I just want to improve as an actor, and I am also fond of dancing and learning musical instruments.”

Mithila Palkar, Actress

Pros and Cons of Learning a Music Instrument

advantages and disadvantages of playing and learning a music instrument

Learning an instrument can be quite a lot of fun. Some people may even be able to make a living out of it. Millions of children and also adults learn a music instrument each year.

However, apart from the many advantages related to learning to play music instruments, there are also some issues related to it.

In this article, the pros and cons of learning an instrument are shown in detail.

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Advantages of Learning a Music Instrument

  1. Learning an instrument can be fun
  2. May improve your level of creativity
  3. You may be able to earn some money
  4. Playing a music instrument may brighten up your mood
  5. You can make a professional career out of it
  6. Women often like musicians
  7. You can join a band
  8. Can improve your coordination skills
  9. May improve your confidence
  10. You can find new friends
  11. Some people love the musician lifestyle
  12. Improvements in improvisation skills
  13. You may be better able to deal with your emotions
  14. Plenty of free learning material on the internet
  15. You may be able to learn how to deal with being in the spotlight

Learning an instrument can be fun

One key advantage of learning an instrument is that it can be quite much fun. Many people really enjoy playing a music instrument and continue to do so for many decades or even for a lifetime.

Many people who learned to play an instrument will consider it to be their most important hobby and some of them cannot even imagine a life without playing music instruments anymore.

Therefore, if you consider learning an instrument right now, chances are that you will really like it and it might become quite an important hobby for you in the long run.

May improve your level of creativity

Many musicians are also quite creative. This is due to the fact that they always have to create new songs, adapt to new influences and so on. Since playing an instrument is so rich in variety, chances are that you will never get bored to reinvent yourself and to change your style of making music.

Thus, since you will change your style of making music quite often, chances are that you will also stay quite flexible and your creativity levels will improve quite a lot due to that.

You may be able to earn some money

Even recreational musicians can make a decent income from playing an instrument. For instance, if you play on weekends on a regular basis, you can make a few hundred bucks each weak from playing music.

Therefore, playing an instrument can also result in a serious side hustle, which you may even turn into a full-time career over time.

Hence, learning an instrument can also provide you with the opportunity to earn decent money in the long run.

Playing a music instrument may brighten up your mood

It has been shown in many studies that music can significantly change our moods. For instance, if you had many bad experiences in the past, music may help you overcome mental problems of many sorts.

Through learning an instrument, you can really express your inner feelings and lower the emotional pain that might bother you right now. Moreover, not only can you brighten up your own mood by playing an instrument, you can also brighten up the mood of numerous people who listen to your music and your concerts.

Thus, you can improve the quality of life of many people by playing an instrument, which may give you motivation to further improve on a continuous basis.

You can make a professional career out of it

In case you really take it seriously, you can even start a professional music career. Some musicians out there make a fortune by traveling all over the world for playing at concerts or by selling their music albums.

Hence, if you are really talented and are also willing to work quite hard on your music skills, learning an instrument may give you the opportunity to live your dream as a professional musician.

However, also note that the chances of becoming a famous musician are extremely low since there are so many people trying it. Thus, make sure that you have a backup plan in case your musician career fails.

Women often like musicians

Another advantage of learning an instrument is that women often like musicians and your chances regarding finding a partner may greatly improve in case you learn to play an instrument.

It is not quite clear why, but women are often attracted to musicians and if you really become quite good at your craft, you will definitely have an edge when it comes to getting women.

Thus, if this is one of your main goals or struggles right now, learning an instrument can really improve your chances in this regard.

You can join a band

After you practiced for a while, you may also be able to join a band. While some people love to play in a band, others prefer a solo career and you have to decide for yourself which character type you are and whether you want to become part of a band or not.

Playing in a band has the advantage that you will be able to make many valuable contacts, which could also help you to boost your career as an artist and many people also like the feeling of community that comes along with being part of a band.

Can improve your coordination skills

Another benefit of learning an instrument is that it might also greatly improve your coordination skills. Since you often have to use multiple parts of your body and your muscles at the same time, playing music is a great way to improve our coordination.

Moreover, if you play in a band, you also have to fit into the overall harmony of songs and you have to be careful regarding when is your time to play and when you have to stay silent.

Due to all those things, playing an instrument can greatly improve your overall coordination skills and may also keep you flexible in your brain since you will always have to adapt and learn new concepts.

May improve your confidence

Learning an instrument may also greatly improve your overall confidence. Especially if you play in a band and play at many concerts, chances are that you will experience plenty of admiration from your fans. Quite often, musicians are surrounded by groupies and other fans and this feeling of confirmation may give you a great boost in confidence.

Therefore, especially if you currently suffer from quite low confidence, learning an instrument may give you the opportunity to get out of your misery and to vastly improve your overall quality of life.

You can find new friends

If you join a band, you will also be able to make new friends. In fact, in many bands, band members often become like a family for you since you tour around and spend so much time with each other.

Moreover, after your concerts, there will often be parties and you will get to know many new people over time. Some of those people may become really good friends in the long run.

Thus, especially if you want to socialize, chances are that playing an instrument can also significantly help you in this regard.

Some people love the musician lifestyle

While many people give up quite early since they recognize that learning an instrument is not for them, others are literally borne with a natural talent and strive to get better every day. In fact, some people really love learning to play an instrument.

Moreover, many people not only love the learning process, they also love the lifestyle of being a musician. In fact, being a musician can be quite exciting. If you are good enough, you may be able to travel the world and to make good money from your musician career.

Moreover, many people also love the legendary parties and the overall high level of freedom which is implied by such a life.

Therefore, if you are one of those people who really love the musician lifestyle, there might be nothing better for you to do out there and you may want to give it a try.

Improvements in improvisation skills

Another upside of playing an instrument is that you can also greatly improve your improvisation skills over time. Many times, especially at concerts, bands get out of their comfort zones and improvise quite a lot to get a certain individual flavor in each concert.

Therefore, even though your improvisation skills might be quite poor right now, you will sooner realize that those skills will improve quite a lot if you play in front of a big audience.

Improvisation is not only crucial in music, but also in various other parts of our daily life. Consequently, if you master this skill, you will likely benefit from it on several future occasions of your daily life.

You may be better able to deal with your emotions

Some people also use music to self-medicate themselves. Especially if you currently suffer from mental problems, you may want to learn an instrument and write some songs. Many musicians try to process bad things from their past in their songs, which may bring them great mental relief.

Therefore, you may also want to learn an instrument in order to be better able to deal with your past. However, note that music is not a magic pill to solve your problems and that you may need additional support from a psychologist in case you suffer from serious mental illness.

Plenty of free learning material on the internet

The internet is a real blessing when it comes to learning new things. There are so many good instructions out there, including videos that show you step-by-step how to become better in several areas of your daily life. Hence, if you want to learn an instrument, it is quite easy nowadays since you can just look up everything you need to know on the internet.

While this might take some time, you may be able to improve really fast with these instructions and it might in fact be the easiest time in the history of mankind to learn an instrument right now.

You may be able to learn how to deal with being in the spotlight

While some people love the spotlight and the attention, others may be rather frightened and do not like to be in the spotlight at all. However, becoming confident in performing in front of a crowd of people is often quite important for various parts of our lives.

Especially if you aspire to a leading role in the corporate world, you urgently have to learn this skill since you will be in the spotlight quite often and also have to deal with plenty of negative feedback.

Therefore, learning an instrument may also help you in this regard since you may be exposed to larger audiences and will learn how to deal with it over time.

Disadvantages of Learning to Play an Instrument

  1. Playing an instrument can be time-consuming
  2. You may need a teacher
  3. Learning an instrument can be expensive
  4. Musicians often have a rather unhealthy lifestyle
  5. Organizational problems
  6. Professional music careers are often quite stressful
  7. You may have to try different instruments to find the right one for you
  8. Salaries can be quite bad if you are not publicly known yet
  9. Mental problems
  10. Frustration at the start
  11. Some people may give up
  12. Some level of talent is required for a professional career

Playing an instrument can be time-consuming

Although there are many advantages related to playing an instrument, there are also some issues related to it. One problem of learning to play an instrument is that it can be quite time-consuming. You will have to put in plenty of work in order to learn and to become better. Especially at the beginning, this can be quite exhausting since it will take you a while until you see real progress.

Over time, especially if you aspire to a professional music career, you will have to spend significant fractions of your day playing music and this might conflict with your corporate career in the long run.

At one point in time, you will likely have to decide whether you want to become a professional musician or stay in the corporate world and only play music on a recreational basis.

You may need a teacher

If you really aspire to a professional music career, you might also need a professional teacher who can help you improve your skills in order to get to the next level. Sure, there is plenty of information out there on the internet and you can learn many things by yourself.

However, if you really want to make progress in a reasonable timeframe, chances are that you might be better off by getting a music teacher. Yet, those teachers can be quite expensive since they have to be paid on an hourly basis.

Thus, if you really aspire to a professional music career, make sure that you have a certain budget for it and that you will have to invest some money before you see any returns.

Learning an instrument can be expensive

Apart from the costs of a music teacher, there are also some other additional costs related to learning an instrument. For instance, you have to buy your instrument in the first place. Depending on the instrument, the prices can be quite high.

For example, for a piano, you can spend many thousands of dollars to get a decent one. Moreover, you will also have to travel to concerts, which also implies that you have to sleep somewhere and hotel rooms are usually not cheap either.

Hence, there are serious costs related to learning an instrument and being a serious musician and you should take this fact into account when it comes to the decision whether you want to learn an instrument in a professional manner or not.

Musicians often have a rather unhealthy lifestyle

Musicians are also known for living a rather unhealthy lifestyle. In fact, many former musicians state in interviews that the consumed plenty of alcohol and drugs during their careers.

This lifestyle can lead to serious health problems in the long run and in case you are not a stable personality, you may suffer from serious health issues due to your musician career.

Organizational problems

Playing an instrument may also cause some organizational issues. Especially if you want to earn money with it, you will have to be quite flexible regarding your performances.

Those performances and gigs may also interfere with your corporate job and over time, those organizational issues may become quite exhausting.

Professional music careers are often quite stressful

In case you learn an instrument since you want to pursue a professional music career, you should also realize that being a musician can be quite stressful. Although many musicians love the feeling to be on stage, it can be quite hard to tour around and to have multiple concerts within a single week. Thus, be prepared to deal with significant stress if you really want to go hard for it.

You may have to try different instruments to find the right one for you

Many people also do not find their favorite instrument right at the beginning of their music career. In fact, many people who initially learned to play a certain instrument switch to other instruments over time since they like it more.

Therefore, be prepared that you might not know which instrument is right for you at the start and that you have to try several different instruments in order to figure out the one you like most.

However, this can be quite exhausting, time-consuming and also expensive since you may have to buy multiple instruments over time.

Salaries can be quite bad if you are not publicly known yet

Especially at the beginning of your music career, chances are that you will also only earn low amounts of money. Nobody knows you yet and therefore, also the salaries that will be paid to you may be rather low.

However, keep in mind that this can change over time and you should not lose your motivation if you only earn a few bucks at the beginning of your career.

Also keep in mind that all big artists initially started out with those low salaries and made their way up over time.

Mental problems

Another problem of learning an instrument and being a musician is that you may also suffer from serious mental problems. Many people are not made for dealing with all the pressure that comes along with a professional music career and if you are one of those people who are not able to deal with pressure, this sort of professional career might not be for you.

Frustration at the start

Since it takes quite a while to learn an instrument, many people may also become quite frustrated over time. Especially if you don’t have too much natural talent, it may be quite exhausting since you may feel like you do not make any progress at all.

Some people may give up

Since learning an instrument is not easy at the beginning, many people also give up after a rather short period of time. Therefore, if you don’t have the ambition to really be serious about playing an instrument, you might also give up way to early.

Some level of talent is required for a professional career

If you really want to become a renowned artist, you will need a certain level of talent. Sure, hard work is a key factor for success. However, if you don’t have a certain level of talent, chances are that people who have this talent and work as hard as you do will sooner or later become better than you.

Thus, if you don’t have any talent, go for a recreational career but not for a professional music career since you will most likely not make it to the top without having sufficient talent for it.

Top 10 Learning Instruments Pros & Cons – Summary List

Learning Instruments ProsLearning Instruments Cons
Learning instruments can improve creativityMusicians often live unhealthy lifestyles
You can learn how to react in spotlightLearning an instrument can be difficult
Learning an instrument can be funCan be expensive
May become a serious professionYou may need a teacher
You may be able to travel the worldLearning instruments can be time-consuming
Some people love the musician lifestyleMay lead to frustration
Can boost your confidenceMay conflict with your corporate career
Music can improve your improvisation skillsSome people give up too early
You may find new friendsSome talent is required
Can help to overcome mental problemsOrganizational efforts

Should You Learn An Instrument?

As we can see from the previous analysis, there are many advantages and disadvantages of learning an instrument.

You have to decide for yourself whether the pros of learning an instrument outweigh the cons or not.

If you are not sure, you may just give it a try. After all, what do you have to lose?!

Make sure to get your first instrument right now. I suggest you start out with playing the guitar since it is not that difficult to learn and can be quite a lot of fun!

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_musical_instruments

https://medium.com/giglue/top-20-musical-instruments-you-can-easily-play-693f603a2bcf

https://www.britannica.com/art/musical-instrument

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.

As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.

After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.

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