I've seen a fair bit of debate recently on the topic of whether self-taught musicians can ever reach the level of their professionally-educated brethren, how long it would take them comparatively, what they need to do to get their, et cetera. But this debate always seems to devolve into opinionated conflict.
The self-taught crowd takes on an air of independence, spouting ill-conceived lines like "You're just following your teacher's instructions because you don't have the skills to actually choose your own learning path." From the professionally-schooled crowd, it usually takes on a monetary overtone, something like, "Why do you think lessons are so expensive? I pay as much as I do because there are things you can only learn from a teacher. You'll never master your instrument if you don't take lessons from someone who knows those secrets."
What often gets lost in this all-too-quickly degenerating debate, is the actual answer to the question, "Can a musician legitimately become as professional without a teacher as one would with a teacher?" As a self-taught professional musician myself, my own personal experience says, "yes." HOWEVER, there are, again in my own personal experience, certain steps that the self-taught musician must follow of their own accord. These steps are the same steps that a teacher bases his or her lesson plan around, but does not often share with the student.
In the following video lesson, I explain this four-step program in-depth, and it should enable an aspiring self-taught musician to improve just as much as any professionally-taught musician. Enjoy!