Why you should learn to play!
I did some research and found out that in both North America and Europe, musical instruments sales are up while most consumer goods are down. For some reason, people have taken to music to comfort themselves during the hardships imposed by the pandemic. And it's no wonder.
Music has been around as long as we have. No matter your race, religion, gender, creed, national origin, music has always been a part of your life and your heritage.
The impressive sales growth of musical instruments during this pandemic prove this out. Since this blog is focused on guitar, I spoke to two of the largest guitar retailers in the world and both said guitar sales had emptied their shelves. Moreover, supply is getting scarce because many guitars are made in places where the pandemic initially hit hardest. Some say new inventory won't be available until October, if then.
Maybe YOU should take up guitar or some other musical instrument. There are lots of reasons.
In no particular order, here are five:
1. It's fun.
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned veteran, there are few things you can do that can move people as easily as playing a heartfelt song. The personal satisfaction of learning an instrument is also fun. It gives you something to focus on when times are tough and it's easy to enjoy.
2. It's creative.
No matter if you are playing your own songs or someone else's songs, you can always put your own touch on each piece. Making music is perhaps the most creative endeavor known to man because it is so easily tied to the soul. I've seen unskilled beginners tap into their emotions to deliver some of the most creative performances I've heard. The creativity can take many forms from merely playing to writing, editing, recording or arranging.
You can be creative with your instrument or learn other people's songs. But the fact remains, no matter what you're playing you're creating music at that precise point. And that in itself is the main reason everyone should be learning how to play an instrument.
3. It helps protect your memory
Study after study has shown that learning and playing a musical instrument can ward off memory loss. Music is used as therapy in lots of medical situations and none more impactful than in the field of memory care.
Music has long been known to have profound effects on the brain. Listening to the right tunes can provide mood-altering effects and can even create a better quality of life for those who use music to distress. Supporting a lot of these benefits a blooming pool of fact-finding and examination also proves that along with just being able to uplift an individual’s mood, the effects of music goes deeper to also expand cognitive abilities. For all of those who master the art of playing an instrument, one of the most important organs of the human body (brain) is developed and memory is improved.
4. It builds patience
It takes practice to become an accomplished musician. This means finding the patience to practice, study, perform, and then do it all some more. Setting real goals will help you hold yourself accountable and almost immediately your patience will be tested. Which ironically, is how one develops patience. My grandmother use to say "Whatever you do don't pray for more patience because God will immediately test you in order to grant your wish."
So take on an instrument and learn some patience. It will pay off in other areas of your life for sure.
5. It's a confidence builder
No matter who you are, if you can play an instrument, it's like a shield against shyness. You can create another persona to hide behind if you need to. For me, when I play, I almost always wear my most loud and colorful Hawaiian shirts and special socks with guitars on them. That is my musical persona and THAT guy is confident and fun.
Once you know that you are good enough to play a song for someone else, whether it's in person or over the Internet, then there's nothing stopping you. You may not feel confident right away, but if you have that one song in your locker you'll happily step up and show the people what you got.
I frequently share my views on music and many times say something like, "This may not be for you but for me it is fantastic." I recognize we all come at life from a different perspective. But when it comes to music, I can safely say - MUSIC IS FOR EVERYONE!
It's never too late to learn, so find your instrument and use the pandemic down time to improve your life and your soul.