As a child, I always wanted to learn how to play guitar. Ever since I was ten years old, I’ve been obsessed with Taylor Swift, who was still America’s country sweetheart back then.
She looked so cool with her guitar, and I really related to her songs. When I was seventeen, I picked up a guitar for the first time in my life.
And that shit was incredibly hard to teach yourself. I didn’t have the money for guitar lessons, so I tried to teach myself. It didn’t work.
It really wasn’t as easy as it seemed. C, D, E, A, and then all those chords in minor. Not to mention the dreaded G and F chords. And I gave up, only to pick up the guitar again three years later. Only to give it up again.
But I’m proud to say that now, at 21 years old, I’ve finally taught myself how to play guitar half decently (Justin Guitar’s beginners course is my favorite free online resource). I also understand quite a bit about musical theory, which is awesome when you actually listen to music. It’s like looking at a piece of art in a whole different way.
Here’s why you should learn to play an instrument in your twenties.
Playing a musical instrument relieves stress
Playing a musical instrument helps to lower the blood pressure and heart rate, and with that, it’ll help you relieve stress. Listening to music already helps, but playing it is like a whole different feeling. I remember the first time I experienced the rush and happiness of playing an instrument: when I nailed a simple verse and chorus for the first time. It’s a sensation that I’m now addicted to.
Somehow, making music makes me happy, and I can’t even explain why.
Playing a musical instrument helps you build confidence
Once you are aware that you are able to do something well, like play the flute or guitar for instance, you naturally become more confident of your skills. This is why learning how to play a musical instrument can help build confidence skills in both children and adults. It teaches you that if you practice and keep at it, your skills will improve and you will be better.
”Strive for progress, not perfection.”
Playing a musical instrument teaches you how to be patient
The first few weeks of playing guitar, my fingers hurt and I could barely play three chords, let alone a song. In terms of instant gratification, learning how to play a musical instrument isn’t very high on the list. Most musicians go through years of regular practice that includes daily musical exercises and the tackling of progressively difficult musical pieces, and even as intermediate or expert players of the instrument, they keep getting musical lessons, because there’s always more to learn.
Playing a musical instrument improves memory
Music and memory belong to the same family. They’re like sisters. Research has shown that participation in music at an early age can help improve a child’s learning ability and memory by stimulating different patterns of brain development. This is one of the main reason that musical education is linked to higher IQ levels in and the physical development of certain parts of the brain.
Playing a musical instrument exposes you to cultural history
Music and musical instruments reflect a certain environment and time of which it was created. I personally think that learning about the history of the music and the instrument is really important to understand the piece. It’s about more than just learning a few chords and strumming patterns, it’s about what’s behind the instrument and the songs you’re playing.
Playing a musical instrument makes you happy!
Playing na instrument is fun and exciting. I love it. It gives you a sense of achievement, can boost your social circles and can be very gratifying to play in front of other people – even if it’s just family or your local community. These are things that I try to remember as I practice and get better.