Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything

It is proven that playing a musical instrument (they didn’t mention to what standard!?) has an overwhelming impact on our lives. Both physically and psychologically. Music has a powerful positive effect on our emotions, relationships, brain development and health. You don’t need to be a scientist to confirm this as fact.

Regularly playing an instrument teaches you perseverance, discipline, and responsibility, important skills for accomplishing anything in life. Playing music also fills you with a sense of accomplishment. After all, you should feel good about performing a song, strumming some chords, or entertaining others or simply yourself, on your wonderful new instrument!

Most of all though, playing music makes people happy! There are few pleasures in this world that can be compared to the euphoria you feel from sitting down with your own instrument and letting your soul flow through your body and out across the freeing flowing chords of a musical piece. Discover the stress-relieving power of playing your own tune. Note; stress relief not applicable to Bag Pipes!!

Adults starting out on a musical journey gain tremendously from playing a musical instrument. Music has been shown to reduce stress, increase productivity, develop creativity, and build confidence, and most importantly can improve brain activity and well-being, with some research finding older musicians benefitting and delaying the onset of dementia. So studying an instrument will be easier than studying any other subject since you’re growing your brain power as you practice and learn!

“As people get older, for example, we know their reaction times get slower. So if we know that playing a musical instrument increases reaction times, then maybe playing an instrument will be helpful for them.”

brain-music-benefitsOther Ways Learning an Instrument Strengthens Your Brain

  1. Strengthens bonds with others.Yes, it is satisfying to practise on your own, but there is no better feeling than applause from an audience, or a “well played mate” from a fellow musician followed by a celebratory ‘tipple’ after a concert (or if you’re a Brass Band Tuba player…..many pints of real ale!!)
  2. Strengthens memory and reading skills. The Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University states that this is because music and reading are related via common neural and cognitive mechanisms. (Tuba section please ignore!)
  3. Musical training strengthens the brain’s’ executive function. Executive function covers critical tasks like processing and retaining information, controlling behaviour, making, and problem-solving.
  4. Musicians can process multiple things at once. As mentioned above, this is because playing music forces you to process multiple senses at once. This can lead superior multisensory skills.
  5. Musical performance increases blood flow in your brain. Studies have found that short bursts of musical training increase the blood flow to the left hemisphere of the brain.
  6. Music reduces stress and depression.A study of cancer patients found that listening and playing music reduced anxiety. Another study revealed that music therapy lowered levels of depression and anxiety.
  7. Musical training strengthens the brain’s’ executive function. Executive function covers critical tasks like processing and retaining information, controlling behaviour, making, and problem-solving.
  8. Playing Music makes you happy!

So what are you waiting for? Don’t be worried about playing a ‘bum’ note or the cost of the instrument! Do it for you.

Many people still regard music making as an elitist pastime or profession. Terminology doesn’t help our argument, with words such as ‘conservatoire’, ‘concerto’, ‘orchestral repertoire’ and ‘allegro’ (which was also a dreadful car made by Austin in the 70’s!!). If you want a Stradivarius violin you better pick the correct 6 numbers this Saturday to fulfil that dream. But if you are a realist with a passion to learn to play a musical instrument, you have arrived at the right place without doubt.

Here at Normans Musical Instruments we have the largest selection and choice of instruments suitable for beginners and experienced musicians in the UK and Europe. We believe in only supplying quality, value for money instruments to our valued customers, with 99% of the instruments we supply gaining the full 5* reviews on TrustPilot. So, you name an instrument you fancy learning, and I’ll give you an outstanding value for money recommendation.  Don’t believe me……..well let me prove it!

piano playing“I’d like to play a keyboard or piano…”

I’d recommend the Axus AXP25 Keyboard Pack or the Yamaha EZ220 Keyboard Pack due to the in built lessons and light up keys! A bonus when learning to play a keyboard. If you fancy more of a furniture piece and something a little more substantial, I’d recommend a piano. The Axus AXD2 is a great budget option that has all the features and still looks great. Or you may prefer a staple Yamaha YDP143 Digital Piano for it’s reputation and looks. If you fancy going old school, you don’t want any digital features, just a piano. I’d recommend the Yamaha B1 Upright Piano.

playing-flute“Mmmmm, how about a flute”?

Easy. How about the beautiful Sonata Student Flute featuring an easy response, superb build quality, lovely tone and a silver plated body. Also available as a pack.

You cannot go wrong. If you want a slightly better quality instrument, then the Trevor James TJ10X MKIV Flute would serve you well with its advanced head-joint features, double skin pads and triple plated finish.

 

playing-saxophone“Ok, what about that beautiful instrument from Gerry Rafferty’s ‘Baker Street’”?

Oh, you mean a Saxophone. Which one do you prefer, the Alto, Tenor, Soprano or Baritone; we stock them all, hundreds in fact, every shape, size and price range!

The Stagg Eb Alto Saxophone comes with everything you need to produce the seductive sound we all know and love.

brass-band“Actually I would love to join a local Brass Band”

No problem. You can’t beat the sonorous sound of a Brass Band, from the melodic mainstay of the Cornet, such as the renowned Edgware Concert Series,or if you want to move down a few chairs (it’s not a demotion, just a different section!), the wonderful Edgware Tenor HornNo? You want to demonstrate your musicality through size then? Want something bigger? Well, it’s got to be the lowest pitched instrument, the Tuba.

You will not find a better Tuba than our top-of-the-range Besson Sovereign BE994 BBb Tuba in Silver, but if that is stretching your budget, you can still buy a brilliant tuba in the shape of the Edgware Concert Series Eb Tuba. I know the tuba is a lot more expensive than many instruments, but if you consider the workmanship and overall amount of materials that has gone into the manufacture, it is an absolute bargain and a great sounding instrument. P.S. Beer is not included in the price, this must be purchased privately, or by another Tuba player!

trombone“The thing is, I’m not sure what type of band I want to join; I want an instrument which is versatile”

Good thinking, you want to practice then find a band or group to play in. In that case, have you thought about the trombone? You will find a trombone in many different styles of bands and groups; orchestras, wind bands, brass bands, big bands, jazz bands, marching bands, pop bands, ska bands, reggae bands…….you get the picture!! Also, If you want to be the loudest with the most impressive sound I would recommend the Trombone (I am not biased……much!).

My first offering is made of plastic. Yes, plastic. Here at Normans, not only can you pay with plastic, but you can also play with plastic. The pBones are made using the most modern manufacturing process and sonically developed plastic moulding techniques to produce a mini trombone which out-performs its price by a country mile! Oh, and they come in an array of colours for a visually entertaining impact.

If you are wanting a more traditional trombone, the Sonata Student or Elkhart 100 Series should be at the top of your wish-list. Professionally manufactured, producing an excellent all-round full sound and fast slide. They offer unbeatable value for money to begin your tromboning adventure. At the higher end of our trombone range are the truly amazing Yamaha YSL881 Xeno which is an excellent all-round trombone, or the Conn 88H Open Wrap Bb/F Trombone which is the preferred choice of many, many professional players in our top orchestras.

playing clarinet“I want to play ‘Stranger on the Shore’ by Acker Bilk”

Well you’ll need a Clarinet then! We can offer you many excellent clarinets, such as the Sonata Student Bb Clarinet or the superbly made Yamaha YCL255S Bb Student Clarinet. You would not be disappointed in whatever band you play with, or even if you simply practice on your own.

violinSo there you have it. You do not have an excuse to not start playing an instrument in your ‘golden’ years, or at any time as an adult. Think of the health benefits attached to music making as well as the social integration that can be achieved. Let alone the overall enjoyment of simply making music.  Obviously, I have omitted hundreds of instruments that you could learn and purchase.

From our range of over 100 different pianos and keyboards, guitars and ukulele’s, percussion in every possible guise and sound, to the subtler tones of the oboe and our full range of stringed instruments (look at our Full Size Forenza Prima 2 Violin Outfit which I estimate as being approx. £6,500,000 cheaper than the Stradivarius mentioned previously, and you wouldn’t need those 6 numbers!).

In your younger years, if you wanted to learn a musical instrument, generally people would get lessons from a teacher. They’d also use Tune-a-Day Book tutorials to enhance their practice and learning. Obviously that is still an option for you, but with so many clear and well-presented videos on websites such as YouTube, it has become such an accessible opportunity. You do not have an excuse!!

Love Life: Play an Instrument

 

 

About the author

Shona joined the Web Team in September 2017 after graduating from university in Sport Science and Management. She is enjoying being part of the team and learning more about the world of Normans and Music. Shona played the clarinet at school but you're more likely find her belting out a Little Mix track these days; doing her very own Carpool Karaoke.

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