Is music the greatest hobby in the world?
As long as humans have been around there has been some form of music. Instruments have been discovered that date back to over 40,000 years ago. The oldest known musical composition dates back to the first century AD.
Since then, music has changed, evolved, and grown. There are so many genres now that it feels as if they are uncountable. There can be hardly anyone in the world who doesn’t like music in some form when there is so much to choose from now.
This is why it makes such a good hobby. With so many artists, styles of music, a huge variety of instruments, and also so many different ways to enjoy music, everyone can join in some capacity.
What then, are the ways that you can enjoy music, and how can it be used in society? There may be some that you haven’t considered before.
Listening to music changes moods
The most common way that anyone enjoys music as a hobby is by listening to it. This might sound like a lazy hobby but sometimes there can be nothing better than laying back, closing your eyes, and relaxing to a favorite artist’s music.
It is believed that when you listen to music you create neurons and improve memory. This is perhaps not surprising as music often evokes memories and connections with particular songs. There are also a surprising amount of other health benefits to listening to music:
Music can boost memory and alter one’s mood but there are some other benefits too:
- It can help with mental health issues
- It can help with sleeping problems
- It can be used to manage pain and recovery
- It helps improve productivity
- It improves moods
- It can lower stress levels
Most people will understand how music can alter their mood. Everyone has been affected by music associated with a break-up or bad memory, and equally, when a favorite song comes on the radio it can brighten the day.
It can also be used in many creative ways.
Making your own music
Writing lyrics and composing music is a very creative way to use music as a hobby. Learning guitar chords through online platforms can help you to first learn other musicians’ music before starting to compose your own.
The beauty of making your own music is that it is something that you can share with others. The best hobbies in the world are the ones that others can join in with. Of course, not everyone wants to be a live performer but luckily there are other ways to use music and still be creative.
There are many great apps available now to help people produce their music at home and if you want to go down this route then you will need a DAW or digital audio workstation. This might sound expensive but there are many affordable software solutions available and one comes free with Apple Macs. GarageBand has been used by Rihanna, Usher, and Grimes to create music.
Playing and learning musical instruments for pleasure
Some people just like to play music for themselves, while others like to perform. Learning an instrument is a great way to expand your musical hobby.
The first step is to choose which instrument you would like to learn. Many people opt for the violin, the piano, or the guitar. Let’s be honest, you want to learn the guitar right?
Surprisingly, playing an instrument brings about many of the same benefits that listening to music does. It can increase your memory capacity, boost your immune system, reduce stress, increase perseverance, and it uses almost every part of your brain as you practice.
It could seem hard to initially pick up the guitar or another instrument but there are many resources these days that can help. There are websites available that let you upload songs and then they will strip out the guitar chords so you can see what to follow.
All you have to do is upload your favorite song and then instantly receive Taylor Swift chords for you to play and practice with. This takes all the guesswork out of practicing other artist’s songs and lets you get on with the fun part.
Turn your hobby into a career
Music is so broad that it allows anyone interested in it to pursue a career in some area or another. If you are musically talented then you can of course look to become a musician. Alternatively, use your talents to teach others in schools or even privately.
The options for using music as your career as well as a hobby are long and varied:
- A&R assistant
- Band manager
- Tour manager
- Accountant for a music firm
- Human resources
- Music journalist
- Music blogger
- Music teacher
- Music therapist
This list doesn’t even include sound engineers, mixers, DJs, or the almost endless options there are to be involved in music. What other hobby gives you so many choices to work in its field?
Music as a form of therapy and in treatment
Mental health is a very serious modern-day issue and fortunately, treatments for mental health are growing. One modern type of therapy is using music to help patients recover.
Because music helps to regulate moods and listening to it can make certain neurochemicals release which changes the brain’s chemistry.
These neurochemicals include dopamine, serotonin, stress hormones, oxytocin, and other hormones that affect immunity. The mental health problems that are being treated with music therapy include schizophrenia, anxiety, stress, and depression.
It is believed also that music can help you heal, control pain, and recover quicker.
Tests have shown that music reduces pain perception which in turn means less need for painkillers. Music provides a type of sensory stimulation that helps promote relaxation and rest.
Share your music and meet others
Assuming that you don’t want to make a career out of your music but you would perhaps like to share it more widely and even make a little cash from it then there are some options available.
You already have a love of music as your hobby and now you want to get it out into the world so learn how to collaborate and monetize your music. Even if you don’t want to necessarily make money it is still useful to understand these steps.
Social media is your best friend for this and you have a plethora of platforms to choose from. YouTube is the most popular, and you can make your own channel and share your music with the world. Be ready for the feedback though, it might not all be great. If you’re feeling pretty confident then look at SoundCloud where you can upload, share, and sell your music.
If it is a collaboration you are after then Vampr may help. It is a social network platform for musicians and you could end up forming your first band there.
Unfortunately making a living can be hard as a musician and there are only 1,560 full-time, independent, musicians in the US which show how difficult this field can be. Fortunately, there are so many other options to enjoy music that you are sure to find an easier way.
Music can be used in therapy, to teach others, to entertain, or it can simply be listened to while sitting in a favorite armchair alone.
Story by Brad Smith