Learning to play a musical instrument has numerous benefits in your personal and professional life – whether that be as a confidence builder, a memory enhancer or even as a conversation starter.
Choosing Your Instrument
Many of us, particularly those who enjoy classical and instrumental music, have at one time considered trying to master an instrument but have absolutely no idea where to begin.
As children, we’re almost always limited in the choices we can make in regards to the instrument we’d like to learn, which is often why so many people quit.
The advantage of learning as an adult means that you have an endless list of options to choose from, but it’s a good idea to consider the following before choosing your instrument:
- What Music Do I Like to Listen to?
- How Will I Play?
- When Will I Play?
- How Much Can I Spend?
- What Space Have I Got?
- What Time Do I Have?
So, once you’ve chosen your weapon of choice, how exactly will your new found hobby help kick start your career?
#1: Playing an Instrument Makes You Smarter
As the late, great music lover Albert Einstein said, “life without playing music is inconceivable to me. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music. I get most joy in life out of music.” Moreover, as is the case with many things, Einstein was onto something – many studies have found a link between musical learning and increased academic success in children and adults.
Learning to play the instrument, stimulates your brain, which improves memory and reasoning skills, which are essential qualities in the workplace.
#2: Expanding Social Circle
Playing an instrument isn’t just beneficial for your brain, it’s also a great way to expand your social circle. Joining a group of like-minded musicians encourages you to develop new friendship circles with different kinds of people. The ability to meet and develop an understanding with others are essential skills if you’re to boost your career.
#3: A Sense of Achievement
Been trying to play that sheet music all the way through with no mistakes for months, and however hard you work you just can’t quite nail it?
Persevere, and one day, all of a sudden you find that all that blood, sweat and toil has finally paid off and you’ve completely aced it.
Playing and succeeding with a musical instrument gives you a massive sense of accomplishment, which can give you the confidence to go searching for that feeling at work, and with that feather in your cap, there’s no telling what you could achieve.
#4: Stress Relief
Certain music helps to keep you calm. It has an unparalleled ability to affect our emotions and has even been proven to lower blood pressure and your heart rate. Slow, classical music is often the most beneficial and can have very relaxing effecting on both our mind and bodies.
After a hard day at work, learning to decompress and release the stresses of the day can be exactly what you need. Not only is it great for your overall health, but it’s just the thing you need to psych yourself and prepare for the challenges of the next working day.
#5: Confidence Builder
Playing an instrument helps you become more comfortable with expressing yourself. As you begin to master your instrument, you will inevitably start to play in front of people, and this expression in such a public arena can give you the confidence to speak up and present your ideas at work. These ideas are often just seeds, but without the courage to express them, it’s impossible for them to grow.
#6: Improves Patience
Patience is an integral part of learning an instrument, without it, you’d never get anywhere.
After 12 months of solidly learning your instrument, things will become more familiar, and you won’t be so hard on yourself when things don’t go your way. It’s only then that you’ll be glad of that hard work you put in during those difficult first few months.
The same applies to the working environment, at first things are strange and new, but the harder you work to impose yourself and the more patient you are, the more success you’re likely to experience.
#7: Discipline & Time Management
In almost every single case, learning an instrument isn’t something you’ll completely master overnight. Learning takes time and the discipline to practice in the time you allocate – it’s easy to dismiss it and say, ‘I’ll pick it up again tomorrow’.
Managing your own time and doing so efficiently in the workplace allows to structure the flow of your working day, so you can take care of the priority tasks first and complete them to a high standard.
#8: Improved Memory
Research has found that learning to play music enhances verbal memory, spatial reasoning and literacy skills. Playing an instrument requires both sides of your brain, which strengthens your ability to withhold information.
#9: Playing Music Increases Creativity
As the above point illustrates, practising and perfecting a piece of music is a great way to stretch and challenge the creative side of your brain.
No matter how much a composer perfects a composition, they will never be able to fully articulate how a piece of music should be played. It’s like a great film or book, no matter how clear the writer is with his or her interpretation, they’ll always be others who believe it means something different. So in this sense, it’s up to the player to put their own stamp on things.
#10: It’s Fun!
It’s easy to talk about the significance of music in your career all day long, but in actual fact, it’s just a fun thing to do. While other hobbies are passive, learning an instrument is an engaging and tactile process, which stimulates you and makes you feel happy.
Learning a musical instrument in an engaging pastime that will both, directly and indirectly, improve your skills and performance in the workplace. So, what are you waiting for?