Tuesday, 29 January 2019

How Long Does It Take To Learn An Instrument ?


It is a question which is asked by almost every beginner, from young students to adults. It is natural to want to know how long will it take to be able to play an instrument. However, most people often forget the fact that it is their practice time and commitment towards the instrument that will determine their progress. Then again, there are some other factors as well which shapes up the duration of their progress. We usually have two different age  groups of students, namely young students and adult beginners. Let’s discuss these two groups individually under specific parameters.

Young Students (Aged 8 years to 12 years) 


Approach to Learning: Young beginners should have fun with their instrument. As they are just getting to know the instrument and the skills they can achieve while learning it, it is very important that it excites them and inspires them to work toward progress. As they are young, theories and basic reading should be introduced in a progressive and practical way so that they can take in the details and master one aspect at a time.

Objective: Their objective should be to perform in about a year with the knowledge they have gathered during that time. They should be able to connect with their instrument and play the tunes they want to play. Once they can execute the music they hear, there is a sense of achievement that inspires them to learn further and therefore accelerates their learning progress as the instrument has catches their interest.

Duration: If you are a complete beginner and aged between 8-12 years, it may take you about 6-9 months to have a strong command over the basics, especially certain techniques such as chord shifting, pitch change and the coordination of both hands or hands and feet (as this requires advanced motor techniques), etc. Students aged above 12 has the capacity to take more information and process a bit quicker, so they might be able to have better command on basics in 4-6 months.


Adults

Approach to Learning: As an adult, there is an interest to learn and play the instrument that has been there a long time but you haven’t found time or you had other commitments. There are also cases of adults who’d learn from the ever-growing internet but are either unsure due to too much information or stuck at a point where their progress has been constant for a long time (they don’t know where to go next). First as a working adult, you have to decide what you want out of it. Is it just to play in front of friends (as a hobby) or gather knowledge to be able to play in a band or release your own compositions, or for therapeutic, stress release or other reasons. Whatever the reason is, you should ensure that where ever you are learning from (teacher or institute), should be flexible enough to suit your timings as well as your goal. So, it should be goal or result oriented approach.

Objective: The objective should be able to measure your progress and layout a practice schedule that works for you. Keep in mind what you want to achieve and spend time on that. Try to excite and inspire yourself during practice which will help you commit to the instrument more. Keep playing the songs you love other than just the exercises your teacher might have given you for your improvement and make a conscious effort to understand what you are executing.

Duration: If you are just beginning, it will take you at least 3-4 months to have good command over the basics and then further take it to the level where you will be able to play along with certain songs and even hum it yourself. It also matters how you see yourself playing the instrument, if you expect yourself to be able to jam along with other instruments, it will take a little longer especially if your just beginning to learn your instrument.

The duration is just an assumption, and not always true but it is the average time one takes to finally understand their instrument based on our experience. There are other factors that determine how long it takes to progress including daily practice of the exercises and lessons given to improve muscle memory. So, make sure that you set your goals and follow them with plenty of regular practise and commitment to achieve them in the duration.



BlueTimbre is a unique Music Company that provides Music Education and  Recording Studio services. BlueTimbre also works with schools to provide end-to-end Music Education solutions for schools. 

The BlueTimbre team comes with decades of cumulative experience in running Structured Businesses, Music Curriculum Development, Music Education and Performance.


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Monday, 21 January 2019

5 Reasons Why Practice is Important


A famous quote on practice says “Don’t Practice till you get it Right, Practice till you can’t get it wrong”. It is on this premise that we try to address some of the ways that practice is absolutely essential in making you a better musician and performer.

1. Get Better : One of the most important reason that you should practise is to get better than what your capabilities are at present. Music is such a subject where you have to regularly or very often give time to your instrument so that you acquire the skills you want to achieve. Plan out your routine, and fit in your practice time when it is most comfortable for you. Even 15-30 minutes of regular practice can give improve your skills tremendously than sitting for a single long session just once a week. As most of the skills rely on the muscle memory, all the respective muscles has to be exposed to repetitive exercises until it becomes natural to you.

2. To Have Fun : You can have more fun when you can play things in your instrument and learn to play more complex rhythms or melodies, you need skills which you can only achieve through practice. However, have realistic goals and gradually try to achieve the complexities of music. It takes time but it is worth it in the end. When you can execute complex skills and play some really fun melodies or rhythm, you will start enjoying your instrument much more.



3. Increase Your Knowledge : As you gradually upgrade your skills, you also get more educated about your instrument and begin exploring different styles/genres of music. If you keep committing to your instrument and gradually improve, you will discover a lot of different techniques and learn how to use them in different style of music. Instruments can learned the best when you apply your theory/concepts to practical use. To be able to execute different techniques to your instrument, you must be capable of doing them and there is only one way to be able to achieve that which is ‘practise’.

4. To identify mistakes and improve your skills : One of the most effective ways of practising is to record your practice session. Play it back and identify the parts in which you can do better. Self-evaluation is a vital part of the process. You have to be honest and rectify any mistakes you have been making and/or improve any part that you feel can be better. The more you play your instrument, you will be able to identify more parts that you can improve on and when you set out to make them better, you will see an improvement in how your instrument is sounding.

5. To master your instrument : Everyone who has mastered their instrument has gone through rigorous practice. To be able to get command over your instrument, practice is the only thing that can get you there. Although, you should practice effectively and concentrate on building more skills, it only takes time and your commitment to be able to master the skills in your instrument.



BlueTimbre is a unique Music Company that provides Music Education and  Recording Studio services. BlueTimbre also works with schools to provide end-to-end Music Education solutions for schools. 

The BlueTimbre team comes with decades of cumulative experience in running Structured Businesses, Music Curriculum Development, Music Education and Performance.

Monday, 14 January 2019

3 Reasons to Invest in an Instrument


Are you Learning to Play a Musical Instrument? Are you wondering if you should invest in an instrument when you have just started learning (even if the music school you are studying at provides the instrument when learning there)? The only answer to this is “YES YES YES”. If you are interested in learning the instrument then you must invest in the instrument you are learning. However, don’t just take our word for it, there are several valid reasons why and here are a few of them. We hope this will help you making an informed decision.

1. Practising regularly improves performance
Music schools provide you the instruction, material, the knowledge and the basic exercises that will get you going with the instrument. However, you can only make progress when you apply your learning and revise at home regularly. In order to do that, you need an instrument. Also, the classes in music school ranges averages at about an hour where, more than practice, you learn new concepts/songs and clarify your doubts and techniques. Thus, for you to gain the ability of playing an instrument, you should invest in the instrument you are learning.



2. Playing regularly will keep you Motivated
If you do not have an instrument while learning it, you will not gather any excitement of learning music as there is nothing to apply your learning and get feedback from what you have learned. It would be like learning just another boring school subject. Music is all about having fun playing the instrument, so if you buy an instrument and have it at home, you will be excited to try the things you have learned in the class and evaluate if you can play them well. If there is a song that has been taught to you, you will be eager to go home to play the song in your instrument and sing along with it. You might not get it in your very first practice, but eventually, if you keep at it, you will. The sense of achieving that is fulfilling and will improve your confidence and your progress immensely.

3. You will learn more about your instrument
Every instrument has different properties and different skill sets that you have to learn. The more time you spend with your instrument, the more you will discover about your instrument. There are a lot of other things that you can discover when you dedicate more time to playing your instrument, for eg. how to coordinate both of your hands to get the most effective output, how does the instrument sound when you apply your skills differently, etc.

But before you invest, you should understand in what capacity you want to learn the instrument. If it is something that you want to try, then you can opt for the instruments available in a cheaper budget, or you can try to rent an instrument, however, if you are serious and in it for the long haul, then we recommend that you invest for your future progress and buy a good quality instrument that would suit your ambitions and budget. But it is recommended that you do your research and take opinions from your teacher and/or other well-informed musical persons before you go invest in an instrument. So, if you are planning to learn music and play it with a satisfactory command, you should go buy your instrument today!



BlueTimbre is a unique Music Company that provides Music Education and  Recording Studio services. BlueTimbre also works with schools to provide end-to-end Music Education solutions for schools. 

The BlueTimbre team comes with decades of cumulative experience in running Structured Businesses, Music Curriculum Development, Music Education and Performance.