Christmas gifts for musicians

40+ Unique Christmas Gifts for Musicians

Christmas gifts for musicians

Looking for Christmas gifts for musicians? You’ve come to the right place. The holidays are upon us and it’s time to do some shopping! No matter what instrument your favorite musician plays, they deserve a gift just as unique as their hobby.

We’ve compiled a list of the best Christmas gifts for musicians to make finding the perfect present a little easier. Whether you’re shopping for stocking stuffers or a bigger, more impressive gift, there’s something for everyone on this list!

40+ Unique Christmas Gifts for Musicians

Stocking Stuffers for Musicians

Christmas gifts for musicians

Musician’s Dice, $19 – If the musician in your life loves spontaneous jam sessions, or has ever experienced a roadblock when composing, then this is the perfect gift. These dice are a fun way to help musicians improvise and get their creative juices flowing.
Christmas gifts for musicians

Music Magnets, $2-10 – Their small size makes them perfect for a stocking, and with all the unique designs available you’re sure to find one for your favorite pianist, flutist, or guitarist!  

Christmas gifts for musicians

Vinyl Record Cufflinks, $60 – Do you have a stylish musician friend or relative? Help them show off their musical style with these cufflinks! This accessory is as unique and funky as your favorite musician.

Christmas gifts for musicians

Guitar String Bracelets, $14 – Fashion forward musicians will also love these creative bracelets. They can display their love of music on their wrists by wearing repurposed bass guitar strings as a fashion statement.

Christmas gifts for musicians

Music Score Removable Tape, $8 – Composers can cover up mistakes or change a passage with this removable tape. No damage will be done to the original, and the musician can easily add to any piece of music!

Christmas gifts for musicians

Premium Dark Rosin with Case, $10 – This premium rosin will not only produce less dust but the stylish and convenient case makes one-handed application easy. Viola, cello, bass, and violin players will thank you.

Christmas gifts for musicians

“Rock On” Iphone Case, $18 – You can tell a lot about someone’s personality by the way they accessorize their phone. Give your favorite musician another way to express themselves with a cool phone case that shows off their love of rock!

Christmas gifts for musicians

Ear Plugs, $20 – These ear plugs are perfect for musicians in loud environments because they reduce volume but still let the sound in. Your musician can enjoy the music while protecting their hearing!

Christmas Gifts for Musicians’ Homes

Christmas gifts for musicians

DIY Music Ornament, $6-20 – Cut up strips of sheet music and stuff them into clear ornaments from your local craft store. Bonus if it’s their favorite song!

Christmas gifts for musicians

Record Clock, $38 – All musicians need to be good at keeping time (literally)! They’ll enjoy looking at this clock so much they’ll never be late for band practice again.
Christmas gifts for musicians

Framed Music Quote, $34 – These elegant wall hangings give musical quotes an artistic flair. They can be easily displayed in a musician’s home as a decorative yet meaningful piece.
Christmas gifts for musicians

Guitar Flipper Spatula, $12 – Whoever said musicians can’t cook has never seen these cool spatulas! Your favorite musician will be more motivated to make breakfast before band practice with this fun kitchenware.

Christmas gifts for musicians

Life Without Music Mug, $18 – Give a gift that combines their love for music and coffee! This cute and funny mug is perfect for any musician who appreciates a hot drink.

Christmas gifts for musicians

Sound Waves Print, $45 – Give that musician you love a sentimental gift with these customizable sound wave prints. Use their favorite song or first dance to turn a memory into a piece of decor!

Christmas gifts for musicians

Guitar Amp Keyholder, $35-40 – Modeled after a real amp, this keyholder will add some musical flair to any home. Your favorite musician will never lose the keys again!

Christmas gifts for musicians

Art Vinyl, $52 – Their favorite vinyl record can double as an art piece and stay protected from damage. Bonus if you give this gift with a record already inside!

Christmas gifts for musicians

Portable Bluetooth Speaker, $60 – Every music lover will appreciate a good speaker. These portable speakers make it easy to take music wherever you go, just use the Bluetooth to connect a phone or Ipod!
Christmas gifts for musicians

Vinyl Record, $20-35 – Oh how music has evolved! For the friend or relative who loves music and all things vintage, records are a perfect gift if they own a record player.

SEE ALSO: Best Last Minute Gifts Ideas for Musicians

Practical Christmas Gifts for Musicians

Christmas gifts for musicians

Bright Hammerhead LED Music Light, $22 – This ultra bright light is compact and portable. The gooseneck also twists and will attach to anything, so all the musician has to worry about is playing music!

Christmas gifts for musicians

Pick Punch, $25 – Now string instrumentalists can make their own picks out of anything they want. This is a fun gift for the creative musician who always loses picks!

Christmas gifts for musicians

Music Stand, Music Sheet Clip, and Light, $35 – This collapsible music stand comes with everything a musician needs to ensure they have an amazing performance or practice session. The best part: it all fits into one nifty carrying case that’s included!

Christmas gifts for musicians

Moleskine Music Notebook, $13 – This notebook is perfect for musicians, songwriters, and composers. The right page consists of eight staffs and the left is blank so they can write down and brainstorm new ideas.

Christmas gifts for musicians

Swirly Gig Drink Holders, $26 – Staying hydrated is a necessity for many musicians, especially singers. These holders clip onto most microphone stands so a beverage is easily accessible during  jam sessions.

Christmas gifts for musicians

Mic Stand Ipad Holder, $20 – Put the music and lyrics right at their fingertips! This tablet holder fits onto most mic stands and is perfect when trying to learn a new song.  

Christmas gifts for musicians

Headphones, $25 – A musician can never have too many pairs of headphones! Durability and excellent sound quality make these headphones perfect for any music lover.  

Christmas gifts for musicians

Guitar Center Gift Card, $5-500 – Guitar Center has something for every musician, not just guitarists! If you’d rather send a quick e-gift card, you can even customize it with a personal photo.

Fun Christmas Gifts for Musicians

Christmas gifts for musicians

Spontuneous: The Song Game, $30 – What better way to spend cold winter nights with friends and family than by playing a singing game! Don’t worry – no talent is required, just a knowledge of song lyrics.

Christmas gifts for musicians

Itunes Gift Card, $10-$200 – An Itunes gift card is perfect for music lovers because it allows them to download their favorite songs or music-related apps. The best part is you can choose whatever amount fits in your budget.  

Christmas gifts for musicians

Guitar Case Lunch Box, $22 – Do you know any young musicians who are still in school? This fun lunch box will help show everyone in the cafeteria what a cool musician they are. It even comes with stickers to customize it!
Christmas gifts for musicians

Mini Portable Karaoke Machine, $28 – Take the show on the road, literally. This portable karaoke machine will let your favorite musician have fun singing wherever and whenever their heart desires!

Christmas gifts for musicians

Playable Electronic Guitar Shirt, $30 – What’s more fun than a vintage t-shirt featuring a playable musical instrument? This shirt hooks up to a mini amp and allows the wearer to actually play their favorite song.

Christmas gifts for musicians

Mechanical Music Box Set, $7-$22 – This creative gift is extra unique. Based off the old classic music boxes, this set lets the music maker punch holes onto paper which is fed through the box to make beautiful melodies!
Christmas gifts for musicians

TakeLessons Live Subscription, $0-20/month – For the musician who is still learning, or wants to explore new instruments, a subscription to online music classes is the perfect fit. TakeLessons Live offers more than 300 classes on a variety of subjects, from singing to piano to ukulele.

Impressive Christmas Gifts for Musicians

Christmas gifts for musicians

USB Mix Tape, $26 – Make your special someone their very own mix tape, well sort of. This unique gift lets you add the playlist to a USB in cassette-like packaging. So 80s rom-com!

Christmas gifts for musicians

Mahogany Ukulele, $79 – The ukulele is an excellent gift for new musicians, or experienced ones who want to broaden their skillset. This mahogany ukulele is a great option because it’s both high quality and affordable.
Christmas gifts for musicians

Pocket Synthesizer, $89 – It may look like a strange calculator, but this small synthesizer allows a musician to make beats in the palm of their hand! Of all the Christmas gifts for musicians, this one is sure to be a favorite.

Christmas gifts for musicians

Concert Tickets, $30-$1000 – Is there a band in town they’ve been dying to see? This is the perfect opportunity to surprise your favorite musician with a night they won’t forget.

Christmas gifts for musicians

Medium Sized Cajon, $129 – Have a drum enthusiast in your life who doesn’t have the space for a full set? A cajon is the perfect marriage of chair and drum. It’s also a great new instrument for musicians who want to branch out and try something new!

Christmas gifts for musicians

Portable Cube Amp, $180 – This small amp is battery operated and can be taken anywhere. It works with guitars, keyboards, MP3 devices, and more.  

Christmas gifts for musicians

Crosley Keepsake Vinyl Record Player, $169 – Few things are as cool as a vintage record player. With all the options of vinyl record players out there, this keepsake is a must-have.

Christmas gifts for musicians

Portable Digital Audio Recorder, $160 – Don’t let its small size fool you. This little audio recorder has amazing sound quality and is the perfect Christmas gift for the creative songwriter.

Christmas gifts for musicians

Computer DJ System, $70 – This USB powered DJ system hooks right up to a laptop so the DJ can scratch, mix, fade, and more all of from one device like the disc jockeys of old.

Christmas gifts for musicians

Music Lessons with a Private Instructor, $50-$5,000 – A private instructor is the best way to learn a new instrument or improve musical skills. Surprise the growing musician in your life and purchase private lessons as a gift! TakeLessons has thousands of teachers to choose from.

Finding Christmas gifts for musicians doesn’t have to be a challenge with these creative and unique ideas! When ordering online, don’t forget to account for shipping costs and the length of time your gift will take to arrive.

Checking for coupon codes and discounts is another helpful tip if you’re sticking to a shopping budget. Whatever gift you decide on, remember it’s the thought that counts and the musician in your life will appreciate it!  

Is Cello hard to learn

Is Cello Hard to Learn? Read THIS Before Taking Lessons

Is Cello Hard to Learn

Many beginning musicians wonder, “Is cello hard to learn?” The process of learning the cello is not difficult, but it’s important to keep in mind that the cello is not an instrument of instant gratification. It does require focused, daily practice time and a good teacher to guide you along the way.

How far you progress with cello is a direct result of the amount of quality time you put into practicing the instrument. Even someone who puts in just 30 minutes a day will notice a significant improvement after a few weeks, regardless of their age.

A student who continues to take cello lessons and practice beyond their first year has the potential to develop into a talented amateur, and a young student with the right dedication could continue their studies all the way through to a rewarding professional career.

Is Cello Hard to Learn?

When learning how to play the cello, very little is spoon-fed to you by the instrument. Keyboard and fretted instruments (such as the piano and guitar) are a little easier to learn the basics. Simply putting your finger on the right key or fret will allow you to produce the note you want to hear.  

With the cello, you need to have a teacher guiding you through the early stages to ensure you’re learning in a healthy way. This will lead to a lifetime of enjoying the instrument. If you have the right teacher, anyone can learn the fundamentals of playing cello.

As with most instruments, the cello will come more easily to someone with experience reading notes and rhythms. Most of cello music is written down, rather than transferred aurally from teacher to student. But with a little patience, students of all ages can learn the musical language without prior knowledge or exposure.

Does Age Matter?

Young students make great beginner cellists. Often with youth comes unbridled enthusiasm for learning a cool new instrument and a mental elasticity that helps them absorb new information like a sponge.

These advantages can carry a student a long way. The excitement encourages them to practice more on their own and their ability to retain information helps them progress quickly in their studies.

One difficulty that young students face though, is the challenge of critically analyzing their playing. As a result, they need an outside observer to help them identify things that cause them trouble, whether it is posture, intonation, tone quality, etc. Young beginners are also generally less coordinated than their adult counterparts and will remain that way until well after puberty.

Adult beginners have their own set of advantages. Firstly, they’re better in control of their bodies which helps them make changes to technique and posture more quickly. They also have a strong ability to critically analyze their own actions, and better sense of how they want to sound.

As a result of their ability to critically analyze their own playing, adult learners can sometimes go straight to the criticizing part. This can lead to discouragement when they don’t immediately sound the way they want. However, the student is probably playing at a level appropriate to how long they have been studying.

Practice Makes Perfect

Practicing in between lessons is another necessity that makes learning the cello much easier. Without daily practice times, you will find your teacher going over the same concepts week after week during your lessons. Make a commitment to find a small chunk of time each day to practice playing the cello and you’ll set yourself up for success.

If you only have five minutes, play some open strings for tone quality. Have a little more time? Add in some scale practice. If you have even more time, pick apart the challenging sections of your newest solo piece. There is always something you can practice, but focus on the most important concepts with the time that you have.

Start Learning Cello Today

You no longer have to wonder if the cello is hard to learn. With a teacher guiding your technique, regular practice times, and a willingness to learn, you too can become an excellent cellist.

You won’t have to worry about twisting your left arm into an uncomfortable position like violinists, or pushing air through several yards of tubing using only your lungs like a brass player. Instead, you’ll get to enjoy the comfort of the relaxed seated position for the cello.

Overall, the cello is an incredible instrument with a wonderful depth of sound and breadth of repertoire. To get started now, sign up for your first cello lesson right here at TakeLessons with one of our many talented instructors.

Interested in Private Lessons?

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Violin or Cello

Violin or Cello: Which Instrument Is Right For You?

Violin or Cello

Choosing whether to play the violin or cello can be difficult, but this article will help you consider the advantages and disadvantages of each. 

The violin and cello are two of the most well-known and commonly studied instruments in the string family. Each one is central to the makeup of the orchestra we know today. Becoming familiar with the pros and cons of these two instruments will help you decide whether the violin or cello is a better fit for you.

Violin or Cello – How to Decide

Pros and Cons of the Violin

The violin’s most commonly cited advantage is that it’s practical. The violin is (on average) significantly less expensive than the cello. It’s also smaller and more portable. In addition, many people appreciate the violin’s range and tone, which is similar to that of the human voice.

Because the instrument has been popular now for around 400 years, there isn’t a shortage of repertoire to keep both budding and experienced violinists challenged. Within orchestras, spaces for violinists also tend to be the most numerous, so in that sense violinists have an advantage (especially over winds, brass, and percussion).

Compared to other string sections however, violin can also be more competitive because so many people play it. It might not be too difficult to earn a spot in the second violin section, but earning a place among the upper ranks can be more difficult.

Pros and Cons of the Cello

The cello is often cited for its practical disadvantages – mainly its size and expense. But for students who enjoy the sound of the cello more, hauling around a larger and more expensive instrument is well worth the care and effort.

The cello’s low register and tonality resonates with many musicians far more than the violin’s higher register.

Both the violin and cello have a unique range and repertoire that tend to draw different people. While violin repertoire is probably more extensive, the cello also has a well-established and diverse repertoire, including significant solo works.

Fewer students study the cello than the violin, so cellists are usually in higher demand than violinists. This tends to hold true even when taking into account the typically lower number of cellists required to create an orchestra or chamber ensemble.

Which is Harder to Play: Violin or Cello?

Many students wonder, which instrument is more difficult: the violin or cello? People who have tried both instruments tend to say the cello is less difficult due to its more natural position. The position of the violin can feel awkward at first, however advanced violinists insist that it becomes natural over time.

Many experienced musicians say that both instruments have their own difficulties. For example, although a cellist’s playing position is easier to learn, the thumb position on the cello is difficult for many students. Advanced cellists also must learn three clefs instead of just one.

SEE ALSO: How Easy is it to Switch Instruments? [Infographic]

Making the Choice Between Violin or Cello

Music students and their families can do a number of things to help them in their decision between the violin or cello.

  • First, consider what opportunities are available at school or in the community. Keep long term goals in mind.
  • Make sure the student has exposure to both instruments. This can include videos, CDs, or local concerts. Local colleges and conservatories often perform concerts for the general public and many of these feature the violin and cello. Local symphonies also put on free concerts in the park.
  • To be sure you’re making the right choice, it’s always a good idea to sample each instrument and take a couple lessons. Check out this directory of violin teachers, and this directory of cello teachers. Lessons are available both in-person and online all over the country.
  • Above all, the student should love the sound of whichever instrument they choose, whether it’s the higher and more cheerful violin or the deeper and rich cello.

What are your thoughts on whether the violin or cello is a better instrument? Let us know in the comments below!

Carol
Post Author: Carol Beth L.
Carol Beth L. teaches viola and violin in Sacramento, CA. She currently plays viola in the Rancho Cordova Civic Light Orchestra and has been teaching students since 2012. Learn more about Carol Beth here!

Interested in Private Lessons?

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5 World-Famous Hispanic Musicians With Inspiring Stories

Hispanic Musicians

Many of the world’s most well known and talented musicians come from a Hispanic background. The music of these singers, guitarists, and pianists has won globally recognized awards and transcended cultural borders.

Several Hispanic musicians, such as Santana and Gloria Estefan, have overcome the odds to chase their dreams and here, we’ll share their inspirational stories. Keep reading to learn about five artists that are sure to leave you motivated, encouraged, and moved.

5 Inspiring Hispanic Musicians

Gloria Estefan – Pop Singer

Hispanic musicians - Gloria Estefan

Source: Jesus Cordero

Gloria Estefan was born in Havana, but her family fled from Cuba to Miami when she was a young girl. After serving in Vietnam, Gloria’s father became very ill. With her mother working and attending night classes, Gloria was left at home to care for her father and sister.

These responsibilities were a lot for a teenager, but Gloria turned to music as an escape. She would lock herself in her room and sing for hours. In 1975, Gloria became acquainted with a keyboardist who later became her husband. He led a band called “the Miami Latin Boys” and asked Gloria to be the lead vocalist as soon as he heard her sing.

The band’s name was later changed to “the Miami Sound Machine.” Their albums launched to the top of the charts, and Gloria was called a demure, Hispanic version of Madonna.

Her story doesn’t stop there, though. A car accident while on tour in 1990 left Gloria with broken vertebrae in her back. Never one to stay down, she made a miraculous recovery and was back on tour and making albums within the year. To this day Gloria Estefan is still making music, with many projects paying tribute to her native home of Cuba.

Santana – Guitarist

Hispanic musicians - Santana

Source: Libby Fabro

Santana has become a very familiar name, working with artists from every genre such as Michelle Branch and DJ Khalid, but it hasn’t always been that way. Growing up in Mexico, Santana’s father originally taught him how to play the violin, but he found that he liked the electric guitar much more.

As a teenager living in Tijuana, Santana started out performing at a variety of small venues.  He later moved to San Francisco and spent his days working as a dishwasher in a diner and playing for change on the streets. B.B. King and Ray Charles were two of his biggest musical inspirations.

Santana never gave up on his dreams though, and eventually decided to pursue music full time. What started out as “The Santana Blues Band” later became known as “Santana” and gained a mass following, even performing at Woodstock.

The crowds loved Santana’s sound – a mix of blues, rock, and jazz. The band released multiple albums that went platinum and Santana has continued to win Grammy awards. He also recently published a memoir called “The Universal Tone: Bringing My Story to Light” with the hope of inspiring others, and it became a national bestseller.

Ruben Gonzalez – Pianist

Hispanic musicians - Ruben Gonzalez

Source: Ebet Roberts

Ruben Gonzalez is proof that it’s never too late to pursue your passion. He released his debut album at the age of 78! Ruben originally studied medicine, but later in life he decided to pursue music.

He was known for his Latin jazz sound and was requested by many bands and ensembles. Ruben was best known for working with the Afro Cuban All Stars and the Buena Vista Social Club, specializing in Latin dance and traditional Cuban music.

His album with the Buena Vista Social Club won a Grammy in 1997, and that same year Ruben decided to release his first solo album – “Introducing…Ruben Gonzalez.” After releasing a second album in 2000, he died three years later knowing that he had done what he loved with his life. His music is still enjoyed by many.

Placido Domingo – Opera Singer

Hispanic musicians - Placido Domingo

Source: Barbara Davidson

Both of Placido’s parents were singers for Spanish operettas in Madrid, which definitely contributed to his remarkable tenor voice and musical abilities. This didn’t mean that his success came easily, though.

After moving to Mexico at eight years old, Placido began appearing alongside his parents in performances. He originally played the piano and enrolled in school to become a conductor, but later decided to focus on singing. Placido had a few small television appearances and often played in piano bars to earn money.

At 18 years old, he began landing roles in various opera productions. Placido continued to work hard and eventually won a Grammy award for Best Opera Recording in 1971. Fourteen Grammys later, he is now in his seventies and lives by the motto, “If I rest I rust.”

Placido didn’t even let health problems such as cancer slow him down. He is still performing, recording, and running a prestigious voice competition called “Operalia” to discover and nurture new talent.

SEE ALSO: 20 Spanish Traditions, Customs, and Superstitions

Selena – Tejano Singer

Hispanic musicians - Selena

Source: Dave Einsel

We can’t discuss Hispanic musicians without mentioning Selena. Known as the “Queen of Tejano,” Selena’s legacy lives on today despite her early death. (Tejano is a type of music that incorporates Mexican and other styles of music such as country.)

Selena began singing as a child. She was the lead in her family’s band alongside her brother and sister. The band originally performed at her parents’ restaurant, weddings, and fairs. As their music became increasingly popular, the band started to record albums and go on tour.

Eventually Selena was signed as a solo artist, and her Spanish-language albums received major accolades and awards. She began to work on her first English album, but before she could see its release, she was killed by one of her own fans at just 23 years old.

Selena’s untimely death was shocking to all who enjoyed her music. Her English album, “Dreaming of You,” was later released in 1996. The album sold more than a million copies and introduced many people to Tejano music. Selena’s story lives on, and she continues to inspire many with her impressive accomplishments in such a short career.

Each of these Hispanic musicians are inspiring in their own unique way. From different regions and different walks of life, they all overcame obstacles to introduce the world to their musical styles and abilities. Tell us about a musician you love in the comments below!

Feeling inspired to work on your own musical talents? Learn how to become a better musician and performer from expert instructors in the online courses at TakeLessons Live.

Health benefits of playing an instrument

17 Surprising Health Benefits of Playing an Instrument

Health benefits of playing an instrument

Playing an instrument has many benefits – learning self-discipline, strengthening mental capacity, and spreading the joy of music, just to name a few. And research shows that these benefits aren’t just for kids. Musicians of any age can take advantage of the physical and emotional health benefits of playing an instrument.

It doesn’t matter what instrument you choose to play, either! Keep reading to discover how the act of playing music can drastically improve your overall health.  

Health Benefits of Playing an Instrument

Physical Benefits of Music

Health benefits of playing an instrument

  • Deep Breathing – Most of the time our breathing is very shallow, but activities like singing or playing a wind instrument require deep breathing from the diaphragm. This strengthens your lungs and respiratory system. Playing the harmonica can even help with pulmonary disease!
  • Immune Response – When we learn to play an instrument, we often become inspired to create our own music. According to an article by Live Science, making music “enhances the immunological response, which enables us to fight viruses.”
  • Stress Relief – Playing music brings your energy and focus into a positive activity, which can help alleviate stress. Those reduced stress levels can help get your blood pressure and heart rate down to a healthy level.
  • Fine Hearing – Learning music refines your hearing skills by training you to isolate sounds as they occur. Studies have even shown that musicians are better at picking out specific voices and sounds in a noisy environment.
  • Exercise – Playing an instrument naturally leads to increased physical activity. Whether you’re playing the piano, guitar, strings, or a wind instrument, you’re using your arm and back muscles to play and/or hold up your instrument. And if you play the drums, you even get to do some cardio!
  • Posture – Any good music teacher will correct your posture during lessons. This can help you get into the habit of sitting up straight and having proper alignment even when you’re not playing. These are all great ways to alleviate neck and back pain.

Mental Benefits of Music

Health benefits of playing an instrument

  • Mental Performance – Playing music is like doing a workout for every part of your brain. It helps improve your mental performance and memory. There’s even evidence that music can help a patient’s brain recover from a stroke, as well as slow the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Coordination – Using your fingers, hands, and feet in a rhythmic manner for a sustained amount of time, while also being conscious of playing the correct tones, can be a challenge for even the most coordinated people. Over time though, playing music refines your motor skills that go beyond the hand-eye.
  • Time Management – Learning an instrument requires practice, of course! But more specifically, it requires consistency and routine. Figuring out how to fit practice into your busy schedule and really stick to it helps you develop better time management and organization skills.
  • Reading Skills – Reading music helps strengthen your ability to process information by creating new connections between the synapses in your brain. As a result, reading and absorbing information from other sources becomes a lot easier.
  • Listening Skills – Learning music doesn’t just improve your ability to hear details; it also makes you better at listening. Whether you’re practicing on your own or playing with other people, you have to listen for timing, expression, and whether you’re in tune. This can make you a better listener even in everyday conversations as well.
  • Concentration – Focus is a necessary part of learning an instrument. Improving your musical skills forces you to use all the parts of your brain involved in concentration, making you better able to concentrate in other life situations. This is another reason why music is beneficial for those with disorders like ADD.
  • Mathematics – Learning music is all about pattern recognition, which is mathematical in itself. But even more than that, learning about how music is divided into equal measures and beats, and how those beats are in broken up, can help improve your math skills!

SEE ALSO: The 5 Easiest Instruments Perfect for Adult Learners

Emotional Benefits of Music

Health benefits of playing an instrument

  • Self Expression – Whether you’re writing your own piece of music or playing someone else’s, music allows you to express yourself in new ways. You also get to be creative when choosing your own unique style and genre.
  • Therapy – Playing music can help with stress, insomnia, and depression because it acts as an outlet for difficult emotions. It can be a form of self-soothing in tough situations, and a healthy distraction from a stressful day.
  • Achievement – There’s nothing like the feeling of finally mastering one of your favorite songs! Setting a goal, putting in the work, and eventually reaching that goal gives you a strong sense of achievement. It will improve your confidence in other areas of life in the process.
  • New Friends – Whether you use music as an icebreaker when meeting new people, or as a way to actually meet new people – playing in a choir, band, or orchestra, for example – music is a great way to make new friends.

These are just a few of the remarkable health benefits of playing an instrument. To begin reaping the benefits of music in your life, check out the online group music lessons at TakeLessons Live today.

You can access hundreds of live classes on a variety of instruments – completely free for your first month. Start playing that instrument you’ve always wanted to, and your body, mind, and spirit will thank you!

JasmineTPost Author: Jasmine T.
Jasmine T. teaches piano, academics, yoga, and more in San Diego, CA. She has her Power Yoga Level 1 200-Hour Certification, as well as a Certificate of Merit for Piano and Theory from the Music Teachers’ Association of California. Learn more about Jasmine here!
Best father daughter songs of all time

Most Popular & Heartwarming Father Daughter Songs of All Time

Best father daughter songs of all time

There’s a special kind of bond between a girl and her father, and dozens of popular songs that honor this strong connection. Whether you’re looking for that perfect song for a father daughter dance, a meaningful Father’s Day tribute, or a special gift for a birthday, keep reading.

In this ultimate list of heartfelt, father daughter songs from every genre, you’re sure to find just the right lyrics to celebrate your relationship with Dad. 

Best Father Daughter Songs From Every Genre

“My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw – Country

“You’re beautiful baby, from the outside in

Chase your dreams but always know

The road that will lead you home again”

This heartwarming song, written from a father’s perspective, is a tear-jerker right from the beginning. It’s an excellent choice for a dance, sweet 16, graduation, or any coming-of-age celebration.

“Daddy’s Little Girl” by Michael Bublé – Classic

“You’re the end of the rainbow, my pot o’ gold, you’re Daddy’s Little Girl to have and hold

A precious gem is what you are, you’re mommy’s bright and shining star

You’re the spirit of Christmas, my star on the tree, you’re the Easter bunny to mommy and me

You’re sugar, you’re spice, you’re everything nice, and you’re Daddy’s Little Girl”

Michael Bublé really shows off his crooner side in this sweet melody about all the wonderful things that a man’s daughter means to him. This song would be a great addition to a wedding or birthday party playlist.

“Your Joy” by Chrisette Michele – Neo Soul

“No one loves me just like you do

No one knows me just like you do

No one can compare to the way my eyes fit in yours”

This soulful tribute from a daughter to her father is perfect for a girl or young woman to sing to her father. Not too comfortable with your singing voice? Write the lyrics in a greeting card to add an extra nice touch.  

“Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle – Christian/Gospel

“Oh, with all that I’ve done wrong, I must have done something right

To deserve a hug every morning, and butterfly kisses at night”

This beautiful tune, written from a father’s perspective, shares special moments throughout different stages of his daughter’s life. It’s a nice option for a wedding, or simply when you want to remind your father that you’ll always be his little girl!

“Daughters” by John Mayer – Acoustic Rock

“Fathers, be good to your daughters

Daughters will love like you do

Girls become lovers who turn into mothers

So mothers, be good to your daughters too”

This acoustic tune from John Mayer shares about the loving bond that exists between family members. It’s meaningful but also light-hearted, and would be a fitting addition to any family gathering.

“Father and Daughter” by Paul Simon – Pop

 

“So you’ll always know, as long as one and one is two

There could never be a father who loved his daughter more than I love you”

Slightly more upbeat but just as sentimental as the rest, this catchy tune goes with any father daughter occasion. The lyrics represent a sweet declaration of love from a father to his daughter.

“I’ll Always Be Your Baby” by Natalie Grant – Contemporary Christian

 

“You are my hero and that will never change

You still can dry my tears with just a smile”

This Natalie Grant song is a heartwarming tribute from a daughter’s perspective. The lyrics mention walking down the aisle, so this would be a great song for a wedding reception or engagement party.

“Daddy” by Beyonce – Contemporary R&B

 

“Because you loved me I overcome, yeah

And I’m so proud of what you’ve become, yeah

You’ve given me such security

No matter what mistakes I make you’re there for me”

In this R&B number, Beyonce reminisces about all the ways her father has been there for her over the years. If you truly admire your father, this is the perfect song as a token of gratitude to him.

“Zoe Jane” by Staind – Alternative Metal

“I wanna hold you, protect you from all of the things I’ve already endured

And I wanna show you, show you all the things that this life has in store for you

And I’ll always love you, the way that a father should love his daughter”

This beautiful song has a very powerful chorus that emphasizes just how much a father desires to protect his daughter. It’s a wonderful song for the dad who loves rock music and soulful lyrics.  

“Dance with my Daughter” by Jason Blaine – Country

“Gonna dance with my daughter

Spin her around under the lights

‘Cause I’m just a father making the most of this moment in time”

This sentimental, country tune emphasizes the importance of enjoying every moment while your daughter is growing up. Since it’s written from a father to his daughter, it would be best for a wedding or father daughter dance.  

“Fathers and Daughters” by Michael Bolton – Pop/Rock Ballad

“When times are hard I know you’ll be strong

I’ll be there in your heart when you’ll carry on

Like moonlight on the water, and sunlight in the sky

Fathers and daughters never say goodbye”

This emotional ballad is an appropriate choice for any milestone event, such as a graduation. It would be a guaranteed tear-jerker if sung as a duet, since it commemorates the eternal bond between a father and daughter.

“Cecilia and The Satellite” by Andrew McMahon – Alternative/Indie

“If I could fly, then I would know

What life looks like from up above and down below

I’d keep you safe, I’d keep you dry

Don’t be afraid, Cecilia, I’m the satellite

And you’re the sky”

This uplifting and modern tune is a poetic promise from a father to his daughter. It’s a delightful alternative song just right for a father daughter dance or birthday party playlist.

“I Loved Her First” by Heartland – Country

“From the first breath she breathed, when she first smiled at me

I knew the love of a father runs deep, and I prayed that she’d find you someday

But it’s still hard to give her away, I loved her first”

This truly heartwarming song is a testament to the pride and protectiveness a father feels toward his daughter. It’s a sincere and moving choice for a father daughter dance at a wedding.

Each of these father daughter songs has its own unique way of honoring the love between a daddy and his little girl. Choose one of them for your special event, or combine all of them into one CD to give as a special gift to your father!

Are you musically talented? You can also consider learning to sing or play one of these beautiful songs to guarantee a memory that will last him a lifetime!

 

JasmineTPost Author: Jasmine T.
Jasmine T. teaches piano, academics, yoga, and more in San Diego, CA. She has her Power Yoga Level 1 200-Hour Certification, as well as a Certificate of Merit for Piano and Theory from the Music Teachers’ Association of California. Learn more about Jasmine here!
Why are music lessons so expensive

Super Easy Ways to Save up for Music Lessons [Infographic]

Why are music lessons so expensive

One common question asked by many aspiring musicians (and oftentimes, their parents) is: “Why are music lessons so expensive?”

There are a few main factors that contribute to the cost of music lessons. In this blog post, we’ll uncover what those factors are and then share 10 clever solutions that make saving up for music lessons easier than you think.

Why are Music Lessons so Expensive?

The average cost of private, in-home music lessons is $31.50 for a 30-minute lesson, according to this nationwide study by TakeLessons.

The average cost of online music lessons is a little more affordable, at $25 per 30-minute lesson. That comes out to $100 a month if you take one lesson per week.

While these rates might seem high at first glance, they make more sense when you take the following factors into consideration.

  • Music teachers are often self employed and don’t have the benefits of a salaried position
  • Many teachers factor in the time and expenses it takes to travel to your home for lessons
  • Music teachers take extra time to prep for each individual student prior to a lesson
  • Some teachers pay for their own studio and additional instruments for students
  • Teachers who are just starting out don’t have enough students to fill up a 9-5 work shift
  • If you live in a bigger city, the cost of lessons will be higher because there is more competition in the market

Now you know some of the reasons why music lessons are expensive. If the dream of becoming a better musician still seems distant because of your financial situation, keep reading for some easy ways to save up!

10 Easy Ways to Save Up for Music Lessons

Save $150 a month brewing at home

Are you an avid coffee drinker? If you find yourself making daily trips to your local cafe, one excellent way to save five dollars a day is to try brewing your coffee at home instead.

Consider it an opportunity to try out some new roasts, and a small sacrifice to have to make on your way to musical success. After just one month, you’ll be able to afford six online music lessons (at $25 per 30-minute lesson).  

Save $300 a month packing a lunch

The cost of eating out adds up quickly. Did you know that waking up just a little bit earlier than normal to prepare a lunch can save you hundreds every month? Or, an even easier option is to make some extra food for dinner the night before your work day!

At $10 a day in savings, you’ll have saved up the equivalent of 12 online music lessons by the end of the month.

Save hundreds on your commute

Driving your own car to work can cost you hundreds of extra dollars per month. Instead, try carpooling with coworkers, or if you live close to the office, try bike riding.

Another great idea that will also save you money on parking is to use public transportation, such as a bus or train. Any one of these options will save you hundreds in gas money per month, which you can gladly put toward music lessons instead.

Save $100 a month cutting cable

Many people who have cable find that they don’t actually use it enough to warrant the high monthly cost. If that sounds like you, consider cancelling cable and spending more of your free time on your hobbies.  

With $100 in monthly savings, you’ll be able to afford weekly music lessons after cancelling a cable subscription.     

Save $50 a month skipping the gym

No, we’re not giving you an excuse to stop exercising. Staying in shape is extremely important to your overall health. But instead of spending money on a gym membership, try going for a run or riding a bike at your local park instead.

With all the workout routines available on the internet, it’s easy to get in shape in the comfort of your own home, too! An average $50 monthly gym membership fee equates to two music lessons per month.

Save hundreds more with a rewards card

If you have a credit card that allows you to accrue rewards points with every purchase you make, why not redeem those points as cash and apply them to music lessons?

Rack up the points by using your credit card to pay for groceries, gas, and bills. Many credit cards don’t have a limit to how many points you can accrue or an expiration date on your points.

SEE ALSO: Private Lessons Don’t Need to be Expensive – Here’s How to Save

Save $100 a month staying sober

For some aspiring musicians, this saving strategy might seem like a lot to ask. But just like eating out, the cost of alcoholic beverages can add up very quickly.

Drinking a bottle of wine each week for example, can end up costing you around $100 a month. If you simply cross wine off of your shopping list, you’d be able to afford weekly online music lessons.

Save $50 a month doing your nails

For the ladies, getting a monthly manicure and pedicure will cost you a minimum of $50 a month. Do your own nails instead, or go au naturel, and you’ll be able to afford two additional online music lessons every month.

If you’re learning an instrument like guitar or violin, having short nails will help you hold down the strings much easier anyway!

Bundle up to save even more!

See if you can join a family plan if you currently just have a single line. Reevaluating your cell phone plan is an easy way to save money on your monthly bills.

If joining a plan with relatives isn’t an option, consider getting a group of friends together on the same plan instead. Splitting the cost of a plan with unlimited data is much more affordable than paying for it all on your own.

Pass on name brands

Every grocery store has its own line of products, and they’re usually cheaper than the big name brands we all recognize. A lot of times the ingredients in these products are exactly the same.

Skip name brand items at the grocery store to save up more money every week for music lessons. You can also apply this tip to shopping for clothes – every little bit helps.

Save the infographic below as a visual reminder and watch your savings add up!

 

Why are music lessons so expensive

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With the right tips and tricks, anyone can afford music lessons. Yes, music lessons can be expensive. But don’t let money stand in the way of you reaching your goals and dreams. If you put your mind to it, anything is possible!

Want one more way to make music lessons even more affordable? Start out with online group classes, as opposed to private lessons.

At just $19.95 a month for new students, TakeLessons Live offers group classes in many instruments and skills, from ukulele to music theory. Plus, you’ll get a whole month’s worth of classes for free when you sign up. Try it today!

 

Most unique instruments to learn

Top 10 Most Unique Instruments to Learn

Unique instruments to learn

Tired of fitting into the status quo? Want to impress and surprise your friends with something different? If piano and guitar seem boring to you, then you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading as we share 10 of the most unique instruments to learn from across the globe.

Top 10 Unique Instruments to Learn

Bagpipes

Fun Facts About Bagpipes 

  • The bagpipe is a wind instrument that has been played for an entire millennium.
  • Although commonly believed to have originated in Scotland, historians believe it was first played in ancient Rome and Persia.

Finger Cymbals

Fun Facts About Finger Cymbals

  • Finger cymbals are also known as “zills.”
  • This set of four small, metallic cymbals is often used in belly dancing performances.

Banjo

unique instruments to learn - the banjo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Facts About Banjos

  • Not all banjos are alike – the instruments can have anywhere from four to six strings.
  • It’s now associated with country music, but the banjo was initially designed by the first African Americans.

Harmonica

Fun Facts About Harmonicas

  • The harmonica is also known as a French harp or mouth organ.
  • There are several different types of harmonicas, including diatonic, chromatic, tremolo, octave, orchestral, and bass.
  • Because playing the harmonica helps promote deep breathing, it’s often used in physical therapy programs for pulmonary rehabilitation.

SEE ALSO: The 5 Easiest Instruments Perfect for Adult Learners

Accordion

Fun Facts About Accordions

  • An accordionist performs by expanding the instrument’s bellows while pressing down keys with both their right and left hands to play the melody and accompaniment.
  • The accordion is commonly used in Brazilian pop music.

Harp

Unique instruments to learn - the harp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Facts About Harps

  • The use of harps can be traced all the way back to 3,500 BC, but they gained popularity during the middle ages and renaissance period in Europe.
  • Harps vary in size – some are small enough to be played on your lap!

Oboe

Fun Facts About Oboes

  • Oboe is pronounced “oh-boh” and it stems from the French word “hautbois.”
  • This woodwind instrument is most commonly played in concert bands and orchestras.

Ukulele

Fun Facts About Ukuleles

  • One of the most popular unique instruments to learn, the ukulele originated in Hawaii before making its way to the mainland.
  • Multiple celebrities have picked up the easy-to-learn instrument, including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Ryan Gosling.

SEE ALSO: 15 Awesome Musical Instruments You Can Make At Home

Bassoon

unique instruments to learn - bassoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Facts About Bassoons

  • Like the oboe, this woodwind instrument is common in orchestras and concert bands.
  • The bassoon is known for its wide range and its sound is comparable to a male baritone voice.

Mandolin

Fun Facts About Mandolins

  • The most commonly played mandolin has eight strings and was first designed in Italy.
  • Considered an easier instrument to learn, the mandolin can be heard in country, folk, and bluegrass music.

Learn any one of these instruments and you’re sure to stand out from the crowd. With the right teacher, becoming a pro at banjo or mandolin is easy. Need help finding a music teacher who is experienced in an unusual instrument? You can easily search for a qualified music teacher here.

If you know of any more unique instruments to learn, leave a comment below and let us know! We’d love to hear from you.

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music and autism

Music and Autism: The Benefits of Music for Special Needs Children

Music and Autism

More and more parents and teachers of special needs children are starting to realize the remarkable connection between music and autism. Research has shown that when autistic children interact with music on a regular basis, their communication and behavior improve.

Keep reading to learn more about how music affects autism, and how your special needs child can begin experiencing the benefits of music today.

Quick Facts About Autism

  • Autism is a developmental disorder that negatively affects a child’s ability to communicate and interact with other people.
  • Symptoms of the mental condition, which begin to appear in children ages 2-3, can be reduced but not entirely cured.
  • Each child diagnosed with autism faces his or her own individual challenges.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that autism occurs in approximately one in 68 children in the United States.

The Surprising Connection Between Music and Autism

In the first reports of autism dating back to 1943, there are multiple references to autistic children’s musical ability and interest. Dozens of studies have been conducted since then that clearly show a strong tie between music and autism.

Although individuals with autism are slower to develop verbal communication skills, evidence suggests that they are actually able to process and understand music just as good if not better than their peers.

Specifically, autistic children have demonstrated advanced abilities in pitch categorization, memorization of melodies, and labeling of emotions in music.

Take 13 year old Jewels, for example. At three years old, Jewels was unable to speak or move his fingers. But with the help of music therapy sessions, he is now a talented pianist. Check out the video of Jewels below.

Playing piano didn’t just become a fun hobby for Jewels; it helped improve his behavior and develop fine motor skills. Learning to play an instrument can have numerous benefits such as these for autistic children.  

The Benefits of Music for Autism

Communication

The struggle of trying to communicate with an autistic child can weigh heavily on any parent or caregiver, but incorporating music into the child’s routine presents a ray of hope.  

Music interventions have been found to improve speech output among individuals with autism in the areas of vocalization, verbalization, and vocabulary. Singing can be especially helpful for teaching autistic children to effectively express their emotions.

Social Skills

A 2009 study showed that during play sessions with music, children with autism showed more social engagement with their peers than in those without music. How? Music encouraged the children with autism to interact in more appropriate ways with other children, including sharing and taking turns.

Behavior

Music can also be an avenue to improving an autistic child’s behavior by helping them learn to follow directions. A recent study found that music connects the auditory and motor parts of the brain. This helps autistic children better understand and obey verbal commands.

In another study of 41 children over a 10 month period, music therapy helped decrease negative behaviors such as aggression and tantrums.

Cognition

Teachers of autistic children often take advantage of the benefits of music for improving cognitive development. Music’s rhythmic patterns provide a structured way for autistic children to organize auditory information.

This makes music a very helpful tool for memorization and learning daily routines. With repetitive training, music can also help improve a child’s attention span.  

SEE ALSO: How to Find the Right Tutor for Special Needs Students

Emotions

Autistic children are more likely to experience anxiety than the average child. Introducing music into their routine helps increase their tolerance for frustration and decrease anxious behaviors. The repetitive and predictable rhythms of classical music are particularly beneficial for relieving anxiety.  

Introducing an Autistic Child to Music 

There are a couple different ways to introduce your child to the benefits of music for autism. Music therapy is one potential route. Music and Autism

The American Music Therapy Association defines it as “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.”

Music therapy is similar to physical therapy in the sense that a therapist will assess the individual and provide a unique treatment plan based on his or her needs. You can easily search online for a Board Certified music therapist in your area.

An alternative and often less expensive option is to sign your child up for private, in-home music lessons. With a tool like TakeLessons, it isn’t hard to find a qualified teacher who has experience working with special needs students.

Keep in mind that either option works best when done repeatedly over longer periods of time. Overall, the evidence supports that making music a consistent part of your child’s routine will not only be an enjoyable activity, but a key to unlocking their full potential.

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making time for hobbies

Here’s the Secret to Finding “Hidden” Time for Your Hobbies

making time for hobbies

“If you had an extra hour in your day, how would you spend your time?”

Your answer to that question can tell you a lot about yourself, and it’s fun to think about.

But the reality is: 24 hours is all you get. (Sorry!)

You can’t quit your job. You can’t ignore family commitments and responsibilities. If you want to learn a new skill, improve your current talents, or work toward a big learning goal, it’s up to you to make that happen. So how do you balance that with a busy schedule?

It’s simple: learn to budget your time the same way you budget your money.

Here are the steps you can take if you feel like you’re too busy to learn or take up a new hobby, proven to work by some of our top students.

1. Decide you WANT to learn.

find time to learn

The first step to financial success is deciding to have a budget. And that budget is often dictated by your short- and long-term goals. Maybe you want to pay off your student loans or mortgage within five years. Or maybe you just want that new jacket you saw at Nordstrom.

Now let’s translate that into learning: what are your goals there? Do you want to be able to sing confidently in front of a group? Play guitar at a friend’s wedding? Speak Spanish fluently on an upcoming vacation? Write these down, and put them somewhere you can see them every day.

Excuses will always come up. And heck, life will sometimes get in the way. But if you’re excited about improving your skills, that’s the first step.

2. Be realistic.

finding time in your schedule for music lessons

You wouldn’t set a $300 budget for going out to eat if you only had $50 discretionary cash per week. Similarly, be realistic about the time you can commit to practicing and taking lessons.

If you’re juggling a busy schedule, a 30-minute lesson once per week may be all you can find time for. Or maybe you can’t even commit to that — fortunately, you can find teachers who are more flexible week-to-week, and rescheduling is always an option if something comes up.

Once you have your lesson time penciled in, then it’s time to schedule your practice time. But be realistic about that, too! You may not be able to practice for hours every day, and that’s OK. Even a short practice session will help you stay on track, if you make it efficient.

3. Find the right hacks.

skype with language exchange partner

If you’re a super-budgeter, you probably know all the tricks. You hold out for great deals, look for coupons and discount codes, and so on.

Same goes for budgeting your time. If you break down your schedule, you may find you have extra time in your day for your hobbies. And yes, that may mean skipping the Netflix marathons, or cutting back on the time you spend browsing social media.

You were probably expecting that advice, right? But look: there are even more hacks you can try. Here are some ways TakeLessons students have made time for their hobbies:

  • Take online lessons. Ordering takeout for dinner is a great time saver. What if you could get music or language lessons delivered to the comfort of your home, too? Turn on your computer, pull up the TakeLessons Classroom, and you can meet with your teacher instantly — no travel time required.
  • Take advantage of your workspace. If your company allows it, consider taking your online lessons during your lunch break. If you prefer in-person lessons, find a teacher close by your work, so it’s not a hassle to get to. You can also use your time going to and from work. As a language learner, for example, you can practice listening to your target language during your commute!
  • Find a flexible teacher. If you need to reschedule a lesson every now and then, don’t stress. While a designated lesson time each week will help you stay accountable, we understand that things come up! If you have unique scheduling needs, feel free to use our Ask a Question feature before booking your lessons, to find a teacher who can accommodate.
  • Use your guilty pleasures to your advantage. Learning a new skill doesn’t have to be all work, no play! Musicians: jamming with community groups or going to karaoke is a fun way to add music to your day. Language students, consider changing the language settings when you’re watching TV, or pick a foreign movie with subtitles.

4. Adjust as needed.

practice guitar

Budgets ebb and flow — unplanned bills show up, salaries go up and down, and can’t-miss opportunities arise. The best financial advice is to stay flexible and adjust your budget often.

Similarly, sometimes the time you’ve budgeted doesn’t go as planned. We get it: life gets busy. So don’t beat yourself up if you need to reschedule a lesson or if you miss a practice session. Stay positive, and fit in what you can!

Planning ahead can help, as well. Work with your teacher to create a 15-minute practice routine, if you’re short on time one week. Or, make a list of ways to fit practice into your everyday life.

Even the most successful people have “off” days. Get back on track when you can, review your goals again, and envision where you’d like your skills to be in one year.

5. Pay yourself first.

pay yourself first

One of the best money tips out there is to pay yourself first.

What does that mean, exactly? In terms of finances, it means setting aside funds for your future self before anything else. (Think: emergency funds, retirement accounts, and so on.)

So, apply the same strategy to how you’re spending your free time. Want to stay sharp? Learning a musical instrument is linked to improved memory, concentration, and IQ. Want to get ahead in your career? In today’s job market, learning a second language will make you a more valuable employee, and may even lead to a higher salary.

Or maybe it’s a more personal goal. Many of the adult students we talk to mention they took music lessons as a kid, and wanted to bring that joy back into their lives.

So the question is… do you want to invest in yourself? When you think of it that way, making time for your hobbies seems like a no-brainer.

Readers, how do you make time for yourself? Have you ever felt like you were too busy to learn something new? Leave a comment below and share your experience! 

Photo by Will Foster

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