When Does Practice Make Perfect? Not Much Of The Time Unless All The Pieces Fit First

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Often people receive a banjo, mandolin, fiddle, guitar or some other musical instrument as a birthday, Christmas or special occasion gift. There's glee and joy everywhere. The giver of the gift knows how much the receiver of the gift wants to learn this instrument and the receiver of the gift is ACTUALLY holding the coveted instrument in his/her hands instead of lusting for it down at the corner store or through the shop window. NOW WHAT?

Finding an instructor that fits into a busy work schedule is hard enough?but once you decide on a lesson plan, then the student must calculate the practice time, how to practice, what to practice ? and let's face it?not all people learn something the same way. We have math-wizard types that write everything down, social butterflies that strictly learn by only talking to others about it and yet others that envision a categories and divisional compartment-style strategy for a problem and logically devise a plan to solve the problem in a completely different way than there next door neighbor! So?in order to learn a musical instrument, how much practice time is enough and what kind of practice is right for you?

First the student must identify some goals:

1. What is the desired gain? Do you want to be a virtuoso or a hobbyist?

2. How much discretionary time is available to invest in the learning process

3. Is the student really willing to invest the time for the ultimate gain

4. Would the student be satisfied with a more social/casual study of the instrument

5. Identify why the student wants to learn 'this specific instrument"

There is no set amount of time that anyone should practice a musical instrument. When I was enrolled in programming classes, I could have studied nightly for 5 hours each night. It would have taken me years to learn the art and craft of computer programming. Though I'm intrigued by the systematic logic of it, my aptitude is towards another genre all together. However, on the other hand, if I spent an hour every couple days with a passionate hobby like playing the violin, not only would the time fly quickly?I'd also be learning at a much greater pace since the built-in passion is the motivation for advancement.

So as much as it's important to practice, a step back from that strategy is to first find the compatible instrument that fits you as a person; as an extension of your personality. If you're learning the guitar because it's cool and every guy can snag chicks if he plays guitar?.- & obviously that's the modern-day hip-factor mindset, however, you might not be actually aligning your highest aptitude for musical fulfillment with your most creative advantages you have to offer.

It's been my experience that every person has a certain level of musical talent. My enjoyable challenge has been to assist them in this adventure and actually locate their best abilities as quickly as possible. Then and only then can we match student with instrument and truly begin a fun and exciting Zen-walk down the road of happiness and contentment; where music, aptitude, personality and soul all congregate. Once this piece of the mystery puzzle is in place, I've never had to work at motivating a student to practice?.

Lee Tribbey is the marketing manager for, a totally online music lesson emporium and instrument teaching resource.

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