At PMT we know very well how great it is to play a musical instrument - after all, it's not "just business", but a passion for us!
Most of us feel very lucky for being able to be surrounded by musical instruments, try new gear first hand and socialize with like-minded customers - who often become familiar faces and even friends. Learn To Play Day is an yearly event that gives us the perfect opportunity to reach out for newbies who are yet to be initiated in the joys of making music. If this applies to you - or someone you know - here's the Top Reasons Why Everyone Should Play a Musical Instrument...
We live in the best of times to learn a musical instrument - It has never been so easy to learn, or so affordable to buy one. Though it's true that often the economic situation can affect sales - such as the financial crisis in 2008 - musical instruments still remain very popular. There's never been so much music being made, or so many musicians!
The thing is - music is indeed a passion for most musicians, whether they're professional or not. Some people may decide to cut down costs by buying value range products in a supermarket, for instance, but a guitarist will sweat blood and save every penny to buy a Gibson Les Paul, if that's their dream guitar. That's just how it works, with musicians. If you're one, you'll understand. However, if you don't... here's the top 8 reasons why playing an instrument is so great, and why you should also join the club:
THE EMOTIONAL REASONS...
We'll start with the "emotional" reasons why playing an instrument will benefit you. How does it feel? How does it affect you as a person?
1) You Will Love It
Most people who play an instrument don't just do it and feel indifferent about it. They actually LOVE it. How often, in our daily lives, do we actually do something we can safely say we love? For most people, not often. Playing music is a very enjoyable activity, and also makes you feel good about yourself - it can create a real sense of achievement as you improve your skills.
2) It'll Help You To Become A Better Person
And even if you don't improve them as quickly as you'd hope, there's another thing you can get out of it - a sense of perseverance. Learning an instrument is not always easy, but always worth it - if you persevere and dedicate yourself enough. And you will be a better person for it! You'll feel proud of it and it's an achievement you'll forever have with you.
3) You'll Feel Happier
But there's something else, too: the sheer joy of making music. Playing an instrument actually helps you to be happy. According so a scientific research, listening to music releases dopamine in your brain. By this token, playing an instrument should be even better, because you add the satisfaction of actually creating the music! Also, when you eventually feel ready to perform in front of other people - be it family, friends or even on stage in front of strangers - you'll feel great when other people enjoy and appreciate your music.
THE PRACTICAL REASONS...
Under "practical reasons" we can mention everything you'll get out of playing an instrument that will also prove useful in other, practical aspects of your life. Today, most parents and educators recognize the importance of musical education, but the psychological, social and intellectual benefits of playing an instrument apply to players of any age or social status, even when you're away from the instrument.
4) You'll Be More Organized
For instance, learning to play an instrument will help you to refine your time management and organizational skills, as you'll have to set aside time for practice and make the most out of it. And if you're the sort of person who keeps leaving things scattered and forgetting where you put them, you'll quickly find out you need to change, if you keep losing guitar pics or forgetting where you put your mini tuner!
5) You'll Become More Responsible
It'll also help the player to increase their responsibility, because you should always take good care of your instrument in order for it to always perform at its best - an especially useful lesson for younger players. A guitar can be one of the few possessions someone will want to keep for most of their lives!
6) You'll Improve Your Social Skills
Talking about young players, playing in a band or orchestra can better teach kids how to work in a team and collaborate with others in a creative manner. But the social benefits of playing an instrument can also affect grown ups - you could eventually join a band, or simply play at open mics and meet new friends and like-minded people.
7) You'll Get Smarter
Finally, playing an instrument sharpens your brain, on every level: Betters your mathematical ability; improves your reading and comprehension skills; boosts your brainpower and concentration. According to an article from The Telegraph online magazine, a recent research suggests that regularly playing an instrument changes the shape and power of the brain and may be used in therapy to improve cognitive skills.
When you learn how to play an instrument, the parts of your brain that control motor skills, hearing, storing audio information, and memory actually grow and become more active. Other results show that playing an instrument can help your IQ increase by seven points. All of this is not just great on your day-to-day life, but may also help guard against mental decline in the future, which leads us to the next point...
THE HEALTH REASONS
We're all familiar with the slogan "sex, drugs & rock'n'roll" and the legendary status of some rock'n'rollers who left this world sadly too soon: Jim Morrison, Brian Jones, Janes Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Ian Curtis, Keith Moon, Kurt Cobain and many others. But, there's another narrative far more common: that of the old, healthy and active rock'n'roller.
Well, that sums it up, really - playing music has many health benefits: Increases the capacity of your memory, enhances your coordination, fosters your self-expression, relieves stress, enhances your respiratory system, lowers blood pressure and heart rate, strengthen cardiovascular systems.
It's almost like playing music is the true "Fountain of Youth". There was a time when people thought the Rolling Stones were too old to rock. That was probably 20 years ago! Today, they're way past being too old, and into another realm: it's now just amazing to see that those guys, now over 70, can still rock out, and seem more active, vibrant and sharp than pensioners of the same age (or even younger!).
It really does seem that playing an instrument has almost "magical" powers: It looks like it when you consider Dr. Feelgood's guitarist Wilko Johnson, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and went on a "Farewell Tour", playing some of the most passionate sets of his career - and then, in October last year, he announced that he was finally cancer-free, for amazement of all, including his doctors!
Everywhere you look today, you can see those older musicians who are still active, full of energy, and very healthy. In the era pre-rock'n'roll, you were "old" by the time you were 30. Today, the rules have changed, and it does seem music has a lot to do with it! The generation who grew up being surrounded by popular music, and feeling energized by playing it, seems made of a different cloth. Chuck Berry could still be seem performing live last year, aged 87. His movements somewhat slower, his playing not as accurate as years gone by... but still rockin' out a Gibson ES-345, wearing a red glitter shirt, and generally just being much more active than most people of his age!
And that's the perfect illustration of what playing music is all about - once you're hooked, you're in for life. Be it rock'n'roll, blues, jazz, classical... a dedicated musician - professional or not, successful or not - reaps the benefits for the rest of their life.
If you're not a musician... what are you waiting for?