Monday, March 17, 2014

I'm Actually Kind of Glad I Don't Play an Instrument

I've learned how to play two different instruments over the course of my life, and I didn't actually stick with either of them. I watch people play instruments so well, and there's this small part of me that wishes I could play like that, yet I don't regret quitting either instrument at all.

I've written before about wishing I could draw, and quite honestly I would choose being able to draw over playing an instrument well anyday. The biggest reason for that is that I know how much work goes into learning to play an instrument, and I have no desire to put in that work. I'm aware that it takes just as much work to become good at drawing, but I'd be more willing to put in that work. To me, learning to play an instrument isn't really fulfilling at all. I took piano lessons and played clarinet in band when I was younger, and I didn't enjoy either one.

My piano lessons lasted at least three years, although it may have been four. At first I enjoyed it at least somewhat, but it soon became an extremely unenjoyable experience. I didn't enjoy practicing. I only did it because I had to, and even then, I wasn't really improving at all. My teacher is why I quit. She was convinced I wasn't practicing as much as she told me to when I was, and I just felt like I wasn't going anywhere, I didn't like it, and she wasn't helping.

Clarinet was somewhat similar except I really did stop practicing way before I quit. I started off really hopeful, but I hated it. It wasn't even the slightest bit fun or enjoyable, so at the end of the year, I was pretty much just waiting for the time to come when I could quit band.

I read all of these things about kids who learn instruments being better in school. Maybe that's true, but I did pretty good in school without them. Sometimes I feel like there's a push to get every kid playing an instrument, which I don't like. Some kids just aren't going to be that into music. Don't get me wrong, I do think some sort of music education is important for every single student. I just don't think it needs to be learning an instrument. I know I'm glad it wasn't required of me. Music definitely wasn't one of my strengths, and taking the time to learn an instrument would have just taken away from my ability to focus on the things I was good at.

So, while there are occasionally times when I'll watch really good musicians and kind of wish I could play an instrument like that, I'm really not all that jealous. I have a lot of respect for musicians, but it definitely isn't something that I legitimately want to do.

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