Any hard-working postgrad knows that you've got to stop and take a break now and again to keep your sanity and ensure a balanced lifestyle. One of the top 5 New Year's Resolutions postgrads wanted to commit to was the taking up a new hobby. Learning to play a musical instrument, even just for your own personal fun and enjoyment, is a great hobby that will stretch your skills to new heights and promote relaxation at the same time.
Music is known to be physiologically beneficial, and learning an instrument is an extremely worthwhile way to pass an hour or two per week away from the books and computer. Whether it be something classical like a violin, or something fun and relatively easy to learn like a recorder or ukulele, music soothes the soul!
Learning an instrument is also promoted as something to consider studying outside of your postgrad degree . Besides its enjoyable and relaxing elements, it can also enhance your future CV to be able to list an additional skill like being able to play an instrument.
How learning an instrument will help your postgrad studies is that it will allow you the chance to step away from your studies and do something fun - just for yourself! If you choose to take lessons in a group, it could also introduce you to a whole new range of people you might otherwise never meet. It is this self-care and expansion of experiences that is crucial for both mental and physical health during times of intense studying and formation of thought.
Have you ever noticed how a particular problem, writer's block or dead-end in a taxing assignment suddenly disappears and becomes smooth when you leave it for a while and then come back to it? Relaxing and using a different part of your brain for a while to do something fun can help your own specialised postgrad studies immensely, by giving you greater clarity of thought and new ideas!
Instruments such as a recorder or harmonica can cost from as little as around £5, and many can also be rented or bought second-hand for little to nothing. Most can be easily carried, and won't take up much space in your student digs. If you choose something quirky like a banjo, pan flute or ukulele, be prepared to be the life of the party at various student events, where they will be clamouring to hear your new-found skills! Just try not to be that person - you know, the one who, unbidden, insists on showing everyone their newly learn three chord pattern.
If you don't want to learn on-line, or by following a book by yourself, why not offer an exchange of skills for some free lessons by a musical postgrad student? Beneficial to you both, and broadening your horizons at the same time - you both win! Or, as already mentioned, check out any group lessons available - these are usually far cheaper than private lessons. This need not be an expensive hobby!
Learning a musical instrument is a beautiful, relaxing skill for yourself during this intense postgrad period; and it could also promote you in a positive light to future employers as well. So, pick one up and get strumming, plucking, blowing or bowing today!
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