How can one study an instrument for a long time?

The question seems empty since we all know how to study. We come to a subject, we encounter our first difficulty and we know immediately what to do. We dig into our tool box for, depending on each of us, patience, frustration, repeating the task again and again, analyzing the crap out of it, cutting the task into little pieces, getting distracted, etc. We all have our set of weapons to tackle the different obstacles of life, THUS, we think, it should be the same for music. No reason it shouldn’t fit.

But it doesn’t. I already explained many times that music has that irritating ability to press on our weakness.

However, even that, ALL of that is nothing compared to the time factor. Time, in music, is everything. We need to stick with it if we want to achieve something.

I have seen often what I call “the mission student”, the one that dives head on, doesn’t hold back on his sweat, his effort, his concentration. She sometimes sustains that intensity for months (a few of them actually do it for one or two years). It is unbelievable what these kind of hard working people are ready to go through. I really admire them.

But then, time start to display its magnitude. They could go on like this for another decade. And then what? Go a second decade after that, and the same after that. They could, but, Man! they are tired! They are giving everything here! And there is so much time! There will always be a tomorrow. Why should they press on with blood coming out their hands every day of the week?

So they take a break. They promise a short one. Yes, a tiny, very little break. And, of course, they never go back to the level of focus they had before. You already knew that ending.

So, what is the secret for longevity in studying an instrument?

I don’t know.

I mean, I do know what works for me. But I am pretty sure that it is very personal. Maybe, in the very subject we are talking about here, one needs to pace herself. But that’s not enough. I also make sure that I diversify my studies, that I keep the fun alive, that I surprise myself while I am exploring the drums or the piano. Also, never forgetting to associate other subject to the subject of music is important. My family life, the little furniture I build for them, the different aspect of my life go into my musical journey. I always try to see what is behind the mountain. There is not just one way of progressing. Sometimes I buckle up and study with intensity when the time calls for it. But, in general, I stay connected to music, no matter what I do. It keeps my mind fresh and my profession current.