Music history is very important subject for any musician or music composer who hopes to perfect their craft and produce the best music possible. Not only can it help you get a better historical understanding of music and its purpose, but it can also help you understand the structure of music systems and how they can be used. This is important information for anyone looking to make a living or hobby out of making music, so it stands that a long term study of music history should be undertaken. With this in mind, how should one go about structuring and motivating their study of music history?
One of the biggest mistakes with the study of any subject is to force one’s self through it. Many people will not move onto other books or subjects until they have completed what they are on, and this is a bad strategy in the long run. When you are bored by a subject you will not really be absorbing the information and considering it as you should. Of course, there are sometimes when circumstances dictate that something must be learned or done within a certain time period, and in those cases, you can only try to motivate yourself as much as possible to get it done, but when studying something on your own, always follow your subconscious interests. So if you want to make a plan of learning more music history, follow what you are interested in at the time. Don’t just start at the beginning and continue working your way through, unless interested of course. This kind of strict chronological study may seem rational, but what you gain in order you lose in passion, motivation, and greater understanding of the material.
You can’t learn all of music history in short time. You just trying to cram through it in one sweep will accomplish little. Take more time to understand and integrate the areas of it that interest you, and use that to build a good general understanding of all of musical history.
This general strategy of study can also apply to practicing music instrument as well, or studying anything for that matter. Let your interests guide you and do not feel duty bound to anything in particular. What’s more important in the long run is maintaining interest and passion, and rote learning will never help with that.