October 3, 2022

About the Author: Stefan Joubert

Founder of S&C and master guitarist. He loves teaching guitar and believes everyone can learn to play!

Improves Your Mental Wellbeing!

Many studies have been conducted in various universities around the world on the effects that music can have on the human brain. Music has been proven to stimulate different parts of both sides of the brain, and how these effects can help to reduce stress, lower chances of depression and reduce seizures, as well as improving cognitive and motor skills. Listening to music even stimulates the brain for patients of severe Alzheimer’s who are otherwise unresponsive in the later stages, causing their eyes to light up and for them to make physical movements. Even if you aren’t learning an instrument yourself, simply listening to music on a daily basis will improve your mental health significantly and help you focus on the things that matter. Think about it, how boring would a week without hearing any music at all be?

male guitarist practising

Setting Goals

So if simply listening to music can have positive effects on the human brain, why should you bother going to the effort of learning an instrument also? One thing that listening to music won’t give you is the ability to set goals, which is something that is a major factor to learning the guitar! When learning any instrument, you are constantly setting yourself goals both big and small, to ensure that you are on track to slowly and constantly improving. This could be to learn the guitar solo of “Master of Puppets” within the next month, or could be something much more simple such as memorising the notes of the low E string from the 1st to the 12th fret. Whatever it is, achieving this goal will give you a great sense of achievement, and will improve your overall mood drastically outside of playing your guitar in your work and personal life. Human beings thrive on accomplishing goals, which is evident across a variety of different extra curricular activities such as sport/fitness/exploring new places/playing video games/making a coffee table in your garage.

One thing that all of these activities have in common is that they require you to set goals! You may want to reach a certain body weight from going to the gym, or save enough money to explore on a European holiday, or you want to complete a certain level in a video game, or you want to finish making that coffee table before Christmas! The guitar can also give you many other goals such as learning your favourite songs, learning how to read music, training your ear to learn songs by ear, or understanding music theory. Setting goals is important for the purpose of challenging yourself and feeling good after you achieve something.

man playing the guitar at home

Gives You A Hobby!

On the topic of extra curricular activities, having hobbies outside of your work and personal life is extremely important to your mental health, as this will help you switch off from the pressures of day to day life and give you something to look forward to. After a stressful day of work the last thing that people will want to do is have to think about all the things they have to do the next day. Instead, why not jam along to your favourite songs through the stereo and block out the rest of the world for a moment. Even as little as five minutes can help to boost your mood, so don’t think that you have to block out large chunks of time each day! Even picking up the guitar to play one of your favourite tunes before you leave for work in the morning can start you off on a positive mindset and set the tone for the rest of your day. Of course when you do have larger amounts of time, sitting there for an hour or two with the guitar will really clear your mind and activate different parts of your brain that perhaps aren’t being triggered at work. This will really help you unwind and improve all other avenues of your life.

man playing the acoustic guitar

Time Flies When You Are Having Fun!

Music is proven to being able to change your ability to perceive time, meaning that the hours can fly by when you are learning the guitar! This really allows you to switch off from everything else that may be happening in your life and just immerse yourself in the guitar for a moment. I (usually) always walk away from a practice session feeling positive and that I have achieved something, since the songs that I had been practising would have (hopefully!) sounded better once I finished up the practice session which gives me a feeling of achievement. I don’t know what I would’ve done without the guitar and music throughout my high school years and other challenging times, since the way that I always like to switch off is through playing guitar and to not think about anything else in that moment.

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