Don’t let the music die inside you – how to keep your passion for music

Over the years, I have met and taught many who have often said they ‘used to play piano’ (or whatever instrument) but ‘gave up’. Talent that could have flourished instead wilted under the lack of interest in taking music exams and generally being pushed by parents (who might have been musicians themselves).
In my experience, when people stop learning their instrument, the majority retain, no matter how small, a fondness/casual liking of what they learned. They may on the odd occasion return to their instrument, if only to play for pleasure or ‘mess around’. However the reasons they stopped learning (which are vast) generally mean they don’t tend to return to their instrument soon after quitting. It can therefore be many years before their interest is rekindled. My feeling is that while it might be understandable to stop lessons, quitting learning the instrument altogether (or even playing for pleasure) is drastic. Unless you had absolutely no ability and made little progress, it would be a mistake to abandon your instrument altogether because of:
–          the time and money spent towards lessons
–          the experience and knowledge gained from learning and playing various pieces
–          the satisfaction in being able to entertain others
–          your own personal happiness in being able to play for pleasure