I’m writing this for those musicians making resolutions for the new year or for any time of year. Come back to this page any time you need refreshing.
People often make resolutions. We all know what we mean when we say the word ‘resolution.’ It means we’re deciding to do something. The word resolution comes from the word solve, which has an interesting origin stemming from the Latin root solvere.
In Latin, solvere means to ‘loosen’ or ‘release.’ So, you might think of solving a math problem not as finding its answer, but as releasing it. The answer is waiting within the problem.
Similarly, within everyone there is an energy, a potential, a seed, to do many things. There is an athlete, a cook, a painter, a doctor, a mason and...a musician. They’re all waiting for you to loosen or release them. Just as the math problem doesn’t solve itself, your abilities don’t simply appear. Releasing them requires work.
Work and Growth
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced musician, you have no idea what potential is lurking deep within you. It's only through consistent practice that you can chip away and discover the great things of which you are capable.
The frustrating part is you don't feel a little progress every day. The work requires consistency, but you sense growth in spurts. Sometimes you will feel your growth has plateaued for weeks or even months. But, you can’t give up because the next level may be right around the corner.
As your musicianship grows, you never know what lies ahead, from where it will come or when it will come. Imagine Christopher Columbus. Think of the seemingly endless miles of ocean Columbus had to sail before getting to the new world. What if he had turned around a day before reaching new shores?
Your musical development will sometimes feel like mile after mile of the same ocean. You think, "Why am I doing this? It's not getting better." It is! Seeing your own progress is difficult. It's like watching your hair grow. You don't count down to yourself, "In 13 days I will need a haircut." No, you look in the mirror one morning and realize, "Whoa! I need a haircut."
A Journey, Not a Destination
Studying music is an infinite journey. There’s no timeline, and there’s no finish line. Everyone has a unique musician inside, and everyone has the chance to discover it if they do the work.
Work consistently. Stay focused. If you veer off course, get back as quickly as you can. The musician within is not going to release itself, and no one is going to knock it loose for you.
Good luck with your musical pursuits,