For a lot of people, the thought of learning the piano means lots of strict, boring lessons, by a stiff, starchy teacher. Movies always seem to show a child unwillingly going through piano lessons in this way.
However, learning an instrument is usually a lot more fun than having regimented tutoring sessions.
There are many benefits to gain from music aside from just enjoyment. This includes both listening to it and playing it. Music can even improve your physical and mental wellness. For anyone who thinks music is purely entertainment, you may think again after you have read the article below.
You may even want to learn an instrument after you have finished. Tip; ukuleles are the instrument choice of the moment.
The immense popularity of learning an instrument today
Musical instruments have existed for centuries, if not thousands of years. The oldest instrument ever discovered is believed to be 60,000 years old and is a flute. It is also believed that this was made by carving out of bone, probably from a small cave bear.
Fortunately, anyone wanting to play an instrument needn’t go battling dangerous wildlife. Anyone can just surf the net and add a ukulele to their cart and checkout.
And according to Statista, that is just what many people did in 2020 while locked down.
The ukulele has been gaining popularity for around a decade but took a tumble in 2019. However, it bounced back in 2020 with millions of extra sales. And it wasn’t the only instrument to do so.
Millions of existing musicians bought new instruments in 2020 and 2021, and many more people obtained their very first guitar or piano.
What are the most popular instruments, and why now?
The most sold musical instrument in 2020 was the guitar with around 2.7 million sales. The guitar had been in decline as far as sales were concerned, but there was a resurgence in 2020, and many stores struggled to meet demand.
The complete top five most popular musical instruments for 2020 is as follows:
Although the picture is very different when you look at which instruments grew in demand compared with their equivalent 2019 sales. Then the top five looks like this:
The reason for these extra sales? Most likely Covid and the pandemic had the biggest impact on sales of instruments. People simply wanted to find a way to fill up all those extra hours that the lockdowns provided.
How can you learn an instrument easily?
Forget about all the images of strict violin and piano teachers, there are much more fun ways to learn an instrument.
Going to a teacher is likely to be a much better experience than you imagine, and is certainly a good way to get yourself started with any instrument. However, you can teach yourself if you are dedicated to practicing.
Online lessons are available, and you can use apps to help learn guitar chords from any song you like. Instead of searching for sheet music as you would in the past, just search for websites and apps to help learn the guitar and its chords. Or the piano, or violin…
In what ways will you benefit if you learn an instrument?
So this is where you are going to learn some surprising benefits from playing an instrument, and perhaps some more obvious ones too.
One of the benefits is that you can learn to read music. This skill isn’t just useful for learning new songs and pieces of music, it can let you write your own. You will understand the structure of music and how to arrange your own.
If you are learning to play the piano then you will also get to understand chord diagrams for the instrument. These are useful musical skills, but there are far more benefits to playing instruments, as you will see below.
Playing instruments can make you stronger
Depending on what instrument you are playing, you may have to use certain muscles. Guitar playing can strengthen arms and fingers. Drums will give you a bit of a cardio workout, and strengthen your arms. And a wind instrument can improve your lung capacity.
You may improve your posture
It is easy to pick up bad habits when taking up a new hobby and attempting to teach yourself. A couple of beginner lessons with a teacher should ensure that you are shown the correct posture for playing your instrument. This could transfer into other areas of your life.
It could lead to a career
In all seriousness, most people who play instruments don’t get to become professionals. But there are other areas of the music industry or other careers to consider.
Becoming a music teacher is a real possibility. Promoters and tour managers are needed, and then there is marketing. Music marketing is essential for artists, and someone with a real interest in this area would have a good chance of making a real career from it.
Improve your social life
Just like skateboards get to hang out with other like-minded people, and sports fans gather in bars for the big games, musicians get to socialize too.
Music shops, record stores, local gigs. All of these places attract people with the same interests as you. Plus, you can collaborate with other local musicians.
Playing an instrument can get you outdoors more often
Being cooped up during the latest lockdown may be the reason why you bought that trumpet, but now you have it, it may give you more excuses to go outside.
Some great hobbies get you outside more often, and perhaps music does not spring to mind. However, one of the ways to improve your skills is to go busking.
Busking is an important part of learning your new art. It gives you a chance to perform to an audience, albeit an often largely disinterested one. And it gets you outside in the fresh air.
It can change your mindset
Learning an instrument takes time. If you put in the hours and stick to it you will find that you have more patience, more resilience, and more perseverance.
It can also go deeper than this and affect not only your mood but help with real mental health issues.
Perhaps the biggest benefit is this
It is an understatement to say that depression is a huge problem today. Along with anxiety, stress, and other illnesses such as PTSD, mental health is a massive concern.
The pandemic has not helped in this regard, however, along with trained medical professionals and therapists, music can also help. Healthline reports that music can be used to help treat mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.
So, as you can see there are some very hidden benefits from playing an instrument. There are actually many more, and these include lowering blood pressure, improving memory, and keeping the brain younger for longer.
One of the main benefits of playing music might just be that you get the ability to play something beautiful that you can give to others. You as a musician have the power to entertain and affect other people and their emotions and moods.
Learning to play any instrument also means that you will never be stuck for something to do next time you are told to shelter indoors.