Tips for teaching yourself music
- February 15, 2023
Music has a universal language. It speaks to the soul and can translate any emotion. We all have a list of our all-time favorites or some genre that always gets us going. And it forms an intrinsic part of our lives- listening to the radio in the car, attending the concert of your favorite singer or band, working out to rock beats. This inspires many people to write their own songs or play their favorite instruments. However, learning a new musical instrument is no easy task especially if you have never played one before and don’t know where to start. Below are some tips which can help nurture your passion for music-
- Patience and Persistence
Once we pick up an instrument, we want to master it quickly. This is why people often give up learning instruments midway. It takes a lot of practice to acquire such a skill, and persistence is a must if one wants to learn an instrument. One has to be patient with themselves and remember to push through the days when they are about to give up and remind themselves of why they started and how far they’ve come along. As time will pass, a new skill will be in your oeuvre.
No skill can be acquired without practice and perseverance. And while it may not make you perfect, it will definitely make you progress. While listening or watching others will help, it is only when you will practice those techniques yourselves that you will truly learn and gain confidence.
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3. Watch and Listen to the Masters
One cannot understand how an instrument can sound like unless they listen to someone great play it. The greatest artists don’t just play; they pour emotions into their performances and have unique styles, making one connect to their music. Listening to them will also help you develop a great musical ear.
- Learn your basics
For proficiency in any instrument, learning the basics is crucial as when one is familiar with the basics, they can easily advance on them and experiment. For instance, scales are an important basis for most instruments- blues and pentatonic scales constitute a vast majority of jazz tunes, and chromatic scales frequently occur in orchestral music. While it may be tedious to learn scales, it worth the time and effort.
Sometimes, it is good to experiment with your instrument even if you don’t know what you are doing. You may end up with some new improvisations and learn that certain melodies, notes, and rhythms sit well together. You never know you might be on to something. The greatest musicians were able to come up with something new and different only through their experimentations.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Duke Ellington, and all great musicians were all novices once. It is perfectly okay to produce cacophonies instead of melodies while exploring a violin or piano, but you will never learn to play something correctly if you do’ even try. Practicing and learning what does and doesn’t work is the only way to develop skills.
- Find the perfect instrument for yourself.
Someone said it right that instruments are like shoes- the wrong ones hurt, and you will never enjoy them. However, the best ones will comfort you and stay with you forever. The first instrument I learned was the guitar, but I never really felt connected with it and eventually learned the violin, which I play almost every day. Try a few instruments and choose one that feels right. Also, ensure that you get a quality instrument, as the instrument’s sound quality may not sound well despite your many efforts if the instrument is of lower quality.
Toronto’s Academy of Music has been disseminating music lessons and supplying music instruments since 1981. They are a specialized music school and instrument store conveniently located at
1037 College Street West in Toronto