Mistakes Are Part of the Process

How many times have you wanted to say “I can’t do this — I keep making mistakes!” in regards to music lessons? At Lochwood Academy through the years, I have heard many student say “it’s too hard”, “ I keep messing up”, “I’m afraid of making a mistake”, etc. This is not the time to get upset or frustrated …. it’s a time of learning.

Work with your teacher on “what to do when you mess up” during a performance or during a lesson. It’s ok to make mistakes — it’s all part of the process.

I use the following example many times when I am teaching:
          When you were a little baby you decided one day to try to walk. It didn’t go so well that first time, did it? I am sure your parents have video of you trying or have told you about it or you might have a little brother/sister who you have watched struggle with this new concept. AH!! there it is! It’s a new concept … it’s different … it’s hard …. I keep messing up. Well, as a baby, if you had decided to “stop trying” because walking was hard, different, etc, what would you be doing today? Would you be walking? No — you would be carried around and you wouldn’t have learned a new thing that helped you through your daily life.

The same with music… it’s different, new, hard, its’ a new language and a struggle at times, but you can never give up. You will grow musically and intellectually and you will have something to share with others. Your teachers expect you to make mistakes but they want to help you learn from your mistakes. Next time you make a mistake, try saying “opps! How can I get past this situation? I seem to make this same mistake all the time.” See what happens when you embrace the idea that mistakes are part of the process.