and in that time have developed the skills and techniques needed to master more complex compositions.
Here are a few ways you can overcome this frustration:
- If it’s a song by your favourite band that you’d like to play, instead of tackling the lead melody, try playing the rhythm. Playing the chords behind the lead instrument is usually a little easier and can be adapted to suit your skill level.
- While it’s probably not the answer you’re looking for – practice harder. Take that frustration and turn it into motivation to become better.
3. You fall out of love with your instrument
Maybe you’re just about to give up learning an instrument for one simple reason: it just doesn’t interest you anymore and you’ve lost all sense of motivation.
As we move through life, our priorities change, and our hobbies evolve. That being said, we urge you to hold on to your love of music and commitment to your instrument as best you can. Playing music is excellent for your physical and mental health – it minimises stress, boosts confidence, and fosters creative expression.
Here are a few ways you can regain your motivation:
- Switch things up, whether that’s how you practice, where you practice, or the types of compositions you’re playing.
- Head out and see some live music. Remind yourself of the things that drew you to music in the first place.
- Consider trying a different instrument! Sometimes that’s all it takes.
Invest in quality music lessons
If you’re suffering from a lack of improvement or motivation, it could be you need to change up the way you learn your instrument. Investing in quality music lessons is key to long-term success. Contact our friendly team to find out more about the Liverpool Academy of Music on 02 9602 9774.