This ‘Learn Music Faster’ series of posts highlights things my best students do that contributes towards their success. There are no secret formulae or magic tricks. Learning to play well still requires hard work, dedication and above all, practice. However, my students who do these things seem to improve quicker than the others.
Never miss a lesson
If a student misses a session in the first three or four weeks of lessons, that’s usually a warning sign they’re going to be an unreliable student and not progress as quickly as others.
If someone misses more than one lesson in a three month period that’s often an indicator they won’t learn as fast. The same applies if they miss more than one lesson in a row.
This is more than just about missing teaching time. It’s an indicator of how dedicated they are to learning. Lots of people talk a good game about wanting to learn and play well. But words mean nothing. The proof is whether you actually turn up or not.
People who don’t make lessons a priority, who decide to give it a miss if something else comes up, or they’re ill, or tired, they don’t learn as fast as those who make sure they get themselves to every lesson no matter what. That shouldn’t come as a big surprise to people, but it doesn’t seem to be common knowledge in my experience.
By contrast, I’ve seen some of my best students in terrible states – hungover or ill – but they’ve still dragged themselves out to their lesson. Sure they don’t get as much from the session as if they were feeling 100%, but they get themselves there anyway. I don’t think it’s coincidence that these are the people who progress quickest. As Woody Allen said “80 percent of success is showing up”.
This principle of never missing a session applies to almost everything in life. If you’re working towards something structured that you really want to achieve, whatever it is, never miss a session. It could be the gym, weightwatchers, a course or degree, time with the family, band practice, meditation, running club, whatever. Anything that involves a session with other people. Even if you haven’t done much between sessions, turn up anyway. If you miss more than two, chances are you’ll never go back.
Previously on ‘Learn Music Faster’ – Handouts, keeping them and organising them.