So you want to learn an instrument?

Some top tips for learning to play an instrument.

Practise Regularly

A little and often between lessons is better than practising a lot the night before your next lesson. If you neglect your instrument for even a few days you will lose some of the benefit of your hard work.  This is especially true with regard to instruments you need to blow (woodwind and brass) when the muscles in the mouth need regular exercise to strengthen and develop.

Practise when there won’t be distractions so you can focus fully on your music.

Try and plan a regular routine of practice and remember the better you get the more practice you will need to do.  In the early days you might only need to do 15 minutes a day.  When you get really good (Grade 6 and above) you need to spend over an hour a day every day on practising.

Carefully

It is easy (and more enjoyable) to focus on those pieces of music that you can play.  However, to improve you should focus on those bits of music that you struggle with.  And you don’t always have to start from the beginning of a piece of music.  Spending 5 minutes working on a section that causes you problems is better than 10 minutes playing the piece through over and over again but not mastering that troublesome section.

Persevere

Remember that all the best musicians work for many hours and hours to master their music and make it look easy.  You may become frustrated if you are struggling to play certain pieces. But they must have struggled too.

Some days it can be hard just to get started but it will be worth it in the end.

Be enthusiastic

Take every opportunity to perform in front of an audience.  Yes it will be scary and you will probably be nervous but there is only one way to conquer those nerves which is to get out there and do it.  Remember all audiences are on your side and want you to succeed so go out there and enjoy your performance.  Everyone makes mistakes and plays the odd wrong note here and there – it doesn’t matter!  Click here to find out more information about performance opportunities in Thurrock.

Learn from others

Make time to listen to recordings or watch performers on the internet.  But don’t have this as background noise – listen, really listen.

Go to live concerts, every performer approaches music differently.  You can develop you own style by listening to how other perform and using what they do in your own performance.

Take responsibility for your own progress

As well as doing what your teacher asks you to do in lessons try some other things:

Good luck

Practice really does make perfect and if you practise hard you can be very proud of what you achieve.