Why a Lockdown Is The Perfect Time To Learn A New Instrument
2021 is moving along at full steam ahead as we’ve passed the one-year anniversary of when countries began to enter into lockdown to protect citizens from the Coronavirus. By now, the novelty of Zoom Hangouts, Netflix Binge-watching and arts & crafts ideas have well-worn off and we imagine you’re looking for something new to occupy your time.
If you’re anything like us, we love to learn new instruments and we believe there’s no perfect time to learn a new instrument – except for right now.
Living in lockdown certainly has its gloomy days, but hopefully, by starting new and exciting projects we can improve those days by getting your brain and body active. Before you know it, lockdown will have come to an end and you’ll be ready to pursue a new and exciting career in the music industry. Or have a new musical hobby that is something you did just for you.
At WeJam, we’ve set our feelings aside about how we feel towards the gloom of lockdown and we’re here today to share ideas on how you should spend your time in lockdown learning a new instrument. So let’s get to it!
Practice As Much Or As Little As You Wish
If we’re being 100% honest, no one has been making the bed every day or putting a wash on as often as we did before lockdown. The main reason being is that friends and family can’t just show up at your door unannounced so there’s no expectation to keep everything neat and tidy all the time. Lockdown has opened our eyes to the fact that if you don’t want to do something, you can push it back as far as you need to until you’re ready to tackle it.
On the flipside of that, anything you want to put 100% of your time and effort into you can do. If you feel like setting your alarm at 7 am so you can practice music all day, then you can do that and there will be little to no interruptions.
Additionally, just have a think about all the minutes you have spare because you don’t have to commute to work, arrive 20 minutes early to work, or pack your bag for school the next day. All these minutes add up and you can use the time you would have spent doing these things to squeeze in some practicing time on an instrument.
Introduce Some Structure Into Your Lockdown Life
If you find yourself in a position where your lockdown routine is non-existent, then the introduction of a musical instrument will re-introduce some structure into your life. Particularly if you’re on furlough, I imagine you’ve watched every episode of The Crown or Prison Break at least twice, so you’re close to the end of your list of things to keep you sane. Consider picking up an instrument and setting yourself a schedule that you can stick to everyday.
A book from the 1960s by Dr. Maxwell Matz called “Psycho-Cybernetics” states that it takes around 21 days for a habit to form in someone’s mind. So let’s just think about that for a moment. If you started sticking to a routine from today, in less than a month you’ll have a new schedule in your life that is fully ingrained in your mind and is as natural to you as washing yourself or getting dressed. This process happens subconsciously, so you won’t have to actively be thinking about forming a habit as your mind will do all the hard work for you.
Also, don’t be too deterred by the prospect of having to massively dip into your savings in order to buy yourself an instrument. There’s an entire worldwide web out there to help you find the best instruments for the lowest deals, or you can take a look at one of our articles where we look for the best instrument for beginners under the price of £100!
Keep Your Brain Active
Like any skill, learning to play an instrument is both incredibly rewarding and challenging. There’s a certain level of mental gymnastics you have to master in order to combine concentration, creativity, memory, problem-solving and even maths. However, there are a great many skills you will pick up along the journey of mastering an instrument:
- Increased Reaction Speed
- Improved Memory
- Increased Coordination
- Improved Concentration
- Stress relief
Even if it’s just for a few minutes a day, as long as you can find some time to regularly practice your new instrument you will start to see all of these benefits reveal themselves. Scientific research has proven that musicians brains were more adept at problem-solving than non-musicians brains. This may also be the reason that musicians perform better on tests and quizzes than those who don’t play an instrument.
Reveal Your Talents When You Think You’re Ready
Another reason why a lockdown is a great time to learn an instrument is because you have more time to get confident in your ability before people see you perform. This way, you’re in a much better position to reveal your talents to the world when you are comfortable to do so. Some people actually prefer to dive in at the deep end and they can be practicing in their room one day, and then performing on the street in front of the public the next day. Those people are truly brave and good luck to them in their career, but we can’t all be like that.
The benefit of a lockdown is that you get to dedicate hours and hours of effort into mastering an instrument, and then when it is time to reveal your talents you can shamelessly tell people you only picked up the guitar last week. The best part is that no one was there with you to deny it!
On the flipside, if you want to learn a new instrument just for you then that’s fine also. Here at WeJam we believe that if Lockdowns have taught us anything it is that sometimes you need to do what makes you happy because life is fleeting and precious. So, if you want to spend all the money you’ve saved during lockdown on a beautiful drum set, then we’d expect nothing less than for you to buy that drum set and we wish you the best of luck as you develop this talent and have tons of fun along the journey.
If All Goes Wrong…
So we can cover all grounds possible (and we truly hope your musical journey doesn’t end up like this), if you end up turning your back on your new instrument you can do so without judgment. One of the best things we’ve found about Lockdown is that there’s no one around to see all the weird stuff you get up to when you’re entertaining yourself. So if you do buy yourself an instrument that was advertised as the best instrument for beginners, but it ends up being the hardest thing you’ve ever done, simply process the refund and act like the whole thing never happened!
Ideally, we don’t want things to turn out this way and there’s so much support for beginner musicians on the internet right now it’s incredible. There are videos made by talented people from all over the world that have a passion to share their musical knowledge with others, so make sure to take advantage of the free lessons they’re offering you.
Our Final Verdict
Some of us will come out of lockdown having learned new talents, others have taken some time to connect with themselves or friends and family, and others have continued to work through the Pandemic as best as they can. What’s important is that you do what makes you happy and if you don’t know what that is yet, then pick up an instrument and see if your next adventure is with music.
On the topic of your next adventure: if you’re looking for an immersive, live jamming experience that you can share with friends then take a look at the jam sessions at WeJam. Not only are our jam centres COVID-19 compliant, in line with current government guidance, but they are designed to be considerate for people of all musical ability.
Regardless if you play an instrument or not, our sessions accommodate each member of your group. Participants will control their own tablet which will display colourful blocks on screens that represent real notes in a song you’ll replicate of your choice. Each member of your group is responsible for their own part of the song and as the session goes on and your confidence grows, we guarantee that you’ll be a much better musician than when you first arrived at our doors.
Follow the link here to take a look at our Jam experiences, where we take groups between 3 and 6 people and then turn them into rock legends!