I started learning how to play the guitar recently, and it's been a great reminder of what my students are feeling during their lessons as they work hard to take their playing to the next level.
I've played the flute for about 15 years now, so I don't have to think too hard about the basic mechanics of getting from one note to the next. It's something I've been doing for so long that it feels as natural and easy as breathing. This makes for good performances, but doesn't really help me as a teacher; a great educator remembers what it's like to struggle.
Being a complete novice at guitar is a chance to go back to the stage of musical learning in which I discovered how to shift smoothly from one configuration of my hands to the next, and how to arrange my hands in the correct way without looking at the instrument. Being able to do those two things with comfort and ease is key to mastering any instrument, or any physical task for that matter.
It's also a chance to remember that playing music isn't about perfection. It's possible to enjoy the process of creating music even if you aren't a virtuoso, and it's no less valuable or nourishing if you're just noodling around on an instrument for fun.
Are you learning something new? Share your adventure in the comments!