Are You Stuck?


If you live in one of the northern states, this time of year getting stuck in the snow is a real concern. If you’re retired, you just stay home when there’s a fresh snowfall that the city hasn’t yet cleared. But if you have a job, you have to get out in it anyway. And sometimes you get stuck.

The same can happen with your music. Let me ask you a few questions.

  • Are you satisfied with the pace of your progress?
  • Do you have a clear understanding of what you should be practicing next?
  • Do you have a support system in place that provides you with daily encouragement and motivation?

If you find yourself feeling stuck or experiencing a plateau in your progress while learning to play an instrument, there are several steps you can take to overcome this challenge:

  1. Reflect and assess: Take some time to reflect on your current practice routine and approach. Consider whether you are practicing consistently, using effective techniques, and setting specific goals. Assess your strengths and weaknesses to identify areas that need improvement.
  2. Seek guidance: Reach out to a knowledgeable instructor, mentor, or music teacher who can provide guidance and support. They can assess your current skill level, identify areas for improvement, and offer personalized advice and exercises to help you overcome your plateau.
  3. Diversify your practice routine: Sometimes, sticking to the same practice routine can lead to stagnation. Explore different genres, styles, or techniques to keep your learning journey fresh and exciting. Experiment with new exercises, scales, or songs to challenge yourself and expand your musical knowledge.
  4. Set achievable goals: Break down your long-term goals into smaller, manageable milestones. This will provide you with a sense of accomplishment as you achieve each milestone, motivating you to continue progressing. Additionally, setting specific goals will help you focus your practice sessions and track your improvement.
  5. Record and analyze your performances: Record yourself playing and listen back to your performances. This will allow you to objectively assess your playing, identify areas that need improvement, and track your progress over time. Analyzing your recordings can also help you identify technical or musical issues that may be hindering your progress.
  6. Embrace challenges and patience: Learning an instrument is a lifelong journey that requires dedication and patience. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and improvement. Remember that progress may not always be linear, and there may be periods of slower improvement. Stay committed, be patient, and trust in the process.
  7. Find motivation and support: Surround yourself with a supportive community of fellow musicians or learners who can provide encouragement and motivation. Join local music groups, participate in workshops or masterclasses, or connect with fellow musicians online. Sharing your experiences and challenges with others who are on a similar journey can help you stay motivated and inspired.

Remember, progress in learning an instrument takes time and effort. By implementing these strategies and maintaining a positive mindset, you can overcome plateaus and continue to grow as a musician.

Happy dulcimering,



There are no comments yet. Be the first one to leave a comment!