There’s no denying the difficulty of the COVID-19 quarantine. Even as stay-at-home measures begin to ease, ongoing restrictions have many of us feeling frustrated, at best — or downright miserable at the thought of spending even one more day at home. While these feelings are perfectly understandable, it’s possible to view the situation in a different light: as an opportunity to tackle a few of the top goals you’ve set on the backburner for years.
If you’re like many people, you’ve long harbored ambitions of mastering a new instrument. Caught up in the whirlwind of daily life, however, you may have struggled to set aside the time needed for lessons and practice. Now that you’re stuck at home, you should have plenty of leisurely evenings free for making music. Why wait? This could be the perfect opportunity to finally achieve one of your most important life goals.
Of course, not all instruments are equally suited to this unprecedented situation. While live lessons involving video conferencing are possible, they don’t quite compare to in-person sessions. Thankfully, some instruments are easy to pick up on your own. You’ll have the most luck with the ukulele or guitar, both of which provide a quick and easy introduction to the world of instrumental music.
Still not convinced? The following are among the most compelling reasons why you should make the effort to pick up a stringed instrument as you continue to navigate the complications of COVID-19 quarantine:
Easy to Learn
If you’re not feeling particularly motivated, opt for an instrument that allows for quick mastery — especially if you lack in-person guidance. The right instrument can make all the difference.
The ukulele, in particular, is a cinch to pick up on your own. Equipped with a book, a tuner, and a few good YouTube videos, you can discover everything you need to know to ace this instrument. A lack of ambition need not get in the way, as you can learn an easy song in a matter of minutes. If you have more time to dedicate to your musical education, however, you could very well become a ukulele maestro by the end of quarantine.
The guitar, although not nearly as basic as the ukulele, is simple enough that you can master a few chords in short order. In all likelihood, several of your favorite guitar songs feature the simplest, yet most appealing chords. That being said, plenty of challenging tunes are also available to keep you engaged not only throughout the duration of quarantine, but also far into the future.
Minimal Equipment Needed
While books, tuners, music stands, and carrying cases can be helpful, it’s also possible to learn the ukulele or guitar when you only possess a smartphone and the instrument itself.
A variety of apps and online videos provide the guidance needed to navigate the confusion of frets, strings, and chords. If you’re truly committed, you can use a detailed guide to master these essentials. Otherwise, several simple tutorials can help you navigate specific songs. This targeted approach may prove a valuable option when you’re short on time but impatient to get started.
The stressful nature of COVID-19 quarantine cannot be denied. In multiple surveys, respondents confirm that their mental health has suffered greatly during this difficult time. Research also confirms, however, that instruments can play a significant role in easing such stress.
When you’re feeling down, you can release those pent-up emotions with the help of a song. If nothing else, you’ll enjoy a greater sense of purpose as you pursue the long-neglected goal of learning an instrument.
In a time of isolation, it’s crucial that you take every opportunity possible to build connections. The ukulele and guitar will both prove invaluable in this effort. On a nice day, you can head out on your porch to play songs for pedestrians as they pass by your home.
If you’re stuck inside, feel free to join a video chat and entertain loved ones with their favorite songs. With a little coordination, you can even sing with your friends or family members from afar as you use your new instrument to provide harmony. Feel free to also use your newfound skills to ease tension with household members, as arguments may otherwise be likely when cooped up.
A Sense of Accomplishment
Little in life matches the personal satisfaction of mastering an instrument. The sense of accomplishment attached to your newfound guitar or ukulele skills could provide valuable fuel to get you through the remainder of quarantine. Even the ability to play a simple song or two can make a real difference. If you come away from quarantine with bona fide instrumental skills, however, you’ll also emerge with a sense of pride that nothing can take away.
Whether you’re stressed, lonely, or simply bored, the guitar or ukulele could cure all that ails you during quarantine. Invest in yourself — you’ll never regret taking the time to master one of the world’s most appealing and versatile instruments.