The new year is often a time when people decide to make resolutions and start new hobbies. These can often be plans to stop smoking or to lose weight. It might be a new fitness regime, to learn a new language or take up water-colors. Most of these resolutions fail and hobbies get forgotten about or are replaced as the person gets older. There is one hobby that you can take up at any age and it can grow with you for your whole life; music.
The beauty of being a music lover is that it is everywhere. You can hear songs played publicly, on the radio, on your smartphone, or in the car. You can sing in the shower or go to an open mic night. Music can be a cheap or expensive hobby and there are a mixture of facets to it.
Why take up music as a hobby?
The wonderful thing about music is that you can choose from a whole range of options. If you have a love of singing and a talent for that then you can develop this area. Alternatively, you could take up an instrument and learn to play. Many people start with one instrument and end up knowing how to play several.
If you don’t feel that your talents lie in this direction then you could look at other areas such as production, sampling, and mixing. Radio, live music, and deejaying offer other avenues too.
Why is music such a good hobby to have?
It is a hobby that lets you play alone in your room or you can play with others and it can even lead on to a career. Some of the biggest names in music now practiced at home and then put their music out on the internet on sites like MySpace – remember that?
Music enables you to join a group at school or to actually start a rock band. You can have fun at karaoke and open mic nights or perform for an audience. How you use music is your choice.
It is a hobby that engages your brain. Research shows that music can improve brain function and information retention. It lets you be creative and write your own lyrics and songs. Music also lifts moods, yours and others. When you hear a song you love it changes how you feel and by performing you can bring joy to others.
What are your choices?
This depends on where you see your hobby going and where your interests lie. Do you want to make a career in music production or are you content to play guitar at home as a private hobby?
You may find you try more than one avenue before picking an instrument or a particular area to concentrate on.
When you decide what you want to do with music you will then need to know how to go about attaining it. So, here are some thoughts.
Picking an instrument to play
There are different considerations when thinking about your first instrument. Firstly, are you choosing an instrument for you or your child? How big are they? Do they have a preference for an instrument?
Many people don’t pick an instrument because they think it will be too difficult to learn or they will have to take lessons. These days learning an instrument is easier than ever. There are online courses and resources. If you wanted to break down a song to learn if you can find websites that help with this. For example, if you wanted to know Adele chords you simply upload the song and the website breaks the chords down for you.
Now you know that learning is much easier these days it is time to look at what instrument to choose.
Best instrument choices
There is an unbelievable range of instruments available to learn to play. However, three options stand out as are the piano, guitar, and drums. It should be mentioned that violins are also very popular for children. Purchasing one needs care too, if you are looking to buy an instrument online make sure you see it physically somewhere first.
Pianos and guitars are good choices because they can help the player to learn to read music also. Looking at these individually.
This is often the most popular choice for someone who cannot decide which instrument to choose. Many children begin their musical hobby on the piano. The advantage of this instrument is that it can be played on its own with no accompaniment or as part of a group. It suits a whole range of music genres and has been used in groups from The Beatles to Blur and even sampled in old school house music – Strings of Life.
There is a very good secondhand market so there is no need to buy an expensive piano. It is also suitable for children from around the age of 5 onwards.
This is the choice of instrument for many budding musicians. It is a good instrument to learn for adults and children alike. Like the piano, it can be played alone or within a group. It is also used in various genres from pop to rock to blues. You can start with an acoustic guitar if you prefer or go for an electric one instead.
Of course, you could try to learn the electric guitar’s cousin, the overlooked bass guitar. Think about what genre of music you like and what you personally want to play. For children you need to make sure their hands are big enough and strong enough; somewhere after the age of 6 should be ok.
Do you find yourself drumming along to songs absentmindedly, or indeed, on purpose? Then drums might be your natural choice. This is a challenging instrument that might not suit children until they are a bit older, perhaps around 11 years old. It requires hand and feet coordination, rhythm, and a certain degree of strength and fitness depending on what style you are playing.
What about other areas of music?
Assuming you have either learned your favorite instrument or you have no interest in playing then you may want to look at other musical options. It may be that you are in love with music but don’t have any natural aptitude for it or you may be looking to take music with you into a future career. Here are some other musical possibilities:
Music blog writing
If you love bands and writing then consider combining them and making your own blog. You can put information about local gigs, latest releases by favorite artists, and other music features. Help musicians out by running classifieds about band opportunities and linking to resources such as lessons and websites to learn chords for guitar songs. You can even run advertising and make a small income for yourself.
If you have an interest in technology and understand how music is put together then a career can be made behind the scenes. Look into what qualifications you may need but also try to get work experience or free intern work in local studios. Experience is often more important than degrees in these types of fields. Look at some of the biggest producers like Dr. Dre who began with friends and taught himself.
Organize band nights
Hook up with a local venue and run your own band nights. Find local talent and promote them with organized gigs. If you are playing in a band or performing solo you can add yourself to the list too.
If you have an area that buskers or public performers are allowed then use this to practice in front of an audience. You may have to thicken your skin but you will find most people receptive to free music being played as they go about their day.
There isn’t enough room to explain the many ways that music can be used as a hobby or a career here. Music brings joy to people from something as simple as singing in the shower to performing in front of thousands. Children love creating and adults can take up an instrument at any point in life. It might just be the perfect hobby.