Jan 10 2014
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There are several ways we learn things in life. Some things are learned from watching and listening, some from instruction, some from the school of hard knocks. Nobody had to teach you how to smile, laugh, or enjoy things. Nobody had to teach you that listening to music is fun. But there are several ways that we learn to play music on instruments.

The most common way is the scholastic method, where you learn things like the notes on the staff lines, the note and rest symbols and what they mean, key signatures, time signatures, etc. However, when you look at the reality of music in America during the twentieth century, you will find that many of the most successful musicians did not know anything about the scholastic method. How, then, did they learn to play so successfully as to become millionaires? Take the Beatles, for example. None of them could read notes. So what did they do?

They smiled a lot. No kidding, they got together and toyed with the instruments, picking up tricks and tips from each other while laughing and having a great time. They didn't take lessons once a week. It was more like, "How did you do that ?" And when the other person showed them, they thought it was great when they could finally do it themselves.

Now, I'm not advocating not taking lessons, but I had a student who told me, "I signed up for lessons with you because I came to my friend's lessons a couple of times and each time you guys laughed a lot and had fun." If you have a music teacher who is stern or strict, change teachers. Music is and always has been FUN. I don't force students to play at recitals in front of strangers, which was pretty scary for me each time. That's not fun. Give me thirty minutes of your time at no charge to you and I will show you why my students keep coming back, even after quitting for a while.

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