Written by Sophie Ogunyemi, Take It Away
| 16th April 2020
Why learning a musical instrument might be the best thing you do during the COVID-19 Lockdown
As I write this, weâ€™ve already had two and a half weeks of lockdown at home. The novelty of watching endless Netflix (yes, I am still watching, thanks) and scrolling through Instagram until you hit the message â€œYouâ€™re All Caught Upâ€ has worn off. It also seems that everyone has made at least one loaf of banana bread, started (and most likely already completed) a puzzle, and are actually excited to go to the supermarket. So, with this newfound wealth of time, why not â€˜upskillâ€™ yourself?
Learning a musical instrument might just be the best thing you do whilst youâ€™re stuck at home. Thereâ€™s a load of other skills and benefits that come with it and itâ€™s never too late to start! Youâ€™ll also be supporting a sector which really needs your help during this crisis. Support your local music shop by buying online from them and invest in some lessons from teachers offering online tuition.
Hereâ€™s why we should all be making music:
It is a
form of therapy
- EVERY musician Iâ€™ve spoken to agrees that thereâ€™s nothing better to unwind and release emotions than playing their instruments.
- Itâ€™s a great way to release stress and relax as it takes your mind off everyday worries.
- Hereâ€™s an article specifically on The Power of Music To Reduce Stress.
It is a
brain work out
- Learning and playing an instrument regularly uses parts of your brain which improve your memory and concentration powers.
- Figuring out and understanding rhythm is problem solving akin to maths equations.
- Reading music is learning a new language and therefore improving your comprehension skills.
- It has been proven!
It is a
physical work out
- Ok, this one might depend more on which instrument you go for but, for example, brass instruments take a great deal of effort from your core and lungs for breath control. Drumming can use so much of your body that you often end up doing cardio!
- And your coordination will improve. When youâ€™re playing, youâ€™re asking your brain and body to coordinate at a fast pace between your eyes, hands and mind.
It can improve your social life
- Once youâ€™ve got the basics down, you can join ensembles meeting other musicians and build your team working, leadership and management skills.
It unleashes creativity, self expression and emotional development
- All music is subject to interpretation. Itâ€™s up to you to express and add your personality to everything you play.
- Playing musical instruments enhances your emotional stability and helps you develop empathy towards others.
- It helps you develop self discipline and patience
- Starting from scratch isnâ€™t going to be all smooth sailing (even for a natural). Mastering it to any level takes practise, a process in itself which will improve your willpower.
- Putting in the hours to learn this new skill means youâ€™ll have to organise your time effectively which will help with your time management
It helps with your
- The sense of achievement and accomplishment you get from nailing a section or even a whole song leaves you feeling positive, proud and uplifted which all adds up to you feeling more confident!
- Performing for an audience â€“ friends, family or the world at large, might take you out of your comfort zone but taking that risk and putting yourself out there will help you to become a better presenter in work and general life.
- All these added bonuses aside, making music is fun! It stimulates your brain and stops you from sitting idly whilst scrolling through various social media platforms…
So, what are you waiting for?
1 | Pick your instrument
From ukelele to double bass, saxophone to DJ decks â€“ there will be something that suits you! If youâ€™re not sure or canâ€™t quite decided, ask your local music shop for some advice and buy online.
2 | Find a teacher
Again, check with your local music shop, theyâ€™ll have lots of connections. Or check the UK Music Teachers group
on Facebook to support independent musicians through this crisis.
OR you could learn by following online tutorials like OME
or the Fender Play app
. Or just good old YouTube
. (There are so many options, no excuse!)
3 | Get playing!
Itâ€™s a no brainer ðŸ˜‰
Instruments and lessons can be expensive meaning some people never discover the joy of learning and playing music. For disabled musicians who need adapted instruments, the problems can be particularly challenging.
At Take it away, we work with our retail partners,
Arts Council England
and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland
to break down these barriers. A part of Creative United
, a community interest company that drives economic growth and social impact in the arts and creative industries, we provide a range of subsidised and non-subsidised loans. These are designed to make learning, playing and participating in music more affordable and open to everyone.
Together with our partners, we look to enable and inspire a life-long love of music.