When I was in elementary school, I didn’t have a clue about how to read music. (Much less pick up an instrument and actually try to play that music.) To me, attempting to play the piano or the guitar seemed as scary as trying to ride a motorcycle down the freeway – I was sure that I would fail miserably and end up humiliated and disappointed.
So I have no idea what made me think that enrolling in music class when I started high school was a good idea. But whatever it was, I’m grateful for it – because learning how to play a musical instrument has probably been one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done.
Learning to play an instrument doesn’t just give you the chance to be that guy everyone hates at parties. You know, the one who insists on pulling out his or her acoustic guitar and tries to start an impromptu sing-along session? (You know the type) No, it gives you the chance to be both creative and analytical, to prove to yourself that if you work hard enough, you can create something that is completely and entirely your own. But you’ve probably been told this by friends and family members a million times – how else can learning to play an instrument benefit you?
1. Being Able to: Claim that You’re Artistic
My idea of life drawing is sketching proportionately inaccurate stick people, so learning to play an instrument was like godsend. I could finally call myself artistic without having to draw or – god forbid – paint. *shudders*
2. Being Able to: Put Off Other, More Boring Things
Oh, what’s that? You want me to vacuum the entire main floor of the apartment? Er… I can’t, I um… I’m practicing! Yeah, practicing! You know how important honing my craft is to me. I need to set a very rigorous rehearsal schedule for myself. You understand.
3. Being Able to: Find Another Way to Tune Out the World
Your roommates hate it when you put Beyoncé on full volume? Fine. Next time they’re fighting about who has to do the dishes, pull out that guitar, keyboard, or accordion instead. You’re technically following the rules.
4. Being Able to: Find Another Way to Bond With Other People
You play the trombone? Me too! Let’s be best friends and shun all the other, non-trombone playing people of the world.
5. Being Able to: Improve Upper Arm Strength
Forget weight lifting – practice playing the flute or saxophone for a couple of hours and you’ll be ready to kick butt at a moment’s notice.
6. Being Able to: Come up with Another Potential Way to Make Money
Even if you’re just an average musician, there are always children and teenagers looking for ways to learn to play the guitar, drums, piano, what have you. You can try to advantage of that and try advertising music lessons on mailboxes and in community centres.
Do You Know How to Play a Musical Instrument?
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