In honor of Presidents’ Day, learn about the benefits of playing an instrument with real stories from the most musical presidents in American history.
On an afternoon in 1771, two lovestruck gentlemen stood on the doorstep of the young Martha Skelton’s house. Inside, they could hear the sound of Martha singing and playing the harpsichord. Suddenly, they heard a violin join her, playing a gorgeous obbligato.
Knowing there was only one (very handsome) violinist in the neighborhood, the suitors said to each other, “we’re wasting our time,” and they left in defeat.
The violinist in the house was Thomas Jefferson. He did indeed marry Martha Skelton. And while this story is the stuff of Jefferson family legend, one thing is true: Thomas Jefferson wasn’t just known as the third president of the United States, he was also appreciated as a well-rounded artistic and musical person.
According to The Wall Street Journal, “Jefferson was a true renaissance man. Law, diplomacy, and politics were his profession, but his activities embraced virtually all the liberal arts and sciences: from mathematics and philosophy to economics, archaeology, ornithology, ichthyology, horticulture, architecture, art and music.”
For Jefferson, music wasn’t just a pastime, it was a part of the fabric of his life. In fact, he campaigned for more music and arts education throughout his political career.
“Thomas Jefferson campaigned for more music and arts education throughout his political career.”
Thomas Jefferson is one of the best known musical presidents in United States history, but the list only begins there. Playing a musical instrument is as American as apple pie.
- Ready to play? Learn more about online music lessons.
A Musical Pattern in American Presidential History
John Quincy Adams played the flute and Chester A. Arthur, the banjo. John Tyler and Abraham Lincoln were violinists. Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan were known to pull out a harmonica when inspired. In 1920, Warren G. Harding celebrated his nomination by playing the sousaphone at the Democratic Convention.
To top all that, Dwight D. Eisenhower actually released an album titled, “The President’s Favorite Music” – a compilation of pieces ranging from Bach to Gershwin. Bill Clinton publicly displayed his saxophone talents on television shows. And of course, Barack Obama famously broke into song on several occasions.
“For many presidents, music has been an inspiration, motivation, means of connection, and sense of celebration.”
For many presidents, music has been an inspiration, solace, motivation, passion, means of connection, and sense of celebration. It has served as a way to ride out an incredibly high-pressure job. The great part is, it can serve similar purposes for you, too.
Can Music Improve Your Life? Benefits of Playing an Instrument
There are many benefits of playing an instrument, regardless of your profession of choice. We can all use music for inspiration, solace, creative expression, and stress relief.
Whether you’re a doctor or a baker, a stay at home mom or a traveling magician, you are constantly dealing with the ups and downs of the human experience.
Here are five ways that learning to play a musical instrument can enhance your life.
- Music Keeps You Grounded: Having the learned ability to pick up a violin or sit down at the piano and play a tune can provide incredible solace when life gets tough.
- Music Provides Connection: Music is a way of collaborating and communicating. Whether you play in a brass band or sing in a choir, music brings people together.
- Music Boosts Your Health: We now know that music can transform mood, fend off depression, lower stress-related hormones, and even ease pain.
- Music Expands Your World: Rock ballads and operas, folk songs and milongas. Every genre of music opens a doorway into cultures around the world.
- Music Speaks From Your Heart: As humans, we are constantly processing the world through our feelings. Music allows you to express emotions in a positive way.
Elevate Your Music Skills to Presidential Status
As Barack Obama once put it, music, “brings us together, helping us reflect upon who we are, where we have come from, and what lies ahead.”
Presidents throughout our history have used music as a way to improve their lives. Now, you can too. You are just as important as any of our presidents. And the amount of joy, comfort, and inspiration you gain from playing music can’t possibly be measured.
Invest in your own presidential-level importance today by picking up that harp or sousaphone, that fiddle or flute, and taking it for a spin. It’s never been easier to learn to play an instrument, with professional musicians offering online music lessons to fit your schedule. Your life satisfaction will soar, and that is something to celebrate.
Are you ready to play? Learn more about online music lessons.