It has been proven in studies that listening to music or learning to play a musical instrument is very beneficial to the function of the brain. Not only can it lift your mood and have a calming effect, it can actually make you smarter.
If you want to learn a musical instrument, how to read music, or just widen your listening scope, the information you need is not far away. You will need to be motivated and determined, but there is no reason why you (or your children) cannot learn these things for yourself.
There is so much material on the internet, much of it free, so we already have an advantage over past self-taught musicians who include David Bowie, Neil Gallagher and Jimi Hendrix.
I’m going to curate some of my favourite resources here to share with you. I’ll add to it periodically as I discover something new.
Learn to Play the Piano
- How to Play the Piano: complete online course – Andrew Furmancyzk provides a complete course in teaching yourself how to play the piano… he’s a funny guy too, which always helps.
- Advice for Pianists
- How many hours a day should you practise
- 10 Easy Piano Pieces that sound Great
- Popular Piano Sheet Music
- Music Theory
- Learn free music theory – Excellent course by Andrew Furmanczyk
- 8 Notes
- An introduction to Music Theory – Open University
- Dave Conservatoire – A free online music school
- Dolmetsch Music Theory Online
- Berklee College of Music – Sample courses
- Music Theory for Songwriters
- One Minute Music Lessons
- How to read sheet music
- Introduction to Music Theory
- Udemy music theory course
Then pick another artist with a similar style of from the same time and compare and contrast their work. Ask questions about why you like what you like. What don’t you like about it? Listen to individual instruments within pieces. Make notes.
Listen to buskers on the streets. Look out for music festivals or events in your local area. Jam at home with your family using whatever you can rustle up that might do for an ‘instrument’. Look out for second-hand instruments and keep them lying about the house for an impromptu play whenever the mood takes you.
In a town near to where I live there is a large abbey/church where choirs and orchestras often go to practice. If you visit the church you can sit and listen for free. You don’t have to be religious or a churchgoer to enjoy them (I’m not), and the acoustics are incredible. Try your local area for something similar.
Music History and other Interesting Resources
- Coursera – Upcoming Music Courses
- Open Yale Course – Listening to Music
- Open University – Free Online Music Courses
- Podcast Course – Politics in Music
- Music 101: Introduction to music
- History of Classical Music
- Types of Music
- Classical Music Periods
- Video Course Exploring the World of Music
- Exploring African Music
- A brief overview
- BBC List of Music Learning Resources