Listening to music can be a private or collective journey. We know that the sound of certain instruments like piano, guitar, violin can mirror or even change our emotions. We've written about the important role that music has played in shaping cultures and societies. In case you need any more convincing of the transformative powers of music, here are five reasons to learn an instrument and create your own journey.
1. Learn to play a musical instrument to improve your confidence
Learning and getting better at a skill helps build confidence in both children and adults. Music students feel empowered by their abilities to grow and improve their own skills; it gives them a personal sense of achievement and pride. Better self esteem in one capability has a tendency to overflow into others.
2. Learn to play a musical instrument to improve your patience
For better or worse, we live in a time when instant gratification is the norm. When we run into the opposite of that, we can feel frustrated or stalled. The time and repetition of practicing an instrument can not only be therapeutic and calming, but can also foster patience. Practice makes perfect and patience.
3. Learning to play a musical instrument to improve your memory
Playing an instrument requires you to use both hemispheres of your brain, to play with feeling (creativity, imagination) and to remember the notes (logic, recall). Listening to music stimulates your brain, while listening to and playing music actually develops new brain patterns. So work that muscle!
4. Learning to play a musical instrument to improve discipline
Setting aside time to practice helps develop discipline.For adults, this can help us realign and organize our thoughts. For younger adults and children, discipline is a valuable skill that helps in other areas like school and career. Mira Stulberg-Halpert, of 3D Learner Inc., works with children who have ADHD. She said, Exposing kids to musical instruments is the key. They are naturally curious and excited about them-and the discipline that parents and kids learn by sticking with it is a lesson in itself."
5. Learning to play a musical instrument to improve your social life
In addition to the cool and fun factors, playing music can be a communal experience. Whether it helps you relax, or makes you want to dance, people are drawn to music. Certainly, playing an instrument can be an individual, solitary experience. Take your guitar to the beach or a park, however, and chances are you'll attract some fellow enthusiasts. Maybe meet a new friend or two? Maybe start a band?
Not everyone may have the chance to earn a living by playing music, but everyone has the ability to play an instrument.