Why Should I Play an Instrument?

Hi Jaime,

A friend swears that learning an instrument will really help my singing. I’m a little -ahem- older now and happy with my voice – so can’t I give this a miss?

-Zareen

Zareen, never forget: knowledge is power.

Singers who know how to sing well are good singers. Singers who can understand and speak the vocabulary of music are better singers.

However, I believe that singers who can play an instrument (even at a beginner’s level) have a large advantage over all the others.

I reluctantly learned piano as a child; from ages seven to 10 I took lessons and had to practice even though all I wanted to do, like pretty much every other kid, was to go out and play with my friends after school.

That experience trained my ear in a way that was invaluable, so let’s take a moment and shout out a big “Thank You!” to all our moms, dads, grandmas or whoever raised us and insisted we learn trumpet, flute, tuba, piano or clarinet!

If you’re a singer who’s a little older and hasn’t had any musical training, please know that it’s perfectly okay to begin studying at your own personal College of Musical Knowledge at any time.

Firstly, if you’re singing pretty well and loving what you’re doing even though you can’t tell the difference between a quarter note and a water buffalo, remember: you must have some native talent, and you must be doing something right.

So, if you’re really serious about becoming a professional singer, you probably have the desire to take it a step further. Do this: take some voice lessons and start learning basic piano or guitar.

True, you may have to work a bit harder to develop the skills that some of us acquired earlier on, but all is not lost … if you don’t want it to be.

And don’t be discouraged: contrary to some people’s beliefs, you do not have to have a master’s degree in music or voice to become a professional singer.

I sure don’t have one, nor do many (dare I say most) of my incredibly talented and incredibly busy singer friends.

Knowledge IS power.

Learning how to learn IS power, no matter what you’re learning. It’s opening your mind and body to new experiences…and that openness and curiosity about life in general will help you become a better singer.

Sounds crazy, I know, but just try it!

-Jaime