Music is a universal language that promotes emotion and imagination. No matter where you are or who you are with, music unites people. Friendships are often formed around musical tastes.
On a deeper level, psychologists and educators herald music as a significant influence on a person’s behaviour. Music can be stimulating and exciting, or it can be soothing and calming.
Learning to play an instrument also helps people nurture discipline, foster an ability to feel comfortable in social situations and develop a profound appreciation for various genres of music. But what instruments should you learn to play?
The piano accordion is often overlooked and, some might say, is considered outdated. It shouldn’t be! Here is an instrument that dictates bass and rhythm and can really set the mood – whether stoking a party or soothing the mind.
What’s more, the accordion is a fairly lightweight instrument and is pretty easy to learn. It’s an ideal companion for a first instrument and will help your confidence as well as bring you, and others, hours of joy.
The piano is one of the most important instruments for beginners because it teaches musicians about the fundamentals of music. It has everything; melody, harmony, rhythm and dynamics. For beginners, especially children, the piano is also great for boosting instant gratification as you make steady progress.
What I love about the piano, however, is its versatility and varying levels of complexity. Pianos have a place in any piece of music. It’s not unusual for rock bands to incorporate piano in a selection of songs to add an extra dimension to their album.
The cello is another moody instrument but adds a richness of depth to a piece of music that can really pull the listener in. Like the piano, it’s no surprise that rock bands make use of the cellos full, lustrous sound.
On a personal level, the cello is also an excellent instrument that enables you to develop cognitive skills. The combination of physical and mental exercises strengthens mind and body by training the brain to forge connections between neurones.
Similar to the guitar, the little ukulele is an important instrument that helps learners understand the basics of music and develop manual dexterity. The advantage the ukulele has over a guitar is its uniqueness – and it’s quieter.
Because the ukulele is such a small instrument, it’s highly portable, and thanks to its fun and friendly nature is a social instrument that can be a real crowd pleaser. A good musician should always aim to please.
It’s fair to say the violin may not be the easiest instrument to master, but for players that intend to make a living as a musician, choosing one of the classical instruments is critical.
We could, of course, choose any number of classical instruments for this list, but the versatile violin gets our vote. The complex overtones can be broody or upbeat and is a great accompaniment to many genres of music. The violin may be a steep learning curve, but it is a curve worth mastering.
It doesn’t matter what age you are; music literally crosses time, space and culture. Even if you only play an instrument to a basic standard, learning to play an instrument will still improve your quality of life.