Learning an instrument is a lot of trouble, so you may as well have some good reasons. You know, positive reasons, intrinsic reasons, meaning that you are not doing them to please anyone else. Now, what happens when you pick reasons and they turn out to be less than ideal? Hmmm….

Here are some examples:

I like hearing music and want to make beautiful music myself

Oh yeah? What happens when you don’t make beautiful music? You know you aren’t going to be very good at first, right? And even after studying for years, you will still sound quite bad at times. If you like listening to music, why not just pull up any number of world-class performances on YouTube?

It’s relaxing and my life is stressful

Sorry to tell you this, but playing a musical instrument can be stressful too. I wouldn’t exactly call it relaxing most of the time.

I’m bored in my life and want more fun

Again, it’s not always fun. Some people even find it boring at times.

I like to get good at things

Well, you’re probably not that great at it. And what are you going to do until you get good at it? Are you going to be constantly worrying about whether you are good yet? Of course you are.

I quit piano as a kid and want to make up for lost time

You took lessons 30 years ago and now you want to make up for it? I hate to break it to you, but you aren’t getting those 30 years back. They’re gone. If only you hadn’t quit, you’d be 30 years ahead now! Wow… This is supposed to be motivating for you?

I want to accompany a choir

A worthy goal, but maybe you aren’t there yet. It could take a while, too. If you’re just starting out, it could take years, even. Keep it in the back of your mind, but you’re going to need something else.

I like being pushed outside of my comfort zone

No one likes being pushed outside of their comfort zone. That’s why they call it a “comfort zone.” Maybe you heard that it’s good to be pushed. But you don’t like it. That will motivate you for about 9 days…

Improved hand eye coordination

Haha…I have been playing for years and I still sometimes feel like I have two left hands.

Increased confidence

You’re joking, right? Walk up and down the halls of any music school and you will walk by some of the most insecure people I have ever met in my life.

It will make me well rounded

So what, you are going to study an instrument for 2 months and then check it off your list, and move on to the next thing? Fine, but maybe you should save your money and time, and just check it off the list now. I won’t tell.

Others will be impressed

Yes, some of them will be. But the better you get, the more you are going to try to impress people. If you get really good you will become a professional musician and surround yourself with people who take these skills completely for granted, and you will feel like it was all a waste.

To develop self-discipline

So you sign up for something you hate, just so you can learn how to force yourself to do things you hate? Sounds like a blast.

To become smarter/get higher test scores/awaken 100% of your brain and develop psychic powers

Great idea, start playing a musical instrument so that you can become good at something besides a musical instrument.

Still motivated?

Great! Let’s get to work.