All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
We have all heard this quote before, and know that to have a well-rounded persona we should have a wide variety of skills and activities we enjoy.
Learning a musical instrument promotes lateral thinking
When learning an instrument or difficult piece of music, often we can get stumped at times. Logically we know what to do in order to get the right notes out at the right time, but for some reason it just doesn’t work as planned.Advertising
When this happens, the music teacher and the student need to think laterally to get around the problem. Thinking creatively to come up with new solutions such as a different practise technique, or a different way of interpreting the music, is essential to progress.
This skill of lateral thinking is so useful in everyday life. Lateral thinkers are better problem solvers.
Playing music engages the left and right brain
Reading music is like reading another language, and the technique involved in playing an instrument requires the same mindset as learning any other skill. When that is combined with conveying emotion and expression through music-making, we get the wonderful benefit of both left and right hemispheres of the brain working together.Advertising
The idea we are using our brains to a great capacity like this whilst doing just one activity is quite extraordinary.
Learning a musical instrument teaches you coordination
To play a musical instrument, your left and right hands need to operate independently. If you play a wind instrument, you also need to coordinate breathing, air flow and articulation. If you play piano, organ or drumkit, your feet also need to work independently.
The fine motor skills learned while playing an instrument can easily transfer to other aspects of your life, for example fast touch typing, playing sport, and multitasking in the workplace.Advertising
Studying music and a musical instrument encourages drive and determination
Learning a musical instrument can be difficult at times. We need to put in time and effort into learning how to read the music, how to technically play the instrument, and how to put it all together so it actually sounds good.
In order to sound good, you need to practice regularly and consistently. Ten minutes a day is enough to improve, but we still need the drive and determination to continue when things get difficult.
Once we learn drive and determination, and how to stick to something, this skill stays with us for life. We can easily use this skill in furthering our career, toughing out hard situations in life, and even in taking up a sport and learning to become better at that.Advertising
Music promotes our well-being
We all need balance in our lives to create a sense of happiness and feel better about ourselves. If we are intently focused on work and career then we lose this balance. By learning or even listening to music, we engage our creativity, which puts us in a state of flow. Being in a state of flow is similar to meditation, in that it relaxes us, increases happiness, and of course, improves our well-being.
These are only five points on how learning a musical instrument makes us a well-rounded person, and already we can see just what a big difference these points can make in our every-day life.
You are never too old to take up a musical instrument. I have taught people well into their 60’s and they all do well. If there was ever an instrument you wished you could play, now is a great time to learn!
Featured photo credit: Tekke / Und damals im Ferienlager …. via flickr.com
Last Updated on May 15, 2019
How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity
As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.
“Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller
When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.
Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.
We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.
But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.
So…how exactly are we to achieve that?
It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.
1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.
Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.
2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.
This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.
You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.
3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.
This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.
4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.
How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.
So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.
If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.
And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.
Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com