By Lang Gibson ’22,
Are you tired of sleeping all day on Saturdays and Sundays after a long week of classes, desperate to do something more productive with your time, and craving a new way to enrich your life? No? Well, Woodberry boy, I’ll suggest one anyways: learning how to play an instrument. This is your calling. Your new hobby will improve your experience here in many ways, including reducing stress, learning a valuable skill, and discovering what could be your next passion.
Between classes, sports, seated meals in the evening, and more, you would think playing an instrument is just another commitment on top of an already packed schedule. But you’ll find that it will actually reduce stress by letting yourself relax and stop constantly thinking about how busy you are. Creating harmonious tunes (even if they don’t sound harmonious at first) gives you a chance to appreciate something beautiful in a world sometimes devoid of fun. By practicing only twenty minutes a day, not only will your playing improve, but your happiness will increase as well.
Woodberry prides itself on turning boys into cultured young men, and musical talent only adds another skill to their repertoire. When your friends are all gathered in someone’s dorm room on a Saturday night, you can whip out your guitar and play a classic everyone knows and loves to create a pleasant ambiance for the recountings of stories from third form year, adding another layer of fun to the evening.
I can confidently say most Woodberry boys would develop a passion for the pastime, and it’s a crime that not nearly as many people as could have capitalized on it. Everyone loves listening to music, be it pop, rock, rap, or country, and has a certain appreciation for the vocals, instrumentals, and perfectly constructed system of sounds that would certainly translate to creating music. If you think listening to your favorite song is cool, imagine how fascinated you’d be at your ability to play it yourself and stand in the shoes of the artist who wrote it. I’d be darned if you could find someone who wouldn’t be impressed by that.
If the price of, say, a guitar turns you off (even though you probably spend $100 a month at the Fir Tree anyways), your instrument of choice doesn’t have to break the bank. You can buy something as simple as a recorder that you might have already learned how to play in music class in fifth grade, play the piano in the chapel, or download free beat-making software to live out the life of a producer. You don’t even need to pay for lessons with the plethora of professional music instructors we have here: the internet is a perfectly suitable place to learn (thank you, YouTube).
So, what are you waiting for? With all the benefits of playing an instrument, it’s at least worth a shot. Or just start playing the guitar to impress girls. Because, yes, you really are that guy.