Learning to play an instrument should, overall, be an enjoyable experience. There is, of course, a direct correlation between the amount of time you put into it and the progress you perceive personally. If you are directed correctly you will experience real progress each and every lesson, this gives you the resolve to move to the next level. That "resolve" is the key to everything! There is a much-overused maxim out there: "No pain - no gain"... In Larry's view, the word "Pain..." should be replaced by "Time..." If you don't DO it, you'll experience no progress, and you'll quickly lose interest. It is the "interest" that started you on the road to musicianship in the first place, and that same interest should carry you through to completion - at whichever level you wish to be at. With the right attitude there should be no pain involved, either mental or physical.
MUSIC AS AN ART FORM:
Music is an indispensable part of most people's lives, and more beneficial to our physical and mental health than it may at first appear. Keyboard music training is known to improve skills which require mental imagery. Performing music in an ensemble environment teaches us to interact, listen and respond to others. Improvisation and Composition open up the imaginative and creative persona., whilst "Music Therapy" is at last gaining the support it deserves.
PLAYING AN INSTRUMENT:
I assume that you are reading these pages because that is just what you want to do. I also assume that becoming a professional musician is not on your agenda. You can, however, lift yourself to a professional standard - or, indeed, any standard you wish - without actually packing your suitcase. In short, you want music to be your spare time activity. This is the exact opposite of the part music has played in my own career, but, given todays' economic/musical climate, it is the better option, and will be just as fulfilling. If not moreso.
Some music students are uncomfortable with the term theory, because they have an impression of a set of mechanical rules and regulations that must be adhered to. It is even thought - in some quarters - that knowledge of theory actually restricts the creative flow! Nothing could be further from the truth. Music theory is not a restrictive influence; it is the foundation that gives musical imagination the widest possible scope for emotional expression. The more theory you internalise,
the more inventive your playing becomes. In other
words; the more you know, the better you play.