Multiple studies have shown that playing a musical instrument slows down brain aging and leads to higher performance in work and school. Music combines creative expression with motor skills, making it the perfect hobby. So what’s stopping you from learning a new instrument to fill in your spare time and keep your brain active? All it takes is picking and buying an instrument, finding a qualified instructor, and taking the time to practice and hone your new skill.
First, you must select the instrument you want to learn. Consider the types of music you listen to and the instruments you enjoy the sound of. Do not take heed of what the ‘popular’ instruments are or what the people around you play. Music is highly personal. Once you have decided what you want to play, it’s time to go out and purchase it. If you know you will only be playing for a short time, you can also rent the instrument. No matter what, make sure you pick a reliable provider and purchase an instrument of good quality. Don’t hesitate to ask the professionals at the store for advice.
Next, it’s time to find a teacher. Online sites like Craigslist, newspapers, and ads are all good places to find a qualified instructor. Even better, ask your friends for recommendations. Also, make sure you compare the prices, and the level of experience each teacher has. Remember that the higher the level you are at, the higher the cost of a lesson. Make sure the instructor you choose is experienced, and has a good reputation. If you choose to go the cheapest route, you may find yourself taking low quality lessons that waste your time.
Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes, so take time out of your day to play your instrument. You won’t advance very fast if lessons are the only time you take to play. Depending on your level, you should take at least half an hour out of every day to practice. If you reach an advanced level, the time you spend will greatly increase, so be sure you can keep up with the commitment. During your session, play the repertoire as well as the technical requirements like the scales. A wide variety of pieces to play will prevent boredom.
No matter what you choose to do with the skills you gain, there is no doubt you will cherish the musical memories you make for life.