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A Way of Life

One of the most interesting facets to learning an instrument is how young many of us begin our musical studies.  It it commonly accepted practice to start a child at four years old and expect that he keep at it until adulthood.  Perhaps I should even add that this is the expectation for formal musical studies.

At least this is the expectation.

The reality is that when many parents sign their children up for music lessons it is just another activity.  The parent may agree with how music benefits a child and there is excitement over starting something new... but it is still just another "thing" on the schedule.

Learning an instrument is not a simple or quick process.  It takes years to learn proficiency and even longer to achieve mastery.  To attempt this type of pursuit over such an extended period of time means that music must eventually transform from an activity to a way of life.

The student becomes a musician.

Now this doesn't mean the student has become a professional musician or will even study the subject in college.  It means that music has become part of the student's life.  By starting at such a young age there will be a point where the student can't remember a time he didn't play an instrument.  That's a very powerful concept.  That means that the instrument has become a fixture in the growing up process.

It is at this point that the student begins to take ownership of his instrument.  Practicing will still be difficult (it almost always is).  But the nature of the practicing will have changed.  Practicing is just something the student does.  It's a part of life.


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