When I was in first grade, my parents bought me my very first guitar. I felt so exhilarated holding the new instrument in my arms, but I quickly realized something. I did not know how to play.
Today, I am proud to say I can play guitar. And no, I am not one of those people who say they can “play” but really only know the bass line to Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water.”
I can read sheet music or I can learn a song by ear. When I say I can play guitar, I mean I can really play. It is an ability I am very proud of and I have the privilege of enjoying it for the rest of my life. What truly empowered me to play beautiful music, was by taking music lessons.
Not only can I play music, but taking lessons taught me so many valuable things and provided me with many opportunities. Today, I want to share with you the many benefits of taking private music lessons in grade school.
1- I learned the value of hard work and perseverance. In life things are never just handed to you. Music lessons taught me that if you work hard consistently over time, your reward in the end will be greater.
I’m going to be honest with you. After my very first lesson I wanted to quit, but my mom made me keep it up for at least one year. Then I ended up taking lessons for seven years.
Before I knew it, I was playing more complicated music and even writing my own music. I consistently took small steps for a long period of time. Before I knew it, I had gone miles.
2- I was provided with so many opportunities to be a leader. In seventh grade, I started playing guitar on the worship team at church and I participated in the worship ensemble at school.
By eighth grade, I was leading an entire worship team for my youth group. If I didn’t know how to play guitar and sing, I would never have had that leadership opportunity.
3- I learned that it is not the end of the world if you mess up. Sometimes, you have to mess up many times before things start to get better. The key is recognizing what’s wrong and then fixing it during practice.
But if you are performing, you have to keep going and pretend like it didn’t happen. If you keep going, chances are no one will even notice or remember.
4- I learned how to be a team player. If you play an instrument, it is highly likely that you will play with other musicians at some point in your lifetime.
When you start playing with others, you quickly realize that you have to listen to what’s going on around you or else it won’t sound very pleasant.
Each person has a role and it is important to recognize what yours is. People that “mesh” well, listen to each other and make compromises for the team.
5- I learned comparison is not a way to thrive. My mom always taught me this, but my stubborn self, had to learn it the hard way.
There will ALWAYS be someone better than you.
What I learned from being a musician is that it is important to celebrate with others in their victories and to let it inspire you to do better. Comparing yourself will only lead to discouragement.
6- The ability to play music is a way to serve others. Knowing how to play guitar provided me with the honor of singing at my great grandmother’s funeral. There is something about music that ministers to the soul in a way that words cannot.
The thing I love most about playing music is when I get to minister to people. Seeing a crowd of mourners being comforted by song is one of the most heartfelt moments I have experienced.
Mourning is a deep indescribable pain in the innermost parts of your soul. The ability to nurture to a mourning soul through music is one of the greatest honors I have ever been given.
Taking music lessons at a young age has countless benefits. Not only did I develop a valuable skill, but I also learned many important life lessons. Plus, it never hurts to be able to jam out with your friends.