As a result of music lessons that begin in early childhood, an instrument, and music in general, will often become a lifelong pursuit. Many people who never actually chose a musical career remain thankful for parents who believed paying for lessons for all those years was worth it. You don’t have to major in music to reap the benefits of music lessons. You don’t even have to get very good at it. Below are six reasons everyone should take music lessons at some point in their lives.
- 1. It’s Good for Your Brain and Your Body
- Musical study has multiple benefits on the physiology of the human brain, on overall cognitive functioning, and on learning and academic performance in subjects other than music. It appears that the greatest impact on brain development occurs in those who begin taking lessons before age 7, but studies have also shown the positive effect of music lessons on the aging brain, even if those lessons don’t happen until later in life.
Not only does music strengthen the brain, it strengthens the rest of the body. The emotional and psychological benefits of music are obvious to anyone who has ever been cheered up or calmed down by listening to a beloved song, but there is good reason to believe music also benefits those in need of pain management and immune functioning as well as to the human nervous, skeletal, and cardiovascular systems.
- 2. Music Lessons Strengthen Your Character
- Learning to play an instrument is hard work. It requires a sustained investment of time and effort. That investment pays off not only in attaining a valuable skill, but in cultivating personality traits that apply in all areas of life. In learning to play an instrument, one also has multiple opportunities to learn self-discipline, self-confidence, deferred gratification, intrinsic motivation, perseverance, creativity, respect for others, and humility.
- 3. It Makes You More Popular
- We all know the musician is the life of the party, right? But you actually don’t have to be able to play very well to experience that truth. I can’t tell you how many times as an accompanist I have been sitting at the piano in a school chorus room when a student has approached me and asked permission to play. Within moments, a small crowd has gathered.
The onlookers don’t care that the young musician may be playing the simplest of melodies with only one finger (and plenty of mistakes). They just want to be a part of the music-making. In quick succession, others take their turn. Clearly, humans are wired to make music together, and they jump at any opportunity to do it.
- 4. Music Lessons Help Preserve Human History and Civilization
- One of the pitfalls of our technologically advanced, increasingly computerized society is its capacity for discouraging certain human activities. Our kids don’t learn handwriting anymore because they do so much schoolwork on computers. We may struggle to multiply and divide because we have calculators to do it for us. And we don’t learn how to make music anymore because the professionals and their synthesizers are so much better at it.
To get music lessons for your kids, or to take lessons yourself, is to pass on valuable knowledge to the next generation while fighting back in a small way against the encroachment of technology on society. It is also a means of increasing one’s cultural literacy. School music programs are suffering as they are increasingly devalued and defunded; they are also receding in quality as some schools decide the main purpose of music is to feed kids a diet of pop instead of folk, patriotic, and classical music.
Beginner method books for piano and other instruments typically draw on melodies from great, canonical music rather than from top 40 pop charts. A child who takes private lessons will be exposed to music he might not otherwise ever hear.
- 5. It’s Real
- Audiences still pay and gather to see live music concerts and Broadway shows and local bands play. There is something about a live person making music in real time that a recording can’t replicate. Live music is never perfect, as much as it might seem so to the listener. That is in fact what gives it its life and sets it apart from recorded, digitally perfected music. To be able to make music yourself is to tap into that life and that humanity. You don’t have to play Bach. “Three Blind Mice” will do. (But if you stick with it, Bach will come!)
How to Start Learning To Play Music
If I’ve succeeded in inspiring you, it’s time to find a teacher! Clarizio Music Studio offers expert music lessons to students of all skill levels in Ocean and Monmouth County, New Jersey. Call our music store in Point Pleasant, NJ today at (732) 295-6644. If Clarizio doesn’t teach what you’re looking for, we may at least be able to point you in the right direction.
In arguing that everyone should take lessons, I realize that not everyone can. Music lessons cost money, not only for the lessons but for the instrument. Sometimes there is not a teacher to be had, or the teacher is too far away. It’s an imperfect world, and as much as someone might want to take lessons the circumstances sometimes don’t cooperate. But if you are an adult who has always wanted to learn to play an instrument or a parent who has had in the back of your mind to get lessons for your child, I hope I have encouraged you to try. When the goal is this worthwhile, you shouldn’t give up on it. And it’s never too late to begin.
When learning music, there truly is much to be gained from the journey itself.