Music, the Infinite Luxury Experience
People spend fifty dollars or more on “one-and-done” kinds of experiences all the time. Topping the list might be manicure/pedicure, massage, fine dining, tickets to a show or museum, etc. These experiences, while quite enjoyable are finite. You pay the entrance fee or for the service and, once it’s over, all you have are the fond memories and all the selfies you took.
Music lessons are not a “one and done” experience. At the end of your lesson, you have learned something and added to your ability to make music for your own enjoyment. And usually for less than the cost of one of these other finite experiences. But, what do all of the finite experiences have in common that seems to be missing from our music lessons? They are all fun, relaxing, mostly self-indulgent activities. And music lessons feel too much like work or school most of the time. Can’t music lessons be fun, relaxing, and a little self-indulgent? Of course they can!
Music Lessons for Fun
Learning to play an instrument or to use our voice should be fun. While there are times that it might feel a little like work, once we get over the hump of learning a new concept and can begin to use it to make music we enjoy, it can be really fun! Trying new things is always an adventure. So embrace new concepts and new music you’re learning. Sometimes we put too much pressure on results – getting a good score at contest, performing a recital piece perfectly, or moving on to the next method level as fast as we can. Results will happen when we aren’t forcing them. Work hard, but have fun!
Music Lessons for Relaxation
Making and learning music can be a form of relaxation. Relaxation is defined as “the state of being free from tension and anxiety.” Music should be a way to, just for a little while, vacate any outside tension on your life (school, work, relational stuff, etc.). When you are fully engaged in making music, whether playing through old favorites or learning something new, it takes you on a mental vacation. I often will sit down and play through a couple pieces if I need a break from my toddlers. They might be crying or yelling at each other (they are in the sharing-is- not-fun phase), but I’m happily playing a little Mozart for 2 minutes. Then I can go address what I need to in the next room. Music really does have a calming effect.
Music Lessons for Self-Indulgence
Make music because you want to! Do it because you like to challenge yourself; it comes easy for you; it’s just cool; or whatever the reason. Spend a little “me time” with music – playing through old stuff and/or picking out new stuff that interests you. Take new music to your next lesson and see if your teacher will work on it with you (I bet she will)!
The ability to make music provides infinite possibilities of experiences. It’s more than just some warm and fuzzy memories and a couple of silly selfies. It’s a skill that can provide fun, relaxation, and enjoyment to a musician for a lifetime. Have more fun with your music lessons and remember that this part of your life is worth investing in!