You’re only going succeed in music if you acquire massive skills. It’s too competitive, too challenging, there are too many other good people out there. Skill building is – and should be – the primary motivator of serious music study.
But you’re also only going to succeed in music if you continue to have fun with it, every day. It makes you fun to collaborate with, and it makes it easier to get out of bed in the morning. A musician ten years into her career who isn’t still enjoying the gigs will find other work, no matter how successful she is – it’s simply too hard if it’s not fun.
So music teachers: are you remembering to keep it fun? Are you remembering to remind your students to have fun as they acquire the skills?
I’m not talking about game-ifying skill building (though that can be fun, too.). I’m talking about making your ear training lessons silly, engaging, memorable. I’m talking about programming music that is challenging but also rewarding and fun to perform.
Atmosphere is important. Fun is important. We neglect these elements at our students’ peril.