I have seen a t shirt on Amazon (several versions of it actually), that says something like "I may appear to be listening, but in my head I'm playing my guitar" (such as this one):
While clearly the shirt is intended to be humorous (and it did make me chuckle), there is also a great deal of truth in it (which is often what makes things actually funny).
Playing music is often more than just a 'hobby' - it is frequently more of an obsession. Whether the skill level is beginner or advanced, musicians often find that the passion for their music captures their thoughts and attention, even when they are TRYING to focus on other things!
Why do musicians become so obsessed? Imagine that you were walking up stairs, and discovered that while you were walking up the stairs, you could actually levitate. It took a lot of concentration, and the further up the stairwell you went, the harder it got, yet at the same time you could float higher, and do tricks.. flip over, and as you went higher, you
could even turn invisible. Each level took more work and concentration, but it seemed you could do even more cool things. Looking up, you could see the stairs went wayyy up there, well higher than you were already, and you wondered what awesome things you could experience as you went even higher. At what point would you want to stop? How much would you think about what you had been doing, and how to improve it to go even higher and gain new, exciting experiences?
For musicians, the feeling is much the same. It's as though we have discovered how to do magic, and this magic of music just keeps pulling us ever forward, to learn the next part, do the next thing, create the next song... It often fills our thoughts, even when we try to will our thoughts to focus on other things. I can't count how many meetings I have sat through, while the people were droning on, and my mind was playing through a chord progression, and thinking "would it work better doing it THIS way or THAT way?"..
From the time I learned to play the guitar, it has always felt a bit like magic to me, and it's hard to put the magic wand down, because it's so much fun to wave it....
What does music mean to you? If you're a musician, how does your passion for your music manifest itself?