Why you should NOT quit guitar lessons when your life gets stressful

Every guitar teacher knows that guitar lessons are often the first thing that students give up on when their life gets more stressful due to school or work demands, while other activities such as various sports are often kept up. This is a bad choice, because learning an instrument has an almost unparalleled list of benefits that transfer to almost all other areas of your life outside of music. So it would be a far better choice to reduce social media or other activities while keeping up your guitar lessons. Here are some of the benefits: 

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Patience and Persistence

Getting better on an instrument demands a lot of patience and persistence and these are traits that can be trained and developed over time. Persistence can simply be described as the ability to not give up when the going gets though and challenges arise. As we all know, life is full of challenges and the outcome of many is often directly dependent on how we deal with them. Guitar practice literally prepares you to face and tackle life´s challenges in a safe environment and helps you to handle them better. 

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Your memory improves

When you start learning an instrument, you have to memorize a lot of elements: scales, chords, pieces of music and play many things from memory. In the beginning it is very difficult to keep all of these things in mind, but over time it will get easier and easier and have a huge impact on your learning speed and your ability to memorize things quickly in all other areas of your life. 

You develop deep focus

In our time of social media and constant internet and cell phone use, the ability to focus deeply on a single task has become a rare phenomenon. We are constantly distracted and rush from one thing to the next, never focusing intensely on anything. Practicing the guitar will train the skill of developing deep focus when working on something and this leads to faster progress in anything you do in school or at work. 

You develop discipline

Discipline simply means to keep working on something on a regular basis, even if you really don´t feel like doing it on certain days, because you are tired, exhausted or simply lazy. 

The majority of people are very weak in terms of discipline and that´s why loosing weight and keeping up a regular exercise routine is so insanely difficult for most. Luckily, discipline is also a trait that can be developed and if you do, it will be of immense benefit for all the other areas of your life and will be a very important tool to reach your goals. 

You learn to express yourself creatively

Many people have never really explored their creative side and often believe that creativity is a trait that you simply possess or you don´t. Just like discipline, focus and persistence – creativity is a trait that can be developed over time. If you have rarely exercised your creativity in your life, you can´t expect that trait to be strong. Just like a muscle that you´ve never used won´t be strong. The more you learn to exercise that muscle by coming up with your own musical ideas, creating riffs, melodies andd songs, the stronger it will get and the better you become at coming up with creative ideas. 

You reduce stress

Many students have told me over the years, that their guitar lessons are a big opportunity for them to let go of stress from their daily life and that they can totally relax when playing music. This is usually due to the deep focus that students develop over time and this focus leads to a feeling of being totally present in the moment, letting go of all worries of daily life. If you stay with your guitar practice, this ability gets deeper and deeper over time and you can almost enter that state of deep focus and relaxation at will. Guitar practice then becomes a small oasis to retreat from the stresses of daily life that you enter when you need a rest. 

You meet other musicians and develop musical friendships

Often you will have the possibility to meet other students at your guitar school and have the opportunity to develop musical friendships, meet up and jam with others or form a band. This helps you to apply your guitar skills in a real-life musical context and increases your progress even further. Plus – this is where the fun starts.

About the author:

Derk Stiepelmann teaches his guitar students how to play and write their own songs at Songwriter´s Shed, a bad-ass guitar school, that offer guitar lessons in Dortmund, Germany.