Ok, ok, maybe it isn’t that cut and dry. But certainly, learning about music helps you to understand the world in a completely different way. Usually, this is the point where I jump on my soapbox on the corner of 85th street and Amsterdam Avenue to talk about the reasons why all children should have the opportunity to study music. But today is a new and different spin: I’m going to talk about the reasons why adults should be encouraged to either begin or resume musical study.
There are many similarities between why children and adults should study music, so for the sake of this post, I’ll give you the quick and dirty reasons why grown-ups should learn how to play an instrument:
1. You don’t want to get old. Yep, that’s right. The study of music by adults has been known to increase and/or maintain brain function well into old-age. Actor Anthony Hopkins picked up the piano late in life and continues to practice daily in the hopes of keeping his mind as sharp and as crisp as ever.
2. Making music for yourself, by yourself is cool. Come on, you know you wish you could just pick up a guitar and play something, channel your inner Jack Johnson. Learning and instrument is unique and breaks the mold or normality. It is a great conversation starter, and it will help you add depth to your personality and character. Not only for those you meet in life, but mostly for you. You will understand that you have abilities that you have never tapped and that you are capable of much more than you once thought possible.
3. Music is relaxing and it heals. Too much cortisol? Much in the same way meditation is relaxing, when you practice your instrument (no matter how you sound at first) your mind enters a place of thought, focus, and excellence where you explore what you are capable of and y0u check your daily stresses and worries at the door. It can be a great way to depart from normal life each day to give back to yourself.
4. Music is a great vehicle to create lasting memories with friends and family. When you feel confident enough on your instrument, you can have small at-home recitals with dinner parties, invite other musicians over to jam with you, play with or accompany your children if they are learning and instrument also, or pull a 50 Shades of Grey and serenade your spouse or partner with your own original composition. Somehow, these experiences are stronger and more meaningful than many others. They are not easily forgotten.
5. What instrument should I choose? For the adult beginner, I would recommend: Guitar, Piano, Harp, and Voice (yes, your voice— a little coaching goes a long way). These are the instruments that I think you may see the most gains in the fastest amount of time. (which is important so you don’t lose interest) Learning an instrument is after all, a learning process. It will take time, but the journey is half the fun.
I wish you the best of luck. If you have any additional questions, you know where to find me.
Until next time,
- Love’s Old Sweet Song (pattytmitchell.com)
- Learn guitar any way you like… It’s all good! Just don’t forget to practice… (guitargear.org)
- Through the Piano (pathfinderscommune.com)
- Why My Kids Will Always Be Involved in Music (5minutesformom.com)