Music Is Powerful
By Michael Scalone – Director of the Long Island School of Music
Music is powerful. It allows us to communicate with anyone in the world by transcending language. It can be a potent drug that causes the brain to release the feel good chemical dopamine. It can instantly return us to our past by sparking an old memory and also influence how we see the world.
If simply listening to music is so powerful, imagine how learning it could change your life. The benefits of learning music are never-ending and is one of the greatest gifts that you can give yourself or to someone you love.
In a world of information overload, where do you start? First, select an instrument that inspires you. For some, there has always been that one instrument that they’ve always wanted to learn. For others, a simple internet search of different instruments will inspire their selection. If you’re looking to give the gift of music to a child, involving them in the selection process will excite them and create a greater desire to learn!
If you’re still unsure, the piano is an amazing instrument to start with. It’s one of the very few instruments that you learn the full music language – both the bass clef (low sounds) and the treble clef (high sounds). Almost every other instrument exists entirely within one of the two clefs since most instruments are limited to how high or low of a sound it can produce. A majority of music colleges require their students, regardless of the instrument they specialize in, to be proficient on piano. It’s also a beautiful instrument to play as it can achieve amazing full sounds all by itself.
There is no perfect age to start learning music and no such thing as being too old. You don’t have to go far to find a ton of research that shows just how music benefits everybody. You’ll gain and grow skills along your musical journey such as discipline, concentration, perseverance, listening, social and many more. Learning music is even growing in popularity as a therapy for treating autism, stress, depression and other disorders. Learning music can assist children in their growth and development as well as help keep the mind of a senior citizen sharp. Music is a complex language that takes time to learn but you’ll have a constant set of achievements as you overcome each musical challenge as well as the reward that comes with playing for others.
There are an assortment of learning techniques out there but there is nothing like having a skilled teacher that can customize a unique program for you and keep you motivated as you work through challenges. Take your time when selecting your teacher and keep in mind that teaching is a skill itself. Many musicians mean well, but just because they can play an instrument beautifully does not mean they will be able to demonstrate it in the learning style of the student. For children, ultimately the child’s maturity level and the teacher’s ability to work with young children determines the kind of outcome that will be achieved. Using a well reputable institution such as the Long Island School of Music, ensures that you are working with a quality teacher that is consistently monitored to make sure that they are meeting high educational standards.
The more students apply themselves, the more they will achieve! Contrary to what some people think, there is no “one size fits all”. Practice is dependent on what the student wants to get out of the learning experience and how fast they want to get there. For some, a few minutes each day for a few days a week is enough to get them to where they want to go. For others, a practice schedule and a great deal of discipline will be required. A skilled teacher will guide you and tell you exactly what you need.
Ultimately, the greatest benefit of learning music is simply because it’s fun! Music is an art that you can fully express yourself in any way that you want. It is something you can escape into and can be the antidote to a bad day. Learning music provides you with a blank canvas, what will you do with it?