Everyone could use a little more music. Heck, I’d go as far as to say without music, life can get…flat. *ba-dum tshh* But, seriously.
Ask anyone: “What instrument do you wish you played?” I guarantee that they’ll have an answer for you.
Then they’ll probably follow it up with, “Bu it’s too late now – I wish I would’ve started learning it when I was younger.”
Don’t let your age stop you from learning that instrument! Sure, you probably won’t be considered a “child prodigy” at this point in your life, but you can still gain all the benefits from learning regardless of what people will call you. I’d call you a “pretty cool dude.”
Plus, who needs to be a child prodigy? Those kids are just a bunch of try-hards! (Unless you are one, in which case, I respect you.)
I started learning how to play drums in seventh grade after getting obsessed with blink-182. I wanted to be Travis Barker (which is probably true for most pop-punk loving twelve-year-olds). And I’m really happy I went after it.
Looking back on my drum-learning experience now, I think everyone who wants to learn an instrument should try to, assuming they have the time and opportunity to do so. You’ll gain so much from it.
Here are just five of the benefits of learning an instrument:
A great and rewarding way to spend your time
It’s euphoric to lose your sense of time while practicing. And when you can feel yourself getting better, there’s not a greater feeling in the world! Not to mention, you feel good about yourself after a practice session; you’re accomplishing something worthwhile.
All of a sudden you’ll have a brand new interest to use to connect with people. Imagine how cool it’s going to sound when you say “Yeah, me and some of my musician friends did this.” Trust me, it ups your popularity by at least 10%. Plus you’ll have the ability to start a band or join a band. I did marching band for all four years of high school; some of the people I was in it with are my closest friends and I wouldn’t have met them if it wasn’t for playing drums.
Making music can reduce your stress! Research has shown that playing music can lower blood pressure, decrease heart rate, and lessen anxiety and depression. Along with that, playing an instrument is a great way to make your mind focus on something completely different than what’s bothering you.
Without a doubt, there are going to be instances in your instrument learning that are not all rainbows and butterflies. There will be difficult pieces, exercises, and techniques along the way. However, as you learn, keep a cool head and persevere through the rough patches of your musical journey; you will find yourself gaining an impressive sense of patience. If you could get through that song or exercise, then what can’t you get through?
Yes, being an instrumentalist also makes you smarter. When learning how to play an instrument, many different parts of your brain are stimulated in ways they wouldn’t normally be. These parts, which control your motor skills, hearing and memory grow and become more active. In fact, studies even show that your IQ could increase by seven points!
As it turned out, begging my mom to get me drum lessons was one of the best decision I made. Now I want to start picking up a new instrument: either the piano, or I want to start rapping – yes, the goofy white guy from the midwest wants to rap. But hey, Asher Roth did it. Why can’t I?
And this is the exact mentality I think everyone needs to have when approaching a new art or discipline: All these other people have done it, so I can too.
You got this.