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Dancing With Difficulty

Every musician knows how challenging the art and craft of music can be. Learning and practicing something new will stretch you, often uncomfortably, outside the boundaries of your ability. Digging deep to create music will reflect back to you some of your most personal thoughts and feelings. Even the simple act of showing up every day to do the work can at times prove to be a challenge.

This level of difficulty is what can make some people seek out hacks or tricks to make music easier. Inevitably, these shortcuts fail. You cannot hack your way to a satisfying musical experience; instead, it must be earned.

We can learn to welcome the difficulties that are inherent in any musical pursuit, understanding that it’s part of the deal when living a musical life. As Seth Godin said in a recent blog post:

“The tactic is to seek a path where you see and understand the significant hurdles that kept others away. And then dance with them.
They’re not a problem, they’re a feature.”

When you next find yourself facing one of music’s inevitable hurdles, resist the urge to take the easy way out. Try dancing with them instead.


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