Why you should learn to play a musical instrument


Credit: Chris Hardy on Unsplash

Playing an instrument is a fun way to destress and express creativity.

Luke Brennan, Opinions Editor

In these difficult times, we’ve all tried to find different ways to cope with the new world we’re living in. Whether it’s binge-watching “Tiger King” or taking a walk around the neighborhood, one of the only constants has been the involvement of music in people’s lives.

While almost everyone enjoys listening to music, there also many who enjoy playing music, myself included. I’ve been playing guitar for about four years and I can honestly say it’s helped with reducing stress, especially since the pandemic began.

It allows me to be creative and take my mind off what’s going on in the world. It’s also been proven that making music can “short-circuit” the stress response in the brain, which helps prevent it from becoming chronic. I understand that playing a musical instrument, like anything, requires lots and lots of practice, but it is well worth it.

There is somewhat of a misconception that the only way to learn an instrument is through paid lessons. This is far from accurate, and not very practical during a pandemic.

Once you have the instrument, bought or rented, there are plenty of online tutorials that are just as helpful as in-person teaching. YouTube is usually a better source for these tutorials if you are a beginner, but there is also the website Teoria, which teaches music theory for more advanced musicians. In addition, it is helpful to research some easy songs to learn for your particular instrument, like Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” if you’re learning to play the guitar or “Heart and Soul” if you’re learning to play the piano.

Whatever instrument you want to learn to play, guitar or piano, violin or harp. It is a really fun way to reduce your stress, and honestly, who could not use less stress right now?