…And how to choose the right instrument so you can bring out your inner rock star
Have you always dreamed of learning to play in instrument, but life got in the way? It’s time to dust off that violin that’s been sitting in the attic or start looking online for a used guitar!
Here are five brilliant reasons, backed by science, to make 2020 the year you learn to play a musical instrument.
1. It’s a major stress buster
Stress getting to you lately? Learning to make sweet, sweet music is a great way to bring those stress levels down.
Playing an instrument helps bring your blood pressure and heart rate down to a healthy level. Just what the doctor ordered.
2. It supercharges your memory
Brain feeling a bit fuzzy lately? Playing music gives just about every part of your brain a thorough workout.
Getting a thorough brain workout like this improve mental performance and memory, and can even stave off the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
3. It helps you breathe like a baby
Babies breathe beautifully. But along the way, we tend to lose that ability, which can lead to a bunch of health problems.
Singing or playing a wind instrument forces us to breathe the way we should – deeply, while use our diaphragm. And breathing the right way leads to stronger lungs and a stronger respiratory system. It’s great for people with asthma too.
4. It’s a great connector
Many of us live far away from the place and community we were born into. So it’s no wonder we report feeling isolated and lonely.
Music classes are a great way to make new friends in a fun, upbeat environment, without it feeling pressured or forced.
What’s more – learning an instrument helps improve the effects of anxiety and depression, which are also linked to a loss of community.
5. It’s a confidence-boosting kick in the pants
Need a confidence boost? Learning something new gives you a sense of mastery, which is great for raising your self-confidence levels.
Taking up music can also help you get rid of stage fright and self-doubt, leading to a more accomplished, self-confident you.
And what better gift is there to give yourself in 2020?
5 Questions to ask yourself when picking a musical instrument
So you’re ready to become the rock star version of yourself 2020, but how do you decide on an instrument?
Here are five proven questions to ask yourself so you can find your perfect fit.
1. What’s my budget?
Like most hobbies, music can get expensive.
This is one reason the ukulele is so popular nowadays – you can pick one up for less than $40. A good concert piano, on the other hand, will set you back as much as a house in some areas.
So consider how much you want to spend before falling in love with an instrument.
2. Who’s around for me to play with?
Is music something you envision doing by yourself, to unwind after a long day’s work? Or do you want to share it with other people?
If it’s the latter, start thinking where you’ll fit in. Is there an existing ensemble or band in your area you could join? What kind of instrument would fit in with the group?
3. What kind of music do I enjoy?
Unless you’ve got a great idea for the world’s next top musical genre, you don’t want to take up the saxophone if you hate jazz or the oboe if you’re not into classical music.
If you’re a beginner, stick to an instrument that fits the kind of music you enjoy – it will keep you motivated to practice.
4. How much time do I have to practice?
Maybe you have hours and hours of spare time and the raw talent to become the world’s next sitar or double contrabass flute player.
But if you have a day job and just want music as a fun hobby to enjoy, think of instruments that are:
- Easy to find
- Easy to learn
- Easy to keep up with short amounts of daily practice
Some instruments that fall into this category include:
- Classic guitar
- Electric guitar
- Bass guitar
- Jembe (bongo drums)
5. Where will I practice?
If you’re sharing an inner-city apartment with a bunch of roommates, you might not want to bust out that full drum kit straight away.
Think about where you’ll practice.
Will it be at home? If not, are you able to leave your instrument at class? If not, are you easily able to transport your instrument to and from practice?
Now find your instrument, start playing and make 2020 the year you bring the joy of music back into your life!