Want to learn music but have no idea how to begin? It can be hard for people with no music experience and who have no idea what to do. (And are not sure if they want to invest $$$ into it quite yet)
A suggestive Step-by-Step guide on how to start music from absolute ground zero.
1) Expand your listening repertoire--Before investing any money or looking up names for piano teachers, figure out what genre you like. Know what you like to listen to (unless you already do). There is more to learning music than just becoming proficient at an instrument. You can learn to jazz improv, be a singer-songwriter, write music, write about music, make electronic music...etc.
2) Learn to read music--If you want to learn how to sing or play an instrument, it would make everything easier if you can read the notes before going into lessons (then you're saving money by teaching yourself!). Try free websites like: http://www.teoria.com (But not everyone can self-teach themselves *ahem, me* so it's totally cool to just start right away with a teacher)
3) Buy some simple instruments and a few adult beginner music books--This is an optional but fun step. Buy a recorder, or some bongo drums, or a lap-harp, or a small portable keyboard. Then you can try these simpler versions before investing in a $5000 piano. And it's fun because you can make noises yay! (And practice rhythms, reading notes). You can buy beginner books for piano (or any instrument of your choice) from a local music store or even print out simple melodies from 8notes.com
4) Youtube videos or a teacher--I've heard of people who have become quite proficient at their instrument from simply watching Youtube tutorials online. There are even some professionals who sell downloadable video tutorials online. This is a pretty nifty technology-driven idea, but in my opinion, nothing beats having one-on-one lessons with a private teacher. Private teachers are all over the place and each teacher has their own way of doing things. Set up a trial appointment with several teachers before finding the one you like. You don't have to have the section-leader of the Vienna Philharmonic be your teacher. A good resource could be undergrad/grad students at your local university. They work for a reasonable fee, are flexible and experimentive. You have the power to control your lessons. You don't have to go weekly if you can't afford it (though it is recommended) and you can play the repertoire that you want (keeping in mind the teacher's best interest). Establish a good fee for lessons (professionally, teachers usually charge $60/hr or more), and try to set up a routine schedule to make things simpler for your teacher and you. You may be going to your teacher's studio or they may come to your house.
5) Make music applicable--Do casual gigs, play at a relative's wedding, play for a church service, become part of a community orchestra, throw a house recital. Playing with other people and playing in public brings your skill into the tangible world. This will make your hobby worth the effort when you see its effect on your community and the people around you. When other people lable you as a musician, then it's hard to let go of this identity. And that's a good thing. The music in you won't die.
This is for adults that want to start music. (It's never too late!) Next week I'll write for the parents who wonder if their kids want to start music!!!