Students are sometimes worried that learning a new instrument will steal practice time away from their main instrument. They may have concerns about this and feel that they should concentrate on their main instrument and not get distracted with learning something else they may or may not excel in. Should they take the risk?
While it may be somewhat true that less practice time will be spent on their main instrument while they are learning the new one, there are a couple of major benefits to learning other instruments:
New instruments bring new interest and motivation into the students life. Boredom can set in when sticking to one instrument, especially with the musically gifted, and learning something new can reignite their enthusiasm which may have been waning. This new motivation propels the student forward and they can find they learn a new instrument quicker than expected. This also has the knock on effect of giving them a welcome break from their main instrument which helps motivate them when they eventually return.
Learning something new can help the student develop new skills which may not have been in viewpoint while learning their main instrument. It can introduce them to new concepts and ideas which can stimulate them and further broaden their musical knowledge. Ultimately, this knowledge will be brought back to enhance their current skills on their main instrument.
With these benefits, the drawbacks of losing a little practice doesn’t seem as bad and should not discourage students from trying something new.
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