Learn to PLAY the PIANO
Most often, music lovers are content to merely listen. We listen to the works of our favorite artists in admiration -- even envy -- of their great talents, yet we rarely consider the possibility of making music ourselves. With our busy modern lives, the majority of adults long ago set aside their musical aspirations in favor of so-called "more realistic" goals.
But why is this? Sure, by a certain age, it does become more realistic to put to rest dreams of being rock stars or symphony orchestra composers. Even so, playing music is not all about achieving fame and recognition. On the contrary, there are countless reasons to take up a musical instrument. Piano, in particular, is a popular choice for adults, due to its simplicity, versatility, and the pure beauty of its sound. Here are a few reasons why you should learn to play piano:
1) Mental well-being: Playing music promotes brain health to a far greater degree than more passive, less creative home-based activities like watching television, reading, or playing games. Indeed, studies have shown that the links between music and intelligence are more than merely theoretical. Practicing and playing piano sharpens hand-eye coordination, hones math and memorization skills, and enhances the brain's ability to think creatively. Some studies have even shown that learning an instrument can increase one's IQ.
2) Self-esteem: At work, upon successfully completing a project, most of us feel a special sense of gladness and self-worth. Playing music can be the same way. Musicians often describe a "high" that is felt while they are playing, a self-esteem boost that can extend into one's daily life.
3) Stress reduction: Learning an instrument is a great way to reduce stress. After a difficult day out in the chaotic world, there is nothing more comforting than the simple and ordered system of a piano keyboard. Then, whether practicing or simply playing for pleasure, it doesn't take long to totally immerse oneself in the music. Soon, the stresses and cares of the world are forgotten, gently brushed aside by music's pure melody and harmony.
4) User-friendliness: Of course, there are many instruments that one can learn to play, but none is more simple and straightforward than the piano. With woodwind instruments, such as flute or clarinet, the player must memorize a huge number of finger positions for every note. Guitar, too, is a popular instrument for adults, but most people who learn guitar simply memorize the chords, while learning very little about music theory -- which is important. With piano, you can learn chords too, but also learn to read sheet music.
Soon after taking up the piano, you will have learned many of the ins and outs of music theory without even realizing it. This is because the piano keyboard is the most perfect musical interface ever created. The system of seven white keys and five black keys is a simple visual representation of the musical scale.
5) Convenience: Because of its user-friendliness and the pure perfection of its sound, the piano is one of the most widely used instruments in compositions and recordings. For this reason, private piano lessons are much easier to find, and more affordable, than lessons in other instruments. In all likelihood, your neighborhood has several qualified piano teachers, who are usually easy to find via newspaper and Internet ads. Some teachers will come to you, while others will require you to take lessons on their own pianos. You can even find wonderful piano courses on the internet just by typing something like "piano lessons for adults" into any search engine.
Meanwhile, though it goes without saying, piano is also one of the most fun instruments to play. It can be played softly, loudly, or anywhere in between, and it accommodates a wide range of speeds, emotions, and musical styles. Plus, after a few lessons, when your fingers have gained a degree of limberness, the piano makes it very easy to create playful improvisations and compositions of your own. It's true that few of us will ever achieve our rock star dreams, but who cares? Playing at home -- for family, friends, pets, or just yourself -- can be just as rewarding.