My whole life I've grown up around music. My mom is a piano player, so when I was younger she naturally wanted me to learn how to play. I did learn how to play. but I never really "loved" it, which led to me learning how to play the organ instead. The piano teacher I took lessons from had an old organ in her church, complete with foot pedals and pipes that reached the ceiling. Playing the organ was the first time I really loved creating music. The sad part, however, is that my teacher quit giving lessons and because of that, couldn't use the church anymore. That meant my organ playing years were over and I slowly fell out of music. That was until middle school started and I was forced between choosing the drama department or the orchestra.
I hate talking in front of people so the drama department was out, which meant I joined the orchestra. I chose to play the violin and I surprised myself at how much I enjoyed it. I wouldn't say I loved it, but I didn't like it. Yet, once again I fell out of music because I transferred to a different middle school, one that did not have an orchestra. You're now probably wondering what the point of my article is if I've quit every instrument I've picked up.
My story isn't finished yet.
Years after I quit all those instruments, I was going through a rough patch in my life and needed something to distract me from reality. I remembered that when I was younger, maybe five or six, I tried guitar. My family bought me a Hannah Montana acoustic for Christmas and took me to one lesson I quit because the strings hurt my fingers. Now years later, I began reconsidering and reached out to my brother who I knew had a guitar I could borrow.
The first few days with it were the same as when I was little. My fingers hurt and I felt like I wasn't learning anything because I was trying to teach myself. Yet a trip to a local guitar shop in Elkin, NC changed everything when the shop owner gave me a guitar lesson book he found in a guitar case years ago. From that moment on I never looked back and truly fell in love with an instrument. Because of this, I want to share with you some reasons you too should learn to play an instrument.
1. Playing an instrument relieves stress.
If my personal story isn't enough of an indicator, playing an instrument can greatly relieve stress. Many psychological studies show that music has a correlation to our emotions, can lower heart rate and blood pressure. Don't believe me? Try it for yourself.
2. Playing an instrument gives you patience.
It takes a lot of patience to keep your cool and be determined when you encounter a difficult passage. Or if you constantly mess up in the same spot each time. Trust me, I know this for a fact and have to keep calm when I constantly miss a note in the same part of the song every time I play it. Overall, playing an instrument will give you more patience than you've probably had before.
3. Playing an instrument gives you a sense of achievement.
Following up on my last point, you gain a huge sense of pride and achievement when you finally nail that passage or have a perfect rehearsal. And don't worry, you're totally allowed to gloat about it to your family and musical friends.
4. Playing an instrument gives you a better social life.
Whether it be people asking for requests or people looking for potential band members, your social circle will greatly improve. Music has always been a way for people to meet others and connect on a personal level. This is no different if you play an instrument yourself.
5. Playing an instrument builds confidence.
It takes confidence to get up and give a performance. Whether it be in front of family, friends, or strangers playing an instrument will help you gain confidence in your abilities and self-expression.
6. Playing an instrument increases time-management skills.
You won't learn an instrument overnight. Playing any instrument well requires time-management skills and you have to put in practice to get better. This can also apply to your personal life, that if you want something bad enough, you have to put in the time.
7. Playing an instrument makes you more creative.
Sometimes when I'm playing and don't like exactly how the tab sounds, I use my creative side to put my own stamp on a piece and make it how I like. Creating music does so much for our creative sides of our brains. No piece of music is the same because each person who is playing it has a different creative vision for it.
8. Playing an instrument is fun.
Okay, you probably knew I was gonna say this but it's true. Playing an instrument can be fun even if it is frustrating sometimes. Personally, I can tell you being able to play your favorite song on your instrument is an indescribable experience that one has to witness for themselves.
Hopefully, I've been able to convince you to pick up an instrument for yourself. I wanted my backstory to show you that it is okay to not fall in love with the first instrument that you pick up. You can try many out until you find the one that you love. Because once you find the instrument that speaks to your soul, you'll never look back.