How to Stay Motivated Playing an Instrument

How to Stay Motivated

Playing an Instrument or Becoming a Musician

Today I would like to give you my input on how to stay motivated playing an instrument. Many years ago, I began playing the oboe. I played it (some would say professionally) for about 10 years, and then I stopped. I was just about to go to Germany to get my higher education in music there, when all of a sudden I started having these thoughts… Thoughts I never used to have before.

Thoughts like: Yes, I love playing even though it is so fucking hard (and everyone who plays the oboe would tell you this is the hardest instrument of all!), but… is this it?! Is this the life that I truly want? Being (kind of) “enslaved” to a piece of wood for the rest of my life?

And I knew, I was done with it. I knew there were so many new things I wanted to try. I wanted to learn languages and I wanted to travel the world, I wanted to get a degree in biology and so many things! And that was it. I stopped playing for 10 years, until I was about 35 years old.

What Happened When I turned 35

When I turned 35 years old and already had 2 kids, I started to get these thoughts again… I looked at my life, at my boring job, at my kids, at my husband and asked myself – “Is this it?!”

And I felt so empty and most of all, so remorseful… for all of those years I didn’t let music into my life. All these years when I was so afraid to start playing again in the fear it would make me cry and I would cry forever…

So. As you can see, this is a very complicated issue for me. Nevertheless, since today I am playing and on the way to find a cover band to play with (which I am so very excited about!) I am here with some awesome tips for you, on how to stay motivated playing an instrument, even though it is hard, even though you may feel too old, and even though you have another profession and it is just for fun!


Tips on How to Stay Motivated Playing an Instrument

#1 – Know Your Limits 

Assuming you already have a job or kids to take care of, start by not expecting to know how to play an instrument immediately as this may take time. If you only have half an hour to practice each day, THAT’S OK! It is surely better than nothing, and it is something you can absolutely fit into your busy schedule. Moreover, when you set the right expectations, you don’t get discouraged or disappointed with yourself, which as you know, is very bad for keeping motivated playing an instrument, motivated in staying in a relationship, or any other dream you may be having.

#2 – How to Stay Motivated Playing an Instrument When You Are Broke

If you don’t have any money, this is OK too, as long as you keep your motivation in life and your hobbies. You don’t have to hurry and buy an expensive instrument right away in order to start learning and practicing at home. These days you can very well rent an a guitar, a flute or any other instrument. If you wish to play the piano, you don’t even need a big, real piano, you can very well settle for an electronic piano, it is good enough for now.

#3 – Remember Your Dream and How it Makes You Feel

In my mind, there is not a thing in the world that is compared to playing music. You feel alive, damn it, you feel like no less than a superhero! Am I right?! So… remember it the next time you don’t feel motivated playing music or practicing your instrument. Remember the sublime feeling it arises in you, and get to work!

Read more about how to be motivated in life 

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