During recent weeks, the Coronavirus disease has prevented people from participating in everyday activities, such as going to school or work. Throughout these dangerous times, people are staying home for longer periods, which can cause them to feel trapped and uncomfortable. Therefore, people are thinking of new ideas to keep themselves busy and productive. Many enjoy watching movies, baking, reading books, or doing other enjoyable activities that they could not do during their normal busy schedules. Trying out new things can be helpful and beneficial over the quarantine; I encourage people to start learning a new instrument.
Personally, the quarantine has allowed me to spend more time playing the guitar. Recording myself playing and thinking of ways to improve, has allowed me to better make use of this long break from attending classes. Even though practicing at school or with my friends is near impossible, spending more time at home and learning new techniques to improve, can help me become a better musician.
For people who are interested in learning a new instrument, there are several ways to get started. After choosing an instrument of your choice, listening or watching people play that specific instrument can help you to visually learn how to hold the instrument or play specific notes. There are various instruments on sale, and a recommendation for beginners is to play a fairly easy instrument like the keyboard or ukelele. Despite their size, keyboards are not very expensive, and a ukulele is a common instrument that beginners play because of their small size and easy storage. If choosing an instrument is difficult, it may be easier to first decide what category of music you want to play.
Learning how to play an instrument is a difficult task. It’s important to know the basic foundational steps. Knowing what posture to sit or stand in, where you place your fingers, and how to tune the instrument are just a few core foundational skills. The next step is to produce the correct sound. For instruments like the keyboard, this is easy to do, you simply press a key. However, for wind or string instruments, how you blow or where you place your fingers can have a significant impact on the sound you produce. People also may assume that they have to play boring or simple songs when they first start learning an instrument, but that is not always the case. You can begin playing songs like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” but there are many simple tunes from video games and TV shows that can be more enjoyable to learn. Starting with practicing scales and playing different notes can help you improve, leading you to becoming a better musician.
There are many online websites and tutors to help you make progress while learning an instrument. By using these resources to practice, you can make progress towards becoming a better musicon. I hope this can encourage many people to start learning a new instrument or try something they would not regularly attempt during this quarantine season, as it is a skill you will have for the rest of your life.
Rachel Lee, 10th grade
The Science Academy