One story is more common than others. Students feel that they just aren’t making the progress that they want. Sometimes they feel like they just don’t have what it takes to play music or that they may not be talented. They may lack confidence, or just feel unhappy with where they are at. But it does not have to be that way. In my 20+ years as a private music teacher, university professor, conductor, and Founder of Sage Music, I’ve interacted with thousands of students and musicians with diverse backgrounds and goals. While many of these students have felt that way, they are all able to see the progress that they want with a little guidance and some great music lessons, and you can too!
So first, let’s clear this up. If you want to play music you can. And you can do it well. Like, really well! Talent is not a thing. In fact, I’ve never met a student who wasn’t able to play music well.
Whether you think you are talented are not, you can make steady musical progress. If you feel like you aren’t making progress, it’s not because you aren’t capable. It’s not your background, and it’s not your age. Those things don’t matter either. It’s just you haven’t been shown the way to easily unlock your musical potential. Anyone with the right training can play music well.
So what is involved in the right training? The answer is simple.
I have seen countless ‘untalented’ students achieve more than their ‘talented’ counterparts because they consistently practice the right way. There is no mystery to great practice, you just need someone to show you how. There is a lot to learn about practicing, but you can do it. And if you can learn to practice well, then you can make great progress.
There is one thing to be cautious about in your practice. During your practice you will develop habits. You can develop good habits or bad habits. One of the reasons that people get stuck is that they have developed bad habits that get in the way of their music making. It can take months or years to learn new habits to replace the bad ones.
So be careful to develop good habits from the start. This means using the correct technique from the beginning, and always practicing accurately. A well trained teacher can help you avoid making mistakes in the first place.
If you have already developed some bad habits, don’t be discouraged. While it is better to have never developed bad habits, there are proven strategies for replacing them. A good music teacher with a solid understanding of how habits are formed can help you do this quickly.
When you develop good habits, your music playing will be effortless. You will feel confident and have the ability to play the music that you want freely, and expressively.
If you are interested in learning more about how to get unstuck in music, you can download our popular guide on getting started with music lessons. In it you will learn the steps you need to take to achieve musical success and get unstuck right now. You’ll learn how to set goals, find the right resources, choose the right help, and some special practice advice.