A few months ago I wrote the post The Four Step Guide to Learning Any Instrument. One of the steps was finding the right teacher. Last week I received this comment on the post.

I find that it is a misconception that you need a teacher to learn an instrument. I’m completely self-tought at the piano and have been playing for 14 years. I’m not a prodigy by any means.

The #1 way to learn an instrument is by hard work and PRACTICE! Teachers mean nothing without that.


That was very well said. Because you know what? He is absolutely right. I did state that you have to be a prodigy to learn to play an instrument well on your own. I was wrong, and I stand corrected. The post has been fixed to reflect what he said.

So why would you want a teacher? And how do you get along without one.

There are two huge things that a teacher can provide:

  • Motivation
  • Resources

Your teacher holds you accountable, keeps you going. If you aren’t actively taking lessons, it is much more difficult to continue to practice. Notice, I did not say impossible. It can still be done. But it’s not easy. That I can guarantee you. Accountability is always a great help

Secondly, a teacher will provide you with the necessary resources to be able to play. Very few people (these ARE the prodigies) can sit down and play incredibly complex music (or even read it) right off the bat. You need to know where to start, and what to play. A teacher can be a great help with that. The will have (most likely) taught many students before you. They know what can help you progress.

So how do you learn an instrument without a teacher? I will write about that for you tomorrow.


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