Learning a Musical Instrument During COVID-19
Taking up a new hobby has been especially common due to the virus-induced lockdown. Simply go online and scroll through social media accounts, and you’ll find individuals who are showing off their newly acquired skills like banana bread baking, painting, calligraphy, and others.
Starting a new hobby is not only a good way to pass the time and be productive while we face stay-at-home orders; it actually helps us to avoid getting into routines and thus be able to distinguish days from each other, instead of them being lumped together in our minds. A recent study on the “Routine and the Perception of Time,” from the Journal of Experimental Psychology, revealed that a variety of tasks allow people to perceive time to move faster whereas being stuck in routines causes them to think time is longer and one day just blends into another. The adage “Time flies when you’re having fun” is true!
So if you’re still on the fence about developing a new skill, like learning a musical instrument, don’t be. The perfect time to start is now. And while it may seem daunting to learn on your own and not have the luxury of taking a stab at it within a traditional classroom setting, remember that the pandemic has opened a slew of resources for learning things on a virtual level. That includes learning a musical instrument. Let’s look into a few surefire tricks to start you off on the right note.
Remember, small steps lead to big things.
Most of the time, when people throw themselves into learning something new, they don’t have the patience for baby steps. They often fall into the trap of reaching for grandiosity at an early stage and then end up getting frustrated when they come across a stumbling block. This also happens when one is getting acquainted with a musical instrument, like a piano, for example. It’s okay to think big, but when you’re starting out, it’s not the time to take up something as complicated as the “Flight of the Bumblebee” thinking that you can easily imitate famous pianist David Helfgott. Instead, go for something simple like Debussy’s “Clair de Lune.”
Rejoice at the little achievements.
Keep in mind to not be too hard on yourself when you’re a beginner in exploring your musical talents. There’s a learning curve to everything, so if you’re able to get over one hurdle at a time, it’s enough reason to celebrate. You won’t be able to memorize a piece right off the bat, so if you’re able to read notes at a fast pace than when you initially started, then it’s time to give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it!
Keep up to standards.
When you’re a newbie, it’s ideal to stick to common techniques when it comes to playing a musical instrument. Hold off on the eccentricities until you’ve developed enough skills, like playing the guitar upside down or the violin blindfolded. This means you have to follow the rules, no matter how boring they may seem to be at this time. Soon enough, you’ll be ready to go more out of the box.
Keep an open mind to nontraditional resources.
If there’s one lesson to be learned from COVID-19, it’s that technology can help us during the direst of times. Just think, we may not have been able to spend quality face-to-face time with our loved ones who live far away due to travel limitations, but we have been able to stay connected with them through technological platforms like Zoom. And when it comes to studying how to play a musical instrument, there are loads of apps available with easy-to-follow instructions to help you out.
If you need to save up to buy your preferred musical instrument, don’t fret and wait until then to learn the skills. You can focus on reading notes on sheet music or get your hands familiar with the moves with a makeshift guitar which you can craft out of cardboard paper. A handful of stores also offer secondhand items for a fraction of the price, so you definitely can consider this option as well.
Learning a musical instrument may be unnerving at first, but it’s an exciting one that will be worth your time.