Can You Master Playing An Instrument?

My partner Steve is a man of many talents. In this video, Steve enjoyed some tickling of the keys at the Oak Street Plaza in Old Town Fort Collins, CO.  I wonder how many instruments he really plays.

A few days after I saw Steve playing the piano on his FB post, I saw this t-shirt that says, “The piano is the easiest instrument to play at the start. And the hardest to master.” Well, my feeling is that I will never completely master playing any of my instruments, especially the keyboard. For myself, there has always been something more to learn.

What do you think? Is it possible to master playing an instrument? In addition, many dulcimer players start learning to play later in life. Do you think it's too late to master playing the dulcimer?

Google defines music mastery as possessing expert skills on an musical instrument. Musicians who play at a professional or semi-professional quality level could qualify as master-level musicians. These would be the folks who makes the majority of their income by playing their instrument. But if you asked one of them privately, would they say, like me, that they still have more to learn, techniques to polish? 

Although there is no precise agreed-upon time frame, music teachers often state that mastering an instrument requires 1 – 3 hours per day of study, practice, and rehearsal over 10 – 15 years. And, of course, musical mastery varies based on the specific instrument played and the commitment made to mastering it.

I believe most of us will NEVER truly master our instruments. Each musical instrument is unique, and some are harder than others to master. Here's my advice.  Just select the musical instrument that touches your heart, and get to the point you are very comfortable with it. Then keep on practicing, practicing, practicing. No matter how good you are, there will always be room for improvement.  

But don't worry about mastering the instrument.  Just enjoy the music you make and have FUN.  



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