Why Everyone Should Learn To Play An Instrument

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by bamajazzlady, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. bamajazzlady

    bamajazzlady Mezzo Forte User

    May 16, 2011
    Is playing an instrument good for the soul? I ask as someone who has yet to experience it for myself as I'm in a difficult personal medical situation and I ask as someone whose musical experiences have been mediocre within formal education.
  2. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

    Feb 1, 2015
    Yes! Definitely!
  3. Culbe

    Culbe Forte User

    Jul 25, 2014
  4. robrtx

    robrtx Mezzo Forte User

    May 26, 2012
    First off, best to you for a full and speedy recovery. Having experienced some medical setbacks myself, I think that keeping a positive outlook can be as powerful as medicine and skilled physicians for a good outcome.

    To that end, anything that might give someone something to look forward to can be food for the soul.......
  5. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    My answer is - sometimes.

    Some people engage in activities which normally would enrich one's soul but never ever get past the surface to where they can feel it. Others go right to the heart of the matter (so to speak) immediately. I don't think this necessarily has to do with the level of accomplishment, either.

    On a related note, I don't believe that it's necessary for the performer to reach the listener emotionally as an indication that the performer him/herself has feeling. Conversely, I'm not sure that if a listener is moved spiritually, it means that the performer was actually experiencing the same. Obviously, the optimum is when both performer and listener share a spiritual bond, but I don't think that's always the case.

    Your implication of the relationship to one's health and the spiritual or healing properties of playing an instrument, I think is just personal. Some will find comfort in playing even the simplest of things, while others won't, no matter what their effort. I struggle with bad health. At times (as a matter of fact, this evening is a good example) it's a real chore trying to do anything spiritual. I'll say this, for me, it's a whole lot easier to get deep satisfaction when I'm feeling better.

    In my experience, playing trumpet is an even greater challenge to feel anything spiritual if you're just not in the mood because of the physical demands. There are times I'd much rather play recorder than trumpet. Tonight's an example. If I just wanted to feel better, I'd play some great Dutch Baroque and Renaissance music on recorder. But I've got a big band rehearsal tomorrow eve and I've been on vacation, missed both rehearsals and practicing regularly, so I have to practice tonight. I might be surprised, but I don't expect to get much out of it, emotionally.

    In other words, I think people are different and they react differently. And the instrument of their choice may also be a factor.
  6. fels

    fels Piano User

    Jun 8, 2008
    Colorado Springs
    Your question should not be presented as a "universal."

    Some (myself for sure) have found great comfort over the years in playing music. Others will find equal comfort through other activities whether "art" related or not. you could easily rephrase your "universal" as "Why everyone should run" or "exercise" or "cook."

    A fellow trumpet player commented recently after a rehearsal that he enjoyed our rehearsals together because he identifies musicality in the way we blended our parts. For me that is an affirmation of my desire to play. The rest of the day was awful, but I could reflect on his comment and feel better.

    My wife (and I ) play piano. She coaches my trumpet practice with her piano experience. It has always been a bond. 35 years ago during a particularly challenging period (outside crap) we would put the kids to bed and then play pieces where she was on piano and i was on trumpet. I don't know if our children remember this or not, but the creation of music together was therapy and wonderful.

    Way earlier, in college and as a single, i would often put my headphones on and play my 1969 Wurlitzer electric piano late into the night. Cheaper than therapy.

    I remember as a college student (junior year abroad) traveling in Europe and on the Costa del Sol in Spain playing my trumpet on the beach late at night. No crowd - no applause -- but did wonders for my soul.

    I am not gifted athletically. so i can't get the same feelings from running.

    So the answer is to find your muse and follow it and nurture it. And it will take care of you.
  7. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    If you medically are restricted - have a look at the recorder or Irish Whistle - they can be fun, and you do not have to blow hard.

    Answer: Maybe not everyone, but everyone should have the opportunity... even if just to whistle.
  8. J. Jericho

    J. Jericho Fortissimo User

    Mar 16, 2011
    Imagine not playing, and you'll have your answer.

    And don't feel alone in your medical difficulty; no one said life was easy. One thing I repeatedly found to be true is that whenever I mentioned a problem I had, the person I was talking to would trump me. It became a game of "Can you top this?", and I would always lose.

    I wish you the best of health.
  9. Yamypappy

    Yamypappy New Friend

    Jul 3, 2015
    Raleigh, NC
    Personally, I can't complain-and no one would listen in any case:D. But I can sympathize with you and your situation. As I recall, you bought a plastic trumpet because you thought a brass one too heavy. Arthritis has weaken my wife similarly. But, to your question, I think the answer is a qualified yes. Particularly when I am working on new or difficult music I don't feel at peace-and it shows. But once a piece begins to come together, I often do feel moments of peace. Sometimes, when my wife is listening, and I am playing her favorites on the organ, and she is singing along, yes then I do feel something spiritual.

  10. neal085

    neal085 Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 6, 2012
    Ft. Worth, TX
    Thank you for starting this thread, bamajazzlady, and best wishes to you in your medical situation.

    I have long been of the opinion that everyone should play an instrument if they are capable. I believe it is good and healthy for the mind, body, and spirit. Listening to certain music is definitely uplifting, and the ability to create such music is much more so. I wish I could say I experience it more often than I do...

    However, the thread triggered another thought entirely - most of Gen Pop doesn't play an instrument, so those of us that do should play with gratitude. Many of us can get discouraged at times with the trumpet, as it is a difficult instrument to play. But I can play with the knowledge that while I'm no Marsalis or Ferguson, anytime I'm together with family or friends, I'm almost always the best trumpet player in the room. And that's an encouraging thought.

    Whether it's piano or trumpet or something else, I wish you the best of luck.

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