Friday, October 2, 2015

Why Learning Music With Others Is Better Than Going It Alone

This month's post is from our friend Christopher Sutton at Musical U

Who doesn’t want to feel close to their family and friends? The need to belong and connect with other people is one of the most important elements of living a good life.

Music can be a fun solo activity but it’s also an excellent way for us to connect with those around us. Learning music gives you a wonderful opportunity for creative self-expression and doing it in a group setting can be even more rewarding and beneficial to your wellbeing.

If you only ever make music by yourself you are missing out on some of the most enjoyable experiences the world of music has to offer - and although it may seem intimidating at first, the skills and memories you gain from making music with others will reward you throughout your life.

There are many ways to include others in your music learning. You might choose to take a group lesson at the local music school, finally start that band you’ve been dreaming of, find a new instrument teacher for lessons or join an online music community where you can get help with your training.

If you’re hesitant about whether you should learn music with others or try to go it alone, consider the following benefits of learning music in a group.

1. You Will Learn Faster

Music is learned more quickly when playing with others. You can be actively involved and contribute to the group. If you have a question, instead of spending valuable time puzzling over it, you can simply ask someone in your group. Similarly, you can help others when they have problems understanding something you know.

Learning music with others is also a way to receive personal feedback. The more ideas and responses exchanged between you and the members in your group, the better you understand the material and fill in your learning gaps. These benefits don’t just cover factual knowledge, they apply to your live music performance skills too!

In fact, getting feedback and support from others is one of the 3 most effective ways to get better results from your musical training.

2. Communicate Musically

When you are in a group environment, you get to work with all types of people. You learn and develop important skills in teamwork, cooperation, listening and concentration. You learn to understand your individual part, yet know when to adjust and work toward a common goal.

By working in a group, you tap into vital human connection. You get to make new friends who can motivate and inspire you. The ability to effectively communicate with others is invaluable, whatever you do in life.

These benefits have a specific musical impact: you learn to play music with others, trading musical ideas and synchronising beautifully in a way that only practising music in a group can teach you. Whether you plan to perform with a group or not you will become a better musician by learning in a group.

3. Develop Confidence

Confidence is a challenge for all musicians, but especially those who try learning music in isolation. Learning music with others boosts your self-esteem. Sharing ideas and turning negative feedback into positive change helps build confidence. You learn that nobody is perfect, and we can all improve.
Even if you don’t aim to become a professional musician, the ability to perform in front of others is an important skill. With encouragement from your teacher and other musicians, you can be at your top performance level.

One example of a friendly and supporting group learning environment is Musical U where you can develop your musicality surrounded by people just like you who will help you improve faster and have more fun along the way.

Of course the first person you should consider including in your music learning is an expert instructor. If you’re ready to find the right music teacher and get personal advice on perfecting your musical skills, check out The ZOEN. A live, online music lesson from The ZOEN’s experienced music teachers is only a few clicks away!

Making music in a group is the beginning of an exciting journey towards achieving musical understanding and gaining great skills in life. Have you joined a music lesson with others before? Where do you go to get valuable group feedback? Share your experiences in the comments below!

Christopher Sutton is the founder of Easy Ear Training and Musical U, where musicians can discover and develop their natural musicality. Born and raised in London, England, he lives with his wife and far too many instruments.

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