Making peace with music part 5

Here is a good question: How do you pursue a hobby for a long time?

Here’s an answer: passion and moderation. Another answer: Humility and confidence. Another answer: put something at stake that you can control. Another answer:relate to the work at your level.

I’ll review those answers one by one.

When we want to play an instrument, we usually seek lessons. But the passion that drove us to that piano teacher is something fleeting. Of course, you knew that. So, after you had the taste of the craft, after you tried for a little while, boredom starts to creep into the routine of practice.

That’s when it’s time to deal new cards.

First, find a new way to approach the instrument. For piano, you have a bunch of things you can do. You can try to find on the keyboard that melody that’s been nagging you for the last 10 years, you know, the one that goes: teee-to-ta-teee-ta-ta-to. Or bother a friend or family member and play for them the new little piece you’ve been studying. You can also have a talk about music with them. A third option could be to listen to a great piano player, be it Arthur Rubinstein or Art Tatum doesn’t matter. You want another suggestion? Get yourself a new gear like a pair of headphone hi-fi, and revel in the joy of crystal clear music. In a few words: find internal ways to regenerate your passion for music by having that sweet quest humming in the back of you brain at all time.

It goes without saying that you need to be vocal about your wavering motivation to your teacher. And, please, don’t tell him that you want less assignments and that you can’t understand something that you perfectly grasped the week before. It will be interpreted as: “I don’t want to play anymore”. And Music teacher don’t want to have a conversation about all the reasons why you should quit. A music teacher would rather have a conversation about all the reasons why music is worth a fight. I know I do.

I have an arsenal of concepts and ideas to keep a student motivated. But the main tool I use is usually psychology. That’s the most powerful one at my disposal and the one that rarely misses its target.