Learning and being familiar with an instrument is such a privilege. It really is. Although it does comes with hard work. But for those who do know how to play the piano, the guitar, the saxophone, or the xylophone: they always seem to describe it as being worth the effort!
As a teacher I would like to give you a few suggestions as to what you should consider if you want to learn an instrument, and I also want to touch on a method recommended by psychologists to help you stick to your new hobby!
Suggestions from a piano teacher
To begin, aim to have lessons for at least six months, any shorter period of time and you won’t get much from the music lessons.
Aim to get to your instrument most days of the week, even if for a short period of time. Please read the article below which outlines why I ask my students to get to the piano for five minutes a day, most days of the week.
You don’t need an expensive instrument to begin. I encourage students to begin on a low cost keyboard. This means that students will be knowledgable about their instrument by the time it comes to purchasing a more expensive one down the track, and they will make an educated decision. And secondly, if a student never falls in love their chosen instrument as they had planned, it won’t be simply an unsuccessful love affair that has dashed your pockets. Please see the blog post above 'Buying A Keyboard: A Brief Guide' that I have prepared for students.
A suggestion from Psychologists
There are probably endless recommendations by psychologists to help one commit to their goals and activities that they want to pursue, but I am going to focus on simply one of these today
Psychologists say that we are more likely to commit to a task – such as practicing an instrument, or exercising more – if we form the intention to do it when we encounter a cue.
A cue can be anything. For example, by planning to practice the piano in the morning after you have dressed, or otherwise planning to practice the piano in the evening after your meal, means that you will be more likely to follow through with an action compared to if you didn’t rely on a cue.
Having a cue helps you integrate the task into your day-to-day; otherwise the task may not be achieved at all.
If you were to implement a cue for your daily practice, what would be your preferred time of day be to practice? Do you have a preference to practice in the morning? Or in the evening?
Here's some further thoughts on New Year's Resolutions by Doctor Mike Evans