Category Archives: Learning

Learn Music at Home in this Pandemic

Smiling oman with headphones on

Why Learn Music at Home?

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed many lives. It put limits on socializing, traveling, and going to classes. So many things were avoided or postponed that it may affect a person’s physical health, mental health, and their well-being. It is important to find things that will help you take care of your mental health during these challenging times.

There are many ways to cope with feelings of stress or isolation, one of which is learning music at home. Did you know that playing an instrument benefits your brain?

Music in Human Evolution

Music has been around for a long time, playing an essential role in the life cycle of humans. Evidence was discovered that ancient ancestors made flutes from animal bones and used stones and woods as percussion. They used music to bond socially and to calm babies. Our ancestors developed music as one of their ways of communicating and for ritual and religious practices.

During the early years of music, most songs had a religious theme and were used for worship. Now, we also have contemporary music. The beats, rhythms, tempo, lyrics, and popularity of different genres changed through the years. Also, the way people access and listen to music has changed. Music transitioned from reels, phonograph records,8 track tapes, cassette tapes, CDs, and radio to headphones, earbuds, and Bluetooth devices. Now, people can easily listen to their favorite songs using mobile phones. You can sing along with emotional or upbeat lyric videos on YouTube or find Karaoke versions of the songs you like. Choosing inspirational music for adults or for teens can even be used to help your mood. Music can be a healthy choice that can decrease anxiety and stress.

Make up for Lost Time

Although listening to music is good, it is even better if you learn to play music, to build your brain power, creativity, and to express yourself. It is never too late to learn to play an instrument. It is possible at any age. During this pandemic, many people spend a lot of time at home, scrolling on social media sites and playing games. Instead, you could use your computer, smartphone, or other gadgets to go online to learn to play music. Becoming a musician will help you develop new skills and can fulfill your long-time dream of learning to play music.

Choose an Instrument

If you want to learn music, the first step is to pick a musical instrument. Something that you are interested in learning, and find the best instrument for you. You might want to visit a music store to see what is available, and how much they would cost to rent or buy. Choose an instrument that you really like because it will help you keep going during the times when it seems too difficult. If you are interested in string instruments, you may want to try the ukelele first before a violin or cello.

Consider the type of songs and music you love to listen to. Choose an instrument that you could play your favorite songs with. Or, you could choose to use your voice as your instrument and have singing lessons.

Consider buying a music book that has some easier versions of songs that you like, to help you be inspired and have fun during your practice. It takes time and requires so much patience that you will want to do everything you can to stay motivated and happy.

Find A Teacher

After you have decided on the instrument, you can also look for a teacher who will help you learn and develop your new skill. During this pandemic, if it is not safe to meet people outside, you can still study your instrument at home with the help of a teacher who will give a lesson and interact with you virtually. Sometimes, online lessons may be at a lower price than face-to-face lessons.

If you cannot find local music teachers that will help you play an instrument, you can try enrolling at a music school that offers online music or voice lessons. Various schools offer music lessons online, such as Sage Music. The teachers at Sage Music are supportive, patient, and professional musicians that give individual attention to learn how to play your chosen instrument. Having the support and guidance of a music teacher will make a difference in your journey to learn music.

Learn Music Online

Restrictions from the Covid-19 pandemic are not a hindrance to becoming productive and learning something new. If you wish to learn music, you can do that online. With high-quality music lessons, your musical skills grow and improve. As you achieve your goals, you gain self-confidence, feel great about your music, and have fun.

Find Ways to Cope

Accept that the pandemic has brought a lot of changes to people’s lives. Music can help many people to cope with stress and anxiety. Music can help people overcome mental health issues and create a sense of community, belonging, and participation. Virtual performances can be beautiful and inspiring for performers and for those who are able to watch and listen.

Conclusion

If you have anxiety and are feeling stressed, consider learning music to help improve your sense of well-being in spite of the pandemic. Start and learn music now, as a way of coping, relaxing, and developing your skills.

 

Blog Post #27 added 10-27-21 by Guest Contributor Curtis Dean of Sage Music.   Edited by Mary Knutson of Health Vista, Inc.

Reflections: Ways to Learn at an Older Age

Challenging myself to learn:learn with book, hands and pencil

I always valued and enjoyed lifelong learning. But, now I am over 60.  I wonder if I can learn at an older age?  As I age, I feel more like slowing down than “ramping up”.  I am not very confident about learning new skills. And, I am not sure I should take on any big new technology projects, even though it was my plan to do more with my website now that I am semi-retired.

Gaining Confidence:

I took a huge step when I decided not to renew my website maintenance contract (because of the expense).  It was very scary to imagine doing it myself.  I talked to my family and some friends about it, and they seemed to think I could do it. But, I knew I needed lots of support as I learn at this older age.

I chose to switch to GoDaddy webhosting because they take care of some of the maintenance tasks, and they have 24/7 customer service by phone. They seemed very patient and helpful during the transition when  I called many times for many reasons. One of them said he could tell by my voice that I was a “mature” person and he was impressed that I was doing this.  Even though it was like saying he thought I was old, It was nice to hear some positive words during stressful times when problems needed to be solved.

Learning at an older age:

I watched some tutorials and videos, but that didn’t seem to be enough for me.  I looked for an online class to take, but didn’t find what I needed.  Thankfully, I found a book I had called the WordPress: The Missing Manual (2014).  I bought it many years ago but hadn’t read it yet.  I know it is outdated, but it is a great overview so I can understand what WordPress is, how to manage it, and how to maintain it.  And, it gives some step-by-step directions!

Understand Your Individual Ways of Learning:

There is a lot more to learning than you may have realized.  People have different ways of learning.  At any age, it helps if you make a plan to optimize your readiness to learn.  You can read my Ready to Learn handout at https://7nsf19.p3cdn1.secureserver.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/ReadyToLearnHandout.pdf

I won’t be adding new web pages anytime soon, but I am learning a lot. So far, I have gotten through most of the information about creating and editing blogs. I found out that I didn’t do them exactly correctly in the past. Next, I will start reading about web pages so I can organize things better and improve my health resources website at healthvista.net .

Practicing:

I am writing this post as a “practice session”.  If I read about something without using the information, I usually don’t remember what I read.  My plan is to practice as I go through the book, so I can learn better.  There was another reason for creating this post, I wanted to practice finding and using some free stock pictures that are not copyrighted.  I was glad to find more images for future projects on Freeimages.com, Pixabay, and Unsplash,

Growing toward success:

I know that I am gaining skills and confidence as I challenge myself.  Even if I make mistakes along the way and it takes a lot of time, I will be learning and growing.  Instead of learning less when I am older, maybe retirement is the best time to learn.  Hopefullly, there will be more time to spend learning. And, as I learn at an older age, I have more wisdom to know what help I will need to reach my goals.

Here’s to this one small success!  I am on my way to learning how to maintain my website.  I was able to create a blog post correctly!

celebration picture of 2 champagne glasses

Blog post # 19 created 5-24-20 by Mary Knutson and edited 6-9-20

Photos by Piotr Lewandowski and Wynand Van Neikerk from FreeImages,com