Muziek leren maken - Zelfstudie of docent?

If you just treated yourself to your first guitar, digital piano, drum kit, DJ controller or music production software, then chances are you’re already dreaming of performing on a stage one day. To get there though, you’re going to need a good way to hone your skills. Nowadays, there’s plenty of wisdom to be found online, ranging from tutorials on YouTube to free courses, which raises the question: how does self-teaching stack up against going for lessons with a real teacher?

It’s Like Googling Symptoms

Turning to the internet to learn to play an instrument is a little like googling symptoms when you’re not feeling well. You enter ‘learn to play guitar’, pick the most appealing option from an infinite list of search results and go from there, hoping you’re doing it right when you’re told to place your fingers in this or that position. It’s a lot like googling to see what your headache could be, getting ten matches and treating yourself based on the wrong illness. What could possibly go wrong, right?

Learning to Play an Instrument: Self-Teaching vs Real Teachers

Don’t Be Lulled Into Complacency

An actual music teacher can spot slip-ups you’d have never noticed otherwise. In other words, say you’ve been slaving away for weeks trying to master a Chopin Prelude and you’re convinced you’re getting it completely right. When you play it for your teacher for the first time, it’s likely that they abruptly bring you back down to earth, especially since the devil usually hides in the details, such as little tricks that, for instance, help you exert more force on the piano keys with your ring finger and little finger. Tricks that only a teacher could show you.

Your Own Motivational Speaker

The path to becoming a good musician is full of obstacles, temptations, distractions and other pitfalls so, whenever you’re struggling, a teacher can actually help push you forward. Personally, whenever I’m not feeling as motivated, I tend to rush through my exercises just to get them out of the way, which simply isn’t very beneficial to my development. If you drum, you might put your sticks down five minutes into practice and call it a day because you’re just not feeling it. It’s situations like these when a teacher can keep you on track by calling you out on your lack of motivation.

Learning to Play an Instrument: Self-Teaching vs Real Teachers

Back to School But Not Really

I get it. Words like ‘teacher’, ‘class’ and ‘lessons’ hit a little too close to home for some aspiring musicians. No worries, sometimes, a single lesson is all you need. I once took some singing lessons because I kept getting a hoarse voice after I had been singing and, believe it or not, the vocal coach helped me fix my problem in just three lessons. Also, lessons are available in various shapes and sizes. If you’ve been busy teaching yourself how to produce music on your laptop but you keep getting stuck, signing up for a masterclass with a professional producer might well be the way to learn that one life-hack that helps you on your way. Furthermore, learning doesn’t necessarily have to be a super-serious matter. If you have a friend who’s been playing the bass guitar for years while you just started last week, simply shoot your questions at them every now and then.

So, Self-Education or ‘Real’ Education?

I’ll be honest, it’s impossible for me to say whether you’re best off with a teacher, a coach, a single masterclass or an experienced friend. Not only am I not a qualified teacher, there’s also simply no be-all and end-all to learning to make music. I just hope you have the drive to be the best you can so that, if you do hit a brick wall, you acknowledge it and you’re willing to call for the help and guidance of someone who really knows what they’re doing. To finish with a little Eastern philosophy: when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

See Also

» Guitars
» Bass Guitars
» Pianos
» Keyboards
» Drums
» DJ Gear
» Studio & Recording Gear
» All Musical Instruments

» How to Make Most of Your Piano Lessons
» Why Adults Give Up Playing the Piano Far Too Soon
» Learning to Play Guitar: Sheet Music, Chords, or Tab?

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