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Why You Should Add a Musical Instrument As a Skill Today

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois chapter.

Everyone loves music, but most don’t love to learn how to play that music themselves. here’s The truth behind playing music with your own hands and why it could be beneficial to you.

The typical answer? Life is too short. Your life could end at any moment. Yes, I’m fully aware that means acting as if the world is ending tomorrow should result in us doing everything that we have always wanted to do, potentially including learning an instrument. If I’m being completely honest, if I had one day left to live, I would spend that day playing the piano. 

My reasoning for starting the piano is identical to every fifth grader whose parents have exceedingly high expectations for their kids: “It’s good for you.” They were convinced that putting me in piano classes would strengthen my brain and somehow make me more intelligent. There is some truth to that, but it didn’t make me want to learn any more. Still, those first few classes weren’t up to me as my parents made out a hefty check just to cut me a deal. 

“Five classes. Take those five classes and if you still want to quit when you’re done, you can.”

I went to that first class with a horrible mindset and left that class with a horrible mindset. Nothing about the piano came naturally to me. The left hand was a struggle and the right hand was supposed to move faster than my brain could comprehend a music sheet. The third class was even longer than the second. Nothing was getting better, or at least not until the fourth class. 

“You’re going to be learning how to play Someone Like You: a song written by Adele.”

The stereotype with piano was that it’s only associated with classical music, so I became very confused. Playing the piano was not supposed to be fun. It was supposed to be a chore, like doing laundry or washing the dishes. But it wasn’t until I learned that song that I realized that playing the piano, or any instrument, isn’t a chore: it is an escape. The second I learned that song and started playing it was when I started feeling the way that I have felt for the past decade. 


We live in an extremely anxiety-provoking world filled with due dates, deadlines and expectations. Many suffer from negative environments and/or mental illness. In a society filled with a lot of bad, instruments somehow make it all good. They give people the ability to leave their problems and just…play. Play whatever they want, however they want to. Anything takes time to learn, but instruments are worth all the time and all the effort. It doesn’t matter if it’s the piano, guitar, trombone, saxophone, or even the tambourine. Instruments are worth learning. 

So my answer? Life isn’t just too short, it’s too hard. There aren’t any expectations, deadlines or due dates when it comes to you and the music. Pick a song that matches your mood and learn it. It’s that simple. There is no stress, no anxiety, no negativity: just you and the notes to a music sheet of your preference. 

I recommend a piece from Harry Styles’ Fine Line album.

Hi! I'm Jasmin Chamberlain, a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, just looking to write what she wants and have fun!