The 3 surprising types of music students
by Downtown Creative Studios
One of the things we hear most often is “I don’t think I have a musical bone in my body!”. It’s seems to be a widely perceived notion that you have to be “naturally talented” to excel at music or that if you don’t pick it up immediately it’s just not for you. After years of teaching a huge variety of students, we can finally put your mind at ease. Whilst there are some students who take to music very quickly and easily, that doesn’t always mean those students will do any better than those who don’t in the long run.
Here are a few types of students we’ve come across along the way:
Students who are naturally talented
We’ve had a number of students over the years come in and pick up a guitar their fingers just seem to “get it”. By the end of the lesson they can play a song and walk out feeling super confident. I like to believe I was a student like this so from first-hand experience, I can tell you where the danger lies. Natural talents can often avoid reaching their full potential due to an overconfidence and a reluctance to push themselves. We forget to practice because we know we can “get away with it” in our lessons. Unfortunately, without a proper practice routine and a lot of self-discipline, we can eventually plateau and never actually improve beyond a certain point. These students can become full time musicians and be very successful.
Students who aren’t necessarily naturally talented
Whilst it may take a few more lessons to get these students playing a whole song, often they are the ones that truly understand and appreciate the work needed to achieve their musical goals. This usually requires practice, routine and self-discipline – a recipe for success. We’ve seen many of these students eventually overtake our more naturally talented students. Usually we can uncover their strengths and really help these students to shine. Music is a multifaceted concept and whilst “pitch” may be an issue for some “rhythm” may come much easier and vice versa. We identify which aspects need to be improved and work on them until we develop your talent. These students can become full time musicians and be very successful
Students who are naturally talented AND work really hard
Hello Beyoncé! These students are the rarest of them all and there is no doubt that they will become an absolute superstar destined for the hall of fame. If you’ve already got a natural ability and you spend your time wisely cultivating that talent and pushing yourself, there’s absolutely no way you can fail. The opposite of these are the students who don’t have natural ability and also don’t put any work in. These are the students that may just be learning just for fun (or mum and dad might need a break for an afternoon a week….)
Whilst this has been our experience, keep in mind we are all human beings and our strengths and weaknesses aren’t always black and white. There might be periods in your life where you forget to practice or times when you practice every day and really push yourself. Basically, the myth that we have to be naturally talented in order to succeed in music is, in our experience, completely false. The best piece of advice I ever received was “It’s not about how good you are, but how good you are to work with”. Remember you only get out what you put in.