Music is only songs. To learn music, you learn songs.

I mean “song” in the colloquial sense, which includes any piece of music even though not all musical pieces are sung.

This is a pretty simple idea, but it took me years to figure out. I thought I had to learn exercises, warmups, scales, riffs, chords, improvisation, ear training, history, and theory as separate, discrete subjects. No - these musical elements only exist in songs, in service to songs, the way the organs of the body can only live and survive when they are performing the function for which they were created within that organism. And while the body can only exist in health when all the organs are performing their functions correctly, you don’t need to monitor these processes unless something goes seriously wrong. And if you are listening well (to your music or to your body), you can often figure the solution to a problem based on the context.