Well known author, Kurt Vonnegut, shared wisdom for aspiring musicians and I’d like to share his words with you. As a teacher for over 25 years, I’ve seen the uncertainty people face when attempting to learn guitar. It’s not always easy and there are so many people already doing it.
-Will I be good enough?
-Do I have what it takes to be exceptional, can I be famous or make a living out of music?
-Will I let down my parents, or my teacher if I don’t practice enough?
-What if I’m too uncoordinated or my fingers are too short, long, fat, skinny?
At the end of the day, none of it matters. This anecdote by Vonnegut puts the journey of learning into perspective:
Kurt Vonnegut's story:
“When I was 15, I spent a month working on an archeological dig. I was talking to one of the archeologists one day during our lunch break and he asked those kinds of “getting to know you” questions you ask young people: Do you play sports? What’s your favorite subject? And I told him, no I don’t play any sports. I do theater, I’m in choir, I play the violin and piano, I used to take art classes.
And he went WOW. That’s amazing! And I said, “Oh no, but I’m not any good at ANY of them.”
And he said something then that I will never forget and which absolutely blew my mind because no one had ever said anything like it to me before: “I don’t think being good at things is the point of doing them. I think you’ve got all these wonderful experiences with different skills, and that all teaches you things and makes you an interesting person, no matter how well you do them.”
And that honestly changed my life. Because I went from a failure, someone who hadn’t been talented enough at anything to excel, to someone who did things because I enjoyed them. I had been raised in such an achievement-oriented environment, so inundated with the myth of Talent, that I thought it was only worth doing things if you could “Win” at them.”