Things To Learn This Summer: Learn to Play an Instrument.
School (or College, or University) is officially OUT for summer! Bring on the long, lazy, (hopefully sunny) days of hanging out with your friends, chilling on the beach and generally giving yourself a break from the books.
While some time away from academic study definitely does everyone some good, if you’re anything like us, too much time letting your brain switch off ends up a little, well, boring!
With weeks and weeks to fill and a sudden lack of structure to your day, what should be some of the best time of your life can end up dragging and, shock horror, you may actually end up wishing for the holidays to end!
While no-one is suggesting you go to summer school for the hell of it or spend days in the library, using your time outside of the classroom to pick up some new skills is a great way to fill those long summer days.
Summer is an awesome time to try new things, but it doesn’t last forever (shocking right?) so make the most of it while you can! You could really get into your photography, try to pick up some Spanish before your holiday to the Costa Del Sol, or tick something off your bucket list like FINALLY learning to play the guitar.
Summer is the perfect opportunity to expand your horizons, meet new people, and figure out a bit more about you and the things you’re interested in. To help you make the most of your summer holiday, we’re running a series of blogs helping you to decide what you want to learn, and how you want to learn it this summer.
In this blog, we’re covering one of the most rewarding, inspiring and universally appealing skills - learning to play an instrument.
Learn to play an instrument
One of the most envy-inducing skills a person can have, learning to play an instrument has all kinds of benefits. We won’t get into the science here, but studies have shown that playing an instrument actually makes you smarter! That’s smarter as in generally more intelligent and quicker to learn in addition to enhancing cognitive skills like concentration, creativity and patience (it takes time to get really good).
Playing an instrument also boosts your confidence and sense of achievement - particularly when you FINALLY master that tricky chord combination that you were stuck on. You get health benefits ranging from exercise (particularly if you play the drums) and respiratory strength (especially you saxophonists) to stress relief. Possibly best of all, you get a boost to your happiness and potentially your social life.
Music is a great communicator, a universal language, and playing an instrument is a wonderful way to bring people together, create a positive atmosphere and get to know other people who share your passion for music. Whether you end up joining a band or simply bringing your ukulele along to a friends BBQ, learning an instrument is one of the most rewarding (and impressive) skills you could gain this summer.
Ok, you’re convinced, you want to be the next Edd Sheeran, Joni Mitchell, Billy Joel, Ringo Star, Sarah Chang or John Coltrane (apologies if your musical idol wasn’t mentioned). The next question is how to kickstart your musical journey. The good news is that there are loads of options when it comes to learning an instrument, with something to suit every goal and budget.
Musical Websites and Online Resources
Whether you're just starting your musical journey or already have some skills under your belt that you want to build upon, the internet will always be able to help you get closer to your goal. There are some incredible online resources out there offering everything from DJ-ing advice or Music theory to lessons on guitar, piano, drums and more.
It’s well worth spending the time looking into which resources meet your learning style, goals, budget, and of course which instrument you want to play. Sites can vary a lot in terms of quality, so to help you get started we’ve selected a few Musical Sites that get the Tutor House seal of approval:
Best for Piano and Keyboard: [__Playground Sessions__](https://www.playgroundsessions.com/ "Playground Sessions")
Best for Drums: [__Online Drummer__](https://www.onlinedrummer.com/ "Online Drummer")
Best for Guitar: Learn how to play guitar with JustinGuitar.com | JustinGuitar.com
Best for Violin: Online Courses - Anytime, Anywhere | Udemy
Best for Music Theory: Get started | Learning Music (Beta) (ableton.com)
With these online resources, all you need to get practising is a screen, wifi and your instrument, making them fantastic for fitting music practice around your summer schedule.
Yes, you read that correctly, you really can learn an instrument using an app. Those genius tech developers recognised that not everyone has the time, money or desire to invest in face-to-face music lessons. Equally, there are plenty of people looking for alternative ways to practice with a little guidance.
Enter the music apps. There are loads of options out there for every kind of instrument you can think of. A few of our (free) favourites include Yousician, GarageBand and Simply Piano, but shop around until you find one that works for you.
Apps offer everything from practice reading music to recording and giving feedback on how you’re playing. So, whatever musical skill you’re working on, there’s sure to be a Music App that’s perfect for you. Make sure you shop around and find one that meets your goals and learning style. For more information on some of the top apps for learning an instrument, check out [this article](https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/03/learn-a-new-musical-instrument-with-these-10-great.html "Ten Top Apps To Learn An Instrument") by paste magazine.
Music lessons with a private Music tutor:
If you’re serious about getting good at an instrument, or you’re totally new to playing, the best way to learn is with private music lessons. While there are tonnes of techy tools out there to help you learn, nothing can yet rival the experience, knowledge and passion of a music teacher.
Music tutors can make sure you’re learning the proper technique from day one, explain in detail anything you are struggling with, and personalise your learning experience so that your musical strengths are enhanced and your weaknesses overcome. What’s more, when you find someone that you really gel with, learning that instrument becomes even more enjoyable.
Booking music lessons with a private tutor is totally flexible. Whether you're just starting out and need a few lessons to help you get started, or you need some extra support to overcome a particular musical hurdle, a private tutor can help you achieve your goals. Equally, if you want to invest in consistent lessons to improve as quickly and seamlessly as possible, Tutor House have a whole range of music tutors who will be able to meet your precise requirements.
Music lessons can be in-person or online (ahh the wonders of skype) and are available at a range of prices, so getting the support you need is affordable and accessible to everyone. If you’re really passionate about music and learning an instrument, there is no better option than music lessons with a private tutor.
Thank you YouTube music tutorials. The perfect filler between music lessons (or the nearest replacement if you’ve opted to try and self-teach) there are literally hundreds of quality music tutorials for every instrument and level. Total beginner on the trumpet? There’s a YouTube video for that! Having problems mastering the G scale on the keyboard? There’s a YouTube video for that! Desperate to finally master Wonderwall on the guitar? Well OBVIOUSLY there’s a YouTube video for that.
Of course, YouTube can never quite compare to personalised teaching. The teacher can’t see what you’re doing, correct or congratulate you and you do have to go through a fair few rubbish videos (or super annoying teachers!) before you find what you’re looking for. However, as a FREE resource that visually and audibly covers pretty much every musical lesson you could ask for, YouTube should definitely feature in your instrument learning toolbox.
Prepare to see this one a lot. It seems obvious but it is worth saying, practice, practice and PRACTICE is the only way you’ll really master an instrument. While music lesson apps and YouTube tutorials are all great resources, the route to musical mastery lies in man-hours.
The great thing about starting to learn in summer is that you’ve got plenty of time to dedicate to pinning down the basics and honing your skills. While, if you’ve chosen the piano or drums you may need to spend some time indoors (it will be worth it), there are plenty of instruments like the guitar, ukulele, violin and even saxophone that are pretty portable. Once you’ve got the hang of the basics and a couple of tunes you can spend your summer strumming away in the park, on the beach, or whatever takes your fancy.
Learning an instrument not your thing? Looking for something else to add to your skills arsenal? Check out the rest of the Summer Skills Series for more things to learn this summer.
Learn photography this summer: Photography (tutorhouse.co.uk)
Learn to speak a language this summer: French Tutors Near Me (tutorhouse.co.uk)
Learn to code this summer: Learn to code with a top coding tutor (tutorhouse.co.uk)