Learning How to Play Musical Instruments

Many people today are aware of the great benefits learning to play a musical instrument can have on their lives, including emotionally, academically, and mentally. For this reason, many parents and teachers encourage their children or students to practice music and participate in musical functions, regardless whether the child will make music a lifelong pursuit and a career.

With that said, some of us tend to defy one of the most crucial steps when learning to play a musical instrument, thereby causing us to stumble in the beginning of our musical pursuit and ending our thirst for music before we even begin. That is, we tend to FORCE ourselves to LEARN the instrument we are playing instead of just PLAYING the instrument we are playing.

Academic studies, such as math, science, and literacy, are generally composed of a vast compilations of various facts and common sense. Thus, all that is needed from the student is the interest to learn and the will to listen and to gain knowledge. Hence, even when FORCING oneself to learn, sometimes without having any interest in what’s being taught and studied, the ability to obtain knowledge and information is easily achieved.

Very different though is the study of music. Music can only be acquired to us when we have the interest and feel for the music, and most importantly, when we are not FORCING ourselves to play the instrument we are trying to play, but rather PLAY with the music. Exploring your new instrument as a pastime while relaxing, as a hobby, or just ‘for fun’ will result with the most desirable musical learning experience. To use an example, if you would go for drum lessons and at lesson one your music teacher would explain to you on the chalk board the varies beats and tempo, the exact position of where your left foot should be on the bass, or how many inches away from the snare your hand should be, I would suggest you replace your current instructor for another, because a drummer you definitely will not be.

A good music teacher will begin your very first lesson by sitting you down on the drum stool, showing you where to position yourself, and then having you just begin drumming! Of course, you will need practice and patience, but the key to learning how to play a musical instrument is not by trying, rather by playing. Yes, your first gig might be in a need of some help, but by constantly playing you will hear and know yourself where you are doing good and where you need to make some changes. Remember, do not TRY to drum, just drum and in no time you will be learning and best of all, really having a lot of fun!

Of course, once you have the basics, you will learn varies beats, tempo, musical notes and the like, but that is only AFTER you have acquired the basics. This critical and most important step when approaching a musical instrument applies not only when we adults learn to play music, but this applies for kids playing music too. When your child first begins exploring his instrument, do not pressure him to learn to play, rather let him play and toy with it first. The results will be truly amazing!

The Benefits When You Play Music

To play music is one of the most popular hobbies known to man. Many take pleasure in it for various reasons. For one, you may say that you simply enjoy playing music that’s why you do so, but, hey, wouldn’t it help if you can identify what really makes the experience enjoyable?

Below are some of the benefits you get when you involve yourself in music. Play instruments, sing songs, compose melodies, perform on stage, all of them are covered. So the next time someone asks you why you do this thing you do, you can have these advantages as your ready answers.

Music is a brain power enhancer

Music is commonly associated with emotions. But this doesn’t mean that it caters only to that. Music may be highly emotional, but then it stimulates the human brain as well. Isn’t it that when you strike a chord or write a line or imagine what you’ll do on stage, you think? Precisely the reason why music can indeed rouse intellectual activity. For example, if you take up music lessons, you are given modules to study. And so, you get your brain to work as you peruse them. Not only that, even those who do not formally study music dissect songs in order for them to learn and appreciate the songs more. Clearly, the brain functions there, too. Moreover, many studies claim that people who practice music have generally higher IQ scores than those who aren’t musical.

Music is a stress reliever

So you had a bad day. You go straight to your room, and what do you do? Either you turn on your music player or get your guitar (or, for others, the piano, the violin, the oboe, the drums, etc.) and start playing. That’s how music alleviates one’s tension and anxiety: that if you play music, it’s as if it has a calming effect on you–even if you listen to Korn or Slipknot. When there’s music around, no matter the kind as long as it is appealing to your ears, everything becomes more bearable: that you find a space to relate all negative feelings you have, then after, you experience this so-called lightness within. As music can direct your emotions, it, too, can well serve as your handle for your feelings.

Music is a confidence booster

Doesn’t it feel good when you’ve finally nailed that sizzling solo you’ve been wanting to play? Or maybe when you’re asked, “Hey! Can you play ‘Spain’ the way Dave Weckl did?,” then you answer, “With eyes closed, yeah,” doesn’t it make you feel proud? When you’ve attained such achievements in music, it’s almost automatic for you to build up on your confidence as well. Being cocky about it is a different story, though. The deal here is this: when you study music and your hard work pays off, it gives you a rewarding feeling, a sense of accomplishment. It makes you believe that, not only in music but life in general, you can conquer the greatest of challenges hurled in your way: that when someone gives you the “when pigs can fly” condition, you bring out a guitar, strum a few chords, and there you have it, flying pigs.

Music is a form of self-expression

Perhaps this is the most obvious benefit you can get when you play music. An outlet for your emotions, that’s how many people regard music. And it’s true. When you play, you can let out all your feelings in a song. Actually, even if you’re just a listener, you can feel this benefit. For instance, when you’re in a good mood, you play something bouncy and bubbly, and when you feel otherwise, you play songs that are so bleak they break your heart in two. More importantly, when you, say, sing or play an instrument, you provide the listeners with your own style. It’s like introducing yourself to the crowd through music, and by that alone they can tell who you are.

Play Music In Order To Have A Healthy Mind And Healthy Body

A healthy body is composed of numerous rhythmic patterns, all of which are harmoniously linked to a happy mind. When we become angry, these patterns of internal music become distorted and lead to physical problems. Feeling angry is not merely a thought, but it is an all-body sensation where every single cell of the body is forced to deviate from its normal style of functioning. When we are angry, we are literally ‘out of tune’. The result is that our eye and facial muscles tense up, our skin begins to redden or become pale, our heart beat rises, and our body posture changes, reflecting how we feel inside.

This micro-muscular response to emotional states is what is described as ‘body language’. In a way, our body tries to remain tuned to its natural sounds and rhythms which produce happiness, but once it is thrown off balance, harsh words, a raised voice and ill feelings signal that we are no longer tuned to the music of perfect balance or health. This also cuts our links with nature, hence the feeling of poverty, loneliness and loss of spiritual awareness.

Dr. David Aldrich, head of a clinical team researching music therapy, has shown that heart disease patients have difficulties in coordinating and empathizing with the rhythms of music makers. That music has therapeutic value has been known for a long time, but it is becoming increasingly clear that music is a necessity for creating and maintaining health rather than just a means for gaining pleasure.

Dr. Ralph Spintge, head of a pain clinic in Germany, has produced a database that reveals the powerful effects of music on over 90,000 patients. All patients showed measurable improvements in both quality and speed of recovery. Other effects of music included a 50% reduction in recommended doses of sedatives and anesthetic drugs needed to perform otherwise very painful operations. Now there are even some procedures that, with the aid of music, require no anesthetic at all. Although a certain part of the value of music helps the patient to distract his mind from his sickness or pain, most of its healing effects emanate from restoring the important biological and neuro-physiological rhythms that underlie the vital functions of the body. Music soothes and relaxes anxieties, helps to trigger natural painkillers in the brain, and improves the performance and clarity of the mind.

Research has shown that music activates the right-brain temporal lobe, which is associated with emotion, movement, and meaning. This is particularly important in our left-brain society where logic, rational behavior, and analytical thinking are considered the preferred keys to success. Music can stimulate our right brain, which comprises the intuitive and artistic faculties, and this may turn stress and tension into opportunities for positive change in life. After all, we were not born with only half a brain. Our right-brain temporal lobe has many astonishing abilities in store, however, our predominantly left-brain oriented educational system has not sufficiently encouraged their full development. Music has the capacity to fill this gap. There is a desperate need to develop right-brain activities in our society, which is a major reason why so many young people spend all day listening to music.

Internationally famous music sensation Tony DeBlois is a typical example of a right-brain musical genius. Born brain-damaged, blind and autistic, Tony, at age twenty-one, is not even able to tie his own shoelaces, but he has a remarkable musical memory for over 7,000 songs. His ability for playing and singing incredibly complex jazz improvisations has made up for the lack of intellect. His memory for music is extraordinary. He can play any one of his 7,000 songs in any possible style without making a mistake and leap without transition from classical music to the most modern compositions of pop. When his mother gave him his first electronic keyboard, she hoped that this would stimulate him in some way. At first, she was disappointed when Tony only produced random notes and their possible combinations. After about six weeks, he began to play the first three notes of ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ and his gift for music was born.

Playing musical instruments has a profound influence on the performer himself. If you possibly can, try to learn an instrument. One does not need to be artistic or intelligent in order to play music. Tony, too, had no previous skills. The random and seemingly meaningless musical notes he produced prior to developing his musical talent had served as a stimulant to trigger his right-brain functions. Everyone who has a right-brain temporal lobe is artistic and musical by nature. By playing a musical instrument, you can develop this important side of your brain. You don’t have to be a good performer of music to reap the benefit from the frequencies of sound, but by merely producing sounds you bring about profound changes in your brain.

Playing music creates happiness and a feeling of contentment, both essential for a healthy mind and a healthy body. That producing music or singing can have an anti-aging effect is clearly demonstrated by such artists as Tina Turner, Barbara Streisand, Andrea Bocelli, David Bowie, Cliff Richard and Diana Ross, among numerous other performers. They seem to have stopped aging years ago.