My Quest to Learn Music

An Audacious Goal

My goal is to compose and produce a song (with my own vocals and an instrument) within 12 months, starting from musical scratch.

There. I said it. I’ve flip-flopped on this more than a few times in the past couple months. Finally I decided that I simply had to do it. Music has been a gaping hole in my experience of life for far too long. I can name songs and artists I like, but I can’t tell you why. I’ve always been curious about those of you drawn to music. Some people describe it with such eloquence and beauty:

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.


Wow. Some people are pulled so deep into the music it seems to change them in an elemental way. I’ve met people who are happy anywhere in the world as long as they have a guitar and others for whom dancing is as essential as breathing. They hear something in music, something which moves them on such a deep level that I am left puzzled.

A pencil and paper I can understand. Drawing, reading, writing—these things always seemed like natural expressions to me.

But not music. Music is mysterious. And that’s why I decided that I had to understand it.

12 months isn’t a long time and I hardly know where to begin. I’ve been grabbing books and scheduling lessons, gearing myself up mentally for the challenge. I’m officially beginning on Monday March 2nd, 2015. I have one year to learn an instrument. One year to not hate my singing voice. One year to hear what other people hear. And in that time I need to put it all together into something I’m at least marginally proud of, because I’ll be sharing it, come what may.

For the Sake of Learning

It’s not all just about the music itself, either. I want to test out the ideas in the books I read.

How long has it been since you went from beginning to end on a topic completely new to you? How long since you’ve taken up a challenge that was outside your comfort zone? It’s uncomfortable. And it is gratifying.

So I’m going to give it a shot. It will be embarrassing, but that is OK.

Something to Share?

Are you a musically talented person? Have you gone down this road before?

Please, drop me a line (you can also leave a comment below). I’d love to hear your tips and tricks.

Go on, read the next post in the series!


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