This longitudinal study reports the musical journeys of two Chinese musicians who are a mother-daughter dyad. Hermeneutic phenomenology was used to explore their lived experiences, and the Confucian learning model, music identity, and motivation theories combined to provide conceptual understanding for such exploration. Data consist of multiple semi-structured interviews and online messages taken over twenty-six months and were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The dataset was member checked and triangulated by an external audit to ensure credibility and trustworthiness. Three overarching themes emerged: identity-based motivation mediates our musical development, life stressors disrupt our learning, and resilience helps us bounce back from adversities. While talent... and opportunity can assist learning, individuals’ identity-based motivation and resilience mediate their learning progress and achievement outcomes. This study emphasizes the importance of diversity and equity; it recommends that inclusive educational institutions should tailor for those who return to learning after overcoming learning difficulties, life disruptions, and occupational changes.