Music never ceased to become a trend all over the world and people continue to love it more and more as various individuals compose songs with different genres of music. From generation to generation, talented or skilled people compose songs that suit their current period, and there are songs that will never be outdated because they were specially created from their hearts. So what makes songs really special?
It is still a mystery why music has positive effects on our body, and recent studies show that listening to certain music not only eases the mind, but also serves as a treatment for mental problems such as depression. Researchers are still trying to completely uncover the reasons why different sound waves affect our body differently or why our body reacts to music positively.
There is even a study that listening or singing sad songs can actually help in releasing happy hormones such as endorphins to counter anxiety and depression. Other than exercising, improving life by playing musical instruments is also an alternative.
We can’t deny that music has a great impact to our mood whether our purpose is to try to relax, to exercise or to alert ourselves in work. Listening to songs, depending on the beat per minute (bmp), could yield a certain kind of ambience within our body and our surroundings.
I had observed some of my former classmates before the class begin and only few of them listen to music using earphones. It would seem that they do not want associate with our other classmates but to me, it seemed like they were indulging themselves in a world of relaxation. I think it’s a great way to start a lesson.
One of them even talked to me, telling me things about classical music and how it affects his mood. It’s not simply for relaxation as he told. It’s also for improving focus and concentration. I understood immediately as I experienced same things. Then I remembered what people know more about the effects of listening to classical music – when pregnant mothers listen to it, there’s a great possibility that the baby would be born highly intelligent.
At first, it was difficult to give intellectual explanation about the effects of listening to music but when I consistently access online information about the topic, it was scientifically proven that such activity really does improve focus and concentration, with the bonus of memory enhancement. This shows that playing musical instruments could really improve life.
How do you feel during exercise while you listen to workout music at the same time? Have you ever tried listening to your playlist after having a bad day then all of a sudden, those negative energy vanished? Or maybe when you can’t sleep at night that you felt like listening to your favorite song and slept comfortably afterwards?
Those beautiful sound waves that we listen to, somehow lead us to a euphoric state that took long for science to be able to provide explanation. Scientific explanations about the benefits of listening to music were only given during this era but people have been attached to music since the Renaissance.
In addition, latest study presented that playing musical instruments could improve life better than the latter. Those professionals are not just talking about an added skill but more on the improvement of the functions of our brain, which could support us in day to day life.
Ever since I could remember, listening to music has been part of my lifestyle not only because my dad loves to play various songs everyday, but also because I have considered it like my twin as if I couldn’t stand not listening to a single song in a day.
When my dad bought an electronic keyboard for the first time, it’s hard for me to look away every time I pass by our living room. And since he also bought a book on how to play piano, I was willing to learn on my own. Of course, it was hard to learn for the first time but I was gradually learning the basics because of my desire to learn playing musical instruments in which I never knew until now that it could improve life.
Before starting to learn playing piano, I was addicted to playing a recorder (flute) during my elementary years. I’ve always been awe of the people who can play musical instruments professionally. Well, I couldn’t play songs right during my first year of learning to play piano so I was looking for people I know to help me with it.
I only play when I feel like it and even though people would say I’m good at it, I’m still not satisfied with my performance since I don’t practice everyday. I only play once a week or twice a month and it won’t take an hour for me to spend time with the keyboard (since I have to balance studies, doing chores at home and engaging with my other hobbies), which is why I’m not confident enough with my skills every time people praise me when I play. They would usually say “If I have that talent, I would definitely play it (piano).”
Somehow, I do not understand what those people were trying to say. I mean, I do believe everyone was given different talents the moment they were born, but if they pursue something with passion and hard work, anyone can be great in doing something. The problem is that people easily give up after the first time they try something they think is impossible to accomplish because they already experienced difficulty.
I would usually hear people say “it’s hard” or “it’s tiring” after trying a few times. Well nothing’s easy to do for the first time, but once we get used to challenges, they will eventually become easy tasks like how we read and write from our childhood to adulthood.
Everything can be learned but of course, with limits. Other than passion, patience and perseverance are also very important factors in learning something new. Without them, we can only look from afar and feel envious of those people who can do the things we desire to do. “The mind gives up before the body” as the saying goes, so in order to accomplish something, one has to start doing it with optimism but also expect to experience hardships so that we could prepare for the worst case scenario. If it means improving life better, I decided playing musical instruments.
After analyzing the book on how to play guitar and piano, I was able to memorize the chords in no time (and I know anyone can do it) but the problem is in performing. I had to get used to moving my hands to catch the rhythm and stretching my fingers to press keys and I think this is where people usually give up.
Although I don’t usually practice, I set a rule on myself that every time I do, I should be strict on the timing of the melody (using the right hand) and the accompaniment (the left). Years passed, I could easily play songs that I encounter for the first time maybe because I think of playing piano frequently even though the electronic keyboard is not always in front of me. Perhaps this is how passion works.
I imagine playing the piano in my head just like how boxers do shadow boxing. When I was working as a receptionist, I even drew piano keys just so I could imaginary play during my free time. Later, my dad bought a guitar and I was also totally into it. Again, I gradually learn playing it and alternatively with piano playing. Then I realized that I became good with multitasking and this could be related to what researchers have found out about How Playing an Instrument Benefits Your Brain.
Yes, I am encouraging anyone who reads this article in playing musical instruments because the benefits are quite valuable to our lifestyle both in work and in leisure time. It increases the capacity of our memory, refines our time management and organizational skills, teaches perseverance and discipline, boosts team skills, enhances body coordination, improves mathematical ability, enhances reading and comprehension skills, exposes us to cultural history, sharpens concentration and focus, fosters self-expression, relieves stress and promotes happiness, serves as a therapy for depression, creates a sense of achievement, promote social skills, boosts listening skills, and enhances respiratory system.
I mentioned before that most people get discouraged when they experience difficulty in playing musical instruments, and I can’t simply force people if they do not want to just because I said something about its benefits. Words are encouraging but doing something difficult could actually diminish the motivation. So how can one motivate oneself if passion in playing musical instrument is not even there?
There was actually a time where I got really depressed that I didn’t feel like doing anything. I became a shut-in, simply sleeping in my room after classes without a care in the world. I tried motivating myself to be productive but the feeling was so negative that my body simply shut down, lying on the bed comfortably that even passion cannot overpower.
However, with my few friends around, I was somehow energized to do something. When they were staying in our house, they suggested that they sing while I play the piano. There were also times I was the one who suggested because the ambience at home became positive when friends you think who can understand you were there supporting you at all costs.
You could have the motivation to play musical instruments when you do something with friends you can trust, so pull a friend or groups of friends to play along with you, especially those who are already interested in playing musical instruments other than what you can play because learning is fun in groups with the same interests.
There were also times when my sister requested me to play piano while she sings, which not only helped me in enhancing my skills but also helped me relieve stress that the outside world was giving me. From there, I realized that music draws people together (unite families and friends), and enjoy life as we should. Playing musical instruments does help in improving life based on my experiences.
One thing that most people didn’t notice is that when everything seems lifeless, music is always there to save mankind. Whether listening to it, singing, or playing musical instruments, it is always there to uplift people in just a few moments.
The magic it gives simply encourages people to look forward and take on life’s challenges with positivity. So if you desire a more fulfilling life, don’t simply settle to listening or singing songs. Play musical instruments!
If playing a guitar is harder to learn, start with playing a piano. If it’s still hard learning to play a piano, start with a recorder. There’s nothing bad about facing a little challenge compared to the benefits we acquire, don’t you think?