• elizabeth.kinnear

Leaving Our Musical Comfort Zones

The world of music is made of many different styles of music, and sometimes, I have found that musicians can be rather picky about the music they listen to or play. We find certain genres that feel the most comfortable for us. However, our comfort zones can sometimes become boxes that can hinder our ability to grow or appreciate other types of music, but being willing to step out of our comfort zones and explore new music can help us grow as musicians. For example, I am a classically trained pianist, and often feel the most "at home" when playing music by or in the styles of Chopin, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Poulenc, etc. Growing up, this background meant I listened to a lot of instrumental music and film soundtracks. However, over the years, I have learned to play

other styles of music as well. While I still have my original favorites, I have found some new songs that I love. Being willing to try explore the vast world can keep us from falling into the rut of routine.

I challenge you to try to listen to and/or learn to play a new style of music. You may be surprised what you enjoy, and even if it doesn't become part of your regular listening, you can learn a lot from a new genre of music. It may not be the easiest to play at first, but it is incredibly satisfying when you get the hang of it. Also, attending concerts from different types of groups can show you how different aspects of music that you may not gather from a recording. Concerts are often a lot of fun and can show you different performance techniques, and live concerts/performances allow you to immerse yourself into the music. Experiencing a Saint Louis Symphony's performance is a completely different experience than listening to that song on Spotify.

As musicians (and in life), we will only grow as far as we allow ourselves to. Cultivating the habits of being a lifelong learner will help you become a better musician. Don't be afraid to try new things and experiment with the types of music you play. Trying to learn a new style, but just can't seem to get the hang of it? Talk to your teacher, or contact us today to schedule lessons! As music teachers, we want to help you become the best musician you can be, and we love it when students want to try new things.

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