Whether you’re looking to keep your mind active and healthy as you age, get a new skill that can help you earn some cash or just have fun, learning how to play an instrument is a fulfilling way to spend your time.
While there are many ways to learn how to play music, there are certain steps that you need to take in order to make sure that you get the most of your hobby and stick with it.
Whether you want to play the piano, violin or flute, find an instrument that sounds nice. If you’re buying your instrument secondhand, beware buyers that say that “it just needs to be tuned”. While tuning may help the sound quality, a sub-par instrument will always be sub-par. Get something that sounds good so you’ll want to keep on practicing.
While learning music you can teach yourself how to play an instrument, but good teachers are invaluable – they can teach you about things that you may not think about or can’t teach yourself. A great example of this is posture – holding an instrument or sitting on a bench differently may not seem like it will help much, but it will.
Play your instrument enough so that you’re constantly learning, but don’t do too much – you may burn yourself out. A good goal is to try practicing 30 minutes per day for five days each week. If you’re enjoying yourself, though, you may want to practice for as much as an hour per day. Once you start dreading practice time, cut back a bit.
No matter how you slice it, you should try to memorize scales and chords, but don’t focus solely on things that you consider boring. Instead, find some fun songs at your level. After you finish doing the boring stuff, reward yourself with some fun practice time. Learning music should be fun!
Learning music is easier if you’re in a class with other students, but you can do it by looking up videos online, too. By observing others, you can mirror the things they do to make their notes come out clear and precise. Make sure to also search for mistakes. You may be surprised to find out that you’re guilty of the same things.