If you want to learn a new instrument, the easiest way to start is to begin by teaching yourself to play by listening to a recording of yourself and a classmate doing an exercise, then practicing over and over. It can be as simple as that, but I’ve got a few tips for teachers who might be interested.
Practice is the most important part of learning a new instrument. If you’re not interested in practicing, you can also skip this post and just get to making music. But if you’re interested in learning from somebody and you’ve got your heart set on practicing, you can try and see what you can do as a teacher. You might even find someone who has a lot of interest in teaching or may be able to introduce a class to a student.
1- I’m not a music teacher
Don’t let that scare you. I’ve talked plenty about this before, but it’s very easy to take on a job like teaching yourself to play. I don’t consider myself a “music teacher”. I’ve got a degree in Computer Science, but I never had plans of being a musician. If someone told me 20 years ago that I’d be teaching myself how to read music notation, I’d have laughed. But in that 20 years, not only have I been trained to read music, but I’ve learned a lot of other stuff too.
To really make a difference in your students’ lives, you need to actually listen to them play. Learn how to play your own instrument (i.e., not the one you’re learning the music from!) and learn to play the music of others. Take it from someone who can do this:
I love music. I know how to play several instruments. At the moment, I’d love to learn how to play both piano and violin. I can, or I am willing to learn now, and I will work hard to do so. I love to do this for students. In the future, I plan on teaching students to make music and playing that music, too. I’m hoping that, once I’m done with my teaching career, I can go back to music teaching.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should take on teaching gigs for just any students, but if you’re looking for a way to start working at this, here are some ideas and videos:
2- Don’t underestimate the effects it can have on an individual student.
I’m not referring to the effects of a
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