It’s certainly worth the effort!

The difficulty of learning music is much more than just a yes or no answer. Learning music doesn’t have to be difficult – in fact there’s always going to be easy times and hard times. Instead of focusing on the effort it may take, let’s focus on what’s easier, what’s more difficult, and how to combine the two so that you can focus on the right areas and become a better learner.

The easy stuff:

  1. Knowing what you like, and how much you like it (your gut feeling)Most people are driven to learn music because of something they’ve heard or someone they’ve been inspired by. Knowing what you like helps drive you towards a goal, and keeps you motivated as you’ll actually enjoy what you’re playing.
  2. Setting aside time to work on music is a simple choice, if not an easy one. You don’t have to spend hours a day practicing music. In fact 15 minutes of music practice every day is far better than 2 hours once a week.
  3. Using the vast free/cheap resources to listen & learn. With the advent of YouTube there are so many resources out there to learn music for free. There’s a wealth of information and instructional videos to assist you – from specific songs to difficult techniques – you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Where it can get more difficult:

  1. Investing enough time and energy to make significant gains. While even small amounts of consistent practice will help you progress over time. The more time you’re able to spend and the more focused your time, the more quickly you’ll learn.
  2. Staying positively focused on exactly what you want – both your own emotions and in terms of real-world outcomes. Don’t let plateaus or slow progress stop you from continuing to push forward. It’s crucial that you stay motivated with your practice so that you stick with it.
  3. Sometimes specific obstacles or challenges may block you for years, e.g. performance anxiety or technical issues. Don’t get discouraged. Keep working at it, we promise you’ll get through it – it just takes time. All successful musicians have been right there with you – you’re definitely not alone!


Even though I have invested more than 25 years of my life in music, and “made it” as an internationally touring/recording pro, I struggled very much with the 3 elements I’ve listed as “difficult”. I’ve worked with thousands of musicians and usually the weakness is on focus, or positivity, or consistency, or some “obstacle” that becomes fixed rather than dissolved through structured, deliberate practice.

Learning music can be a lot easier when our practice is structured, organized, and supported by expert feedback. We created Modacity to help with the tedious task of managing your practice session. Practice is instrumental in your progress as a musician – the more efficient your practice, the more quickly you’ll progress.

I encourage you to stay positive, think long-term, and invest your time and energy into making exactly the kind of music you want. Checkout this great article on how to set SMART music goals to help you get into the right mindset and practice more effectively.

Mars Gelfo

Mars Gelfo

Mars has been practicing music for 30+ years. After applying cognitive science & computer science to French horn, Mars became an internationally touring symphony musician. His experience includes teaching and performing with thousands of musicians around the world, including the San Francisco Symphony.