055 – The Importance of Ongoing Self-Education for Musicians

by | Aug 8, 2017 | Podcast

I’m a big believer in self-education.

Formal education can teach us a great deal, but its influence only extends so far. If we stop learning, we stop growing, and unfortunately many people stop learning after they leave high school or college.

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, you’ll learn about the benefits of self-education.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:14 – The importance of self-education for musicians
  • 00:19 – The problem with complacency
  • 00:56 – Something each of us can control – input
  • 01:49 – Learning vs. application
  • 02:04 – 3 benefits of self-education
  • 02:13 – #1: Inspiration
  • 02:42 – #2: Staying informed
  • 03:06 – #3: Personal growth
  • 03:38 – Conclusion


Thank you for joining me. Today, I wanted to look at the importance of ongoing self-education for musicians. Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe many musicians and music entrepreneurs are smart and well-informed. So, why would I need to remind you to keep on learning and to keep on growing?

Well, the problem is that because of our talents, knowledge and experience, we can easily become complacent. There is a certain amount of pride and sometimes arrogance that can come along with being an artist. It’s easy to feel like you know it all and you know how to do things.

To become complacent is to become comfortable with where and who you are. Where you are might be a great place to be but what if it isn’t? What if you have bigger aspirations? What if you want to achieve more?

To become complacent is to become comfortable with where and who you are. Share on X

Well, there definitely aren’t too many things we can control individually in this world and the things that happen to us, but the input we take in is something we can control. I believe it is something we should.

There is nothing wrong with staying informed about the state of the world. It can even inspire songs and creative ideas. You can watch the news or watch sports if that’s what you want to do. But if we don’t vary up the information we consume, we can easily become stagnant. Our point of view goes unquestioned and we shut ourselves off to fresh possibilities.

The goal of self-education should be to stretch and grow yourself, not to live in an echo chamber of the same thoughts, ideas, and beliefs that have been reinforced in you over and over again. We are all very good at seeking out things that support our ideas and beliefs and not very good at challenging ourselves and finding things outside of our comfort zone.

The goal of self-education should be to stretch and grow yourself. Share on X

Learning is often the easy part if you’re disciplined and motivated enough to act. Application is the hard part. You can read a lot of things but if you don’t apply any of it, or at least try it out, then you’re not going to get anywhere with it.

I’ve identified three benefits of self-education for today’s show, but I’m not saying there aren’t others. Here are a few that came to mind.

Number one: Inspiration. As you study how others think, how they approach problems, what they accomplished, and how they rose above difficult challenges in their lives, you begin to take that inspiration and turn it into motivation.

Whether you’re reading a book or listening to a podcast, the stories that are told or the information that is relayed is often hard-earned and is coming from a source or it’s coming from somebody who has experience in that area and has something to share with you.

The second benefit is staying informed. Regular study allows you to stay on top of your chosen industry or discipline. This can also prevent you from becoming a Blockbuster in the age of Netflix. If we fall behind we risk becoming irrelevant, so keeping on top of changes within the industry – although as challenging as that can be – can help you move with the times.

The third benefit – and to me really this is the biggest one of all, and my favorite one – is personal growth. The right material will challenge you to be better, to try and experiment with different methods and approaches to your business or to your career, and to adopt a more aggressive advancement plan for your life. These are things we only tend to do when we make a vow. We only make a vow when we feel inspired and motivated to do so. Oftentimes it comes through the input – the things we watch, the things we listen to, and the things we read.

So, my question for you is how are you educating yourself? I look forward to your comments.

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