There are so many musical instruments out there, yet we often view the idea of learning one as rather daunting. We see all these people on TV or at concerts playing at a professional level and we wonder how on Earth we could ever become close to being as good as them. Trust me, guys, it’s very possible! With a little patience and a lot of perseverance, you’ll be an expert at your musical instrument in no time – and if this hasn’t convinced you, here are a few reasons why you should pick up an instrument today…
1. Opens Up New Opportunities
You’ll be surprised by the amount of social opportunities that arise as a result of playing a musical instrument. There’s a common theory when you’re in high school that if you partake in the music extracurriculars rather than sports then you’ll automatically be considered a ‘geek’ or social outcast, but honestly, if this is the case, it really isn’t the end of the world. Ignore the haters, join the school band or orchestra and make new friends! These people will likely have similar interests to you and you’ll have a whole lot of fun doing something that you enjoy. It’s also a great way of practising!
2. It Helps Improve Your Memory
You might find when learning your instrument that you have to memorise pieces at some point (don’t panic, it’s not as difficult as it sounds!) I play the piano, myself, and people often ask me how it’s possible that I can play Einaudi’s ‘I Giorni’ without the music in front of me. The answer is simple: I’ve played it so many times that it’s engrained in my memory. Researchers have confirmed that playing an instrument does improve your memory, as it makes you use both sides of your brain. It doesn’t only enhance your verbal memory, but your spatial reasoning and literacy skills too!
3. Improves Patience
As mentioned earlier, it certainly does take a lot of perseverance to learn how to play a musical instrument. If you decide to do Grades (I’d highly recommend you do, it gives you a goal to work towards as well as providing you with a real sense of achievement when you get them) you’ll find that it will take time to master the pieces. But don’t worry, if you have a teacher they’re hardly going to expect you to be able to play pieces straight away, and they’ll teach you techniques which will only help you get better. As long as you’re determined, you’ll get there in no time!
4. Relieves Stress
If you’re the sort of person who becomes easily stressed, learning a musical instrument might not just act as a hobby; it might also be a great form of treatment. Researchers have found that playing music can switch off the stress response and lower blood pressure. In this way, it could be argued that learning an instrument could also help if you suffer from mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Help yourself out by doing something that you enjoy!
5. It’s fun!
If you hadn’t gathered from what I’ve said already, I genuinely think you’ll get a real kick out of learning a musical instrument. You don’t want to be one of those people who regrets not learning when they were young (this may be ideal, but of course it’s never too late to start!), and you’ll certainly thank yourself when you start reaping in both the physical and mental health benefits. Whether you want to start off simple by picking up a triangle and learning how to keep rhythm, or whether you want to go straight in and learn how to play the sax, there’s a musical instrument out there for everyone!
Do you play anything? Would you recommend learning to others? Let us know in the comments below!
I'm a University of Birmingham Undergraduate studying English and Creative Writing. I love music (I'm especially partial to a bit of Ed Sheeran), reading ('The Lovely Bones' is genius) and, obviously, writing! I hope you enjoy reading my articles.