How to Learn Anything - Self-Defined Musician

How to Learn Anything

Learning a skill does not have to be so complicated.

It’s true that some might be harder to learn than others. If you want to learn to fly a plane, or do brain surgery, or install power lines, yeah, you might need careful supervision.

But learning to play a musical instrument?

It’s not that hard.

I’d put it in the same category as learning a language (which practically every human being on the planet has done at least once), or learning to draw (which most kids love doing until they’re taught that they’re “bad at it”), or learning to play a video game.

Kimon Nicolaïdes, in his excellent book The Natural Way to Draw, writes:

“The sooner you make your first five thousand mistakes, the sooner you will be able to correct them.”

If I had to give a two-step, comprehensive plan for learning a musical instrument, it would be this:

1. Make as many mistakes as possible.
2. Pay attention to what happens while you make each mistake.

“Pay attention” means asking yourself questions like:

• What else is happening while this mistake happens?
• What happens after the mistake?
• What happens before the mistake?
• How do I know it’s actually a mistake?

This is not the same thing as trying to fix mistakes.

(If you are curious to learn more about how to pay attention to mistakes, check out my free online course.)

OK, I want to hear your objections to this. What am I missing? What are your reservations and hesitations about adopting this attitude?

Free Online Course

Check out my free online course:

How to Make Mistakes Without Getting Completely Derailed.

This course teaches the basics of mindfulness for musicians. Learn how to stay focused on what is really important to you.

Sign Up For Free!

Michael Korman

Michael Korman plays the piano. Over the past few years, he has been working on a different approach to learning music, with a focus on mindfulness and personal values. His current project is developing ways to share this message with the rest of the world.