Talking with friends over the past few weeks about this blog and its goals, an interesting question has emerged. Why did you stop? Why did music fall out of your life for so long?
There are no easy answers – and everyone’s story is different. But in conversations, we’ve come up with a few possible answers.
- Time: Other priorities seem to get in the way — home, career, family, children. Music seems like it should be a lower priority.
- Money: We can’t afford lessons, to get our instrument repaired, etc. etc.
- Instrument Mismatch: The instrument we played in high school or college is not the one we really wanted to play, or we grew tired of it.
- Lack of Support: The people around us — significant others, co-workers, friends — may not share our passion and we become discouraged. Or, it’s too hard to identify people who do share our passion.
- Lack of Opportunities to Perform: This encompasses a couple of issues – lack of venue, lack of audience, or a lack of people to play with. Without a “performance goal,” it’s easy to lose focus and lose interest in practice.
- Negative Comparisons: The self-talk goes something like this: “With so much good music and great performances available in recorded music, how can I compete with ____? I’ll never be as good as _____, so why do I try?” And in so doing, we miss the opportunity to find our own voice in music.
- Scars: There is a point (with teenagers, particularly) where playing an instrument may become a chore if we are not significantly challenged or allowed to pursue our interests. A teacher or parent may deny us the right to try our instrument in a new genre or playing with different people.
What’s your story? I’d love to hear. Post a comment. Or e-mail me directly at MidlifeMusicians@gmail.com.