Pick up an Instrument as IT WILL improve your life!
I know what you're thinking, another pretentious musician who looks down on people. Now I do not want to be labeled a pretentious musician, but I do like to look down on people, and picking up an instrument is perfect for this. However, that is not the point of this blog as I’m going to give you an insight into the great things that this hobby can do for you and your mind.
I am quite widely known as being a not-so spiritual person and having a somewhat straight-thinking mind, I know, pretty hard right. I have found personally that the peace that playing an instrument can instill upon your mental wellbeing is immeasurable. In-fact, I’m confident its main reason I made it through lockdown. I’m sure this was the same for anyone with a hobby, however there's a difference between things like video games and music;music is a constant force. Everyone listens to it. Everyone enjoys it. Everyone knows it. Music and playing the guitar took my mind off things for hours at a time and at such a critical time in my life for mental health, it did wonders. It was the perfect relaxation device in a world full of distress and anger and let me funnel my problems into something that let me vent my frustrations with no judgement back from it.
The next thing and possibly the biggest is how cool it makes you feel, and I mean this literally. Playing an instrument makes you feel really good about yourself. I think it’s partly due to the act of learning of a new skill which is also very important because challenging yourself is something as a human you should always be doing. As well as how rewarding the process is, it also can have an effect on social interactions such as having great talking points about playing instruments, musical elements and much more. Plus, if you're the person at the party who picks up the guitar and plays something that isn’t Wonderwall it makes you a lot cooler, trust me. Being a person who made the decision to play guitar out of purely egotistical reasons I can assure you it’s why most people learn in the first place.
You do absolutely not have to be musical to play an instrument and find the fun in it. I come from the least musical family you could possibly imagine. For example, in the song 500 miles, it's basically clockwork that we all get the “da da la da da” bit at the wrong time. Shameful, I’m aware. However, if you learn the four main chords on an instrument you can basically play anything. Then like I mentioned before, you’re that person at the party who is cooler than the rest. If you find that you can get past the idea that every veteran instrument player will look down on you, you’ll soon see that nearly everyone in the music community is quite friendly and supportive no matter the ability. I found this very helpful with my musical ability, or lack thereof.
The act of learning an instrument will give you a deeper understanding of music which I believe leads to a greater appreciation of music in general. This makes the entire act of listening to music a much more enjoyable experience as you can understand the genius and hard work of genres you might perhaps never liked before. I definitely found this as I soon got into music I had previously looked down on and refused to listen to. Although some I have to lie and say that I dislike, preserving my dignity (Enrique Iglesias, just don’t tell anyone). I think a big part of it is instead of primarily listening to the lyrics, you start to focus on the musical side of it and how well it goes together. It just gives you a completely new perspective to the songs you already love.
If you need some kind of fulfillment or hobby in life or even if you just have a lot of spare time, an instrument is one of the best things you can do. I find the biggest tip for me when starting out is never taking lessons or comparing yourself to others, and I know it’s hard, but it will make it far more enjoyable. I found that lessons would have made playing way too much of a chore and destroyed unconventional creativity for coming up with ideas.
Conor Trask, Digital Content Marketing Apprentice at Active Health Group
Did you enjoy this blog? Check out this article: The Surprising Psychological Benefits of Music