Don’t stop learning

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I have probably written about this topic before, but can’t remember.  If I have, just take this as a reminder.

I want to encourage you to keep learning.

Fifteen years ago, I remember doing my senior piano recital in college (as a minor). My thought at the time was a little sad because I really believed that I was at the peak of my music ability.  I thought that I would never again play as well as I did at that time because I thought that I would never again have the same learning environment.

I was wrong.

As many of you know, I studied music as a child (traditional classical) but majored in computer science in college.  After college, I began a career as a software programmer and moved to Rhode Island.

The apartment I lived in had thin walls and my piano soon became a frustration to my neighbors.  The neighbor above me had a handy broomstick that she would pound on the floor every time I started playing.  So, I soon became conditioned not to practice.  I played in my church but not regularly.

It was not until I was thirty before I started studying music again.  I worked hard on my first CD Timeless Reflections and then really got serious.  I got a teacher and began practicing every day.

I had good teachers growing up and they taught me a lot, especially about technique and other basics of playing.

But almost everything I know about how music works has been learned in the last 7 years (I am 37 now).  I give the credit to such men as John Innes, Steve Mauldin and especially Kevin Bales who have helped me.

I honestly believe that regardless of your age, you can do the same thing if you want to learn.  You do not have to practice two hours a day either.  You just have to get serious.  I am convinced that you can learn faster as you get older because you have a bigger base of knowledge to build on.  In other words, learning music is exponential–the more you know, the faster you learn.

It always saddens me to see that so few musicians study past college.  The best musicians I know are good partly because they still take lessons (even if just on an occasional basis).  There is no musician no matter how good that should not actively still be learning.

For those of you still in school or college, don’t be like me and waste your 20’s. Keep studying and you will be a far better pianist when you are 30 than you were when you did your senior recital.

And for those of you over 30, don’t think you cannot learn.  You can learn a lot.  But you have to decide you want to.  Take lessons, buy a course, or just study the free lessons on this site.

For most of us, real development will take years; it will not happen overnight.  But if you commit to learning, you will be a better musician in five years and even better than that in ten years.