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How to start making music | Psyche Guides

How to start making music | Psyche Guides


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Our Relationship With Music

If you’ve ever moved to a beat, joined in a chorus or felt your heart quicken to the lyrics of a song, you’ve felt the power of music. That power runs deep in the human experience, and the urge to dive fully into the sounds, to make those sounds and share them, is strong....

Never Too Late

Those who have the desire to play often fear that they waited too long, that learning music as an adult is just too hard. But it’s never too late. People of all ages have chosen music and are prospering with it. As adults, we have learned how to learn, we value what music has to offer, and we ha...

The Benefits of Music

Music brings us joy. But what else can it do? It can relax us, offer us solace, and give us a creative outlet. It can deepen our emotional experience, sharpen our hearing, and produce 

You Can Find Your Own Way to Make Music

Whether you approach music as a child would a playground, as a mathematician would a proof, as a painter would a canvas, or as an athlete would spring training, you can find satisfaction in your pursuit.

This Guide will help you take the first steps as you choose an instrument, learn how t...

Choose an Instrument

Finding an instrument that feels right is your first step. Whether or not you’ve played one in the past, this is a good time to consider what suits you now.

One approach is to follow your feelings. What instruments move you? Which ones draw you in when you’re listening to music?  Open your ...

The Instrument Which Is Easier To Get And Use

Do your hands, lungs or ears constrain your options? Does your wallet? For many, getting quick results, measured in months rather than years, matters most. In the acoustic world, some instruments yield pleasing results in less time: the ukulele, the drum, the dulcimer, the autoharp, the harmonic...

Your Role In The Music

Consider who you might be playing with, and what role you want to take on.

Do you see yourself in an orchestra, a jazz band, a folk duo, a rock group, or a choir? Do you want to shine in the limelight, taking solos and basking in that glow, or do you want to support others in the group? In...

What Singers Do

A singer's body is their instrument, intimate and unique. Your voice will change with time, and how it changes is partly up to you. With the help of a voice teacher, choir director or experienced friend, you can find your voice and develop it. Then you can explore how best to share it.


Expand And Explore

Talk to amateur and professional musicians. Read music blogs. Visit a music store. Listen to live music. Attend a music jam, where you can see how people at different skill levels play informally and improvise together.

Experience instruments in different settings to open your eyes to new ...

Set Goals for Yourself

You could learn to play one chord or scale, learn the lyrics to one song, or get started on one technique. A medium-term goal might be achieved in months. You could take private or group lessons, develop calluses and muscles to extend your practice time, learn to sing in tune, expand your reperto...

Our Rewards And Ambitions Change As We Age

As with other goals we pursue, our musical ambitions can change as we mature. A 20-year-old might hope to make a career with music or to hit it big. A 40-year-old with work deadlines and kitchen duty might be pleased to carve out a few hours a week to play. And a 70-year-old might find that learn...

Find out How You Learn Best – and What Will Keep You Going

Do you prefer the privacy of learning in a quiet corner, with no one else listening? Do you like the structure of a class with assignments and deadlines? Do you like the freedom of YouTube instruction? Do you like working with a teacher one on one, and if so, what sort of teacher helps you prospe...

Go Deep In The Online World

Online teachers are now readily accessible for those who face obstacles to working with someone in person. And year-long subscriptions to mass video lessons, audio files and other materials offer a wealth of targeted information and individual feedback from working musicians.

If you have se...

Get the Most Out Of Your Practice

After a few weeks of practising how to hold your hands and arms or how to sing a line, you may ask yourself: ‘Isn’t there more to music than this?’ But you’re just like a toddler taking her first steps, not realising that one day those legs will take her anywhere she wants to go.

So pace yo...

Learning Tips

There are many learning resources focused on how to practise. Here are a few basics to get you going:

  • include warm-ups to prepare you mentally and physically;
  • learn scales, which lay the foundation for understanding how to play a melody line or improvise;
  • play slowly wh...

Find Others To Play With

When we’re new to an instrument and fumbling to make satisfying sounds, it’s more comfortable to make them in private. But some teachers argue that playing with others early is the key to learning and to sticking with it. Why? Because you’ll learn what you need to work on, experience moments of c...

Resources for Finding Others Abound

Music stores and centres commonly offer group classes that focus on different instruments and genres. Community orchestras often cultivate newcomers. Many churches, synagogues and other places of worship bring their congregants together with music and welcome members to sing, chant or play instr...

Camps offer different genres, levels and learning styles, whether the focus is on jazz, folk, roots, bluegrass, orchestra, rock, singing, songwriting or other subjects. But no matter which camp you attend, you’ll be offered camaraderie, meals, late-night jams, concerts, inspiring teachers who mig...

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