There’s Nothing Like Playing Music

Column: Hau's It Goin'

Alex Hau, Media Chief

Since the fourth grade, I have played some type of musical instrument. Back then, it was the violin. I wasn’t very good at first because it was a very difficult instrument, and I was only about 10 years old.  However, that didn’t stop me from enjoying it.

I practiced and practiced until I finally made first chair in middle school and was able to perform in the All-County orchestra. Around this time, I also started playing the guitar. I quickly discovered my love for it as there was a more plentiful selection of songs that I enjoyed playing. There is no doubt that my skills from learning the violin aided in my ability to play guitar.

While scheduling conflicts prohibited me from playing the violin after 9th grade, I didn’t stop playing music. I focused my practice time on the guitar. I started with electric but then settled into acoustic songs, learning how to finger pick and transition from chord to chord. It was about this time in 10th grade when I realized how important music was to me, or more so, how important playing music really is.

Not only is there the self-satisfaction of learning a song, and finally getting it right after countless hours of practice, but there is also satisfaction in playing for other people. I remember when I was first starting out, I would want to perform for my parents as soon as I learned a new song — not because I wanted to show off, but because playing music is twice as good when you are able to share it with another person.

Last year I got a drum kit, and this was the point in my life where I realized that playing music with other people is simply one of the greatest feelings a person could ever experience. It was only when I got a drum kit that I started jamming with my friends frequently. We would cover popular bands such as the Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin.

However, what I enjoy most when jamming with my friends is making music. Improvising solos, making up a rhythm, even guitar battling one another, there truly is no better feeling.

I am no music expert, or let alone a psychology expert, but I can share from experience that there is some feeling you get from playing music that you can’t get from anything else.

You may get some sort of similar satisfaction from achieving a goal or finally succeeding in something, but it’s comparing apples to oranges.
What I don’t understand is when people sell themselves short. People either say they don’t have the skill or they don’t have the “musical gene.” For those people, I say that anyone can play music. Anyone can learn an instrument. Not everyone wants to play an instrument, but some people want to and feel they can’t. It is very difficult to learn; that I will admit. Very difficult, but not impossible.

Music is such an important thing in human culture. For centuries, humans have been performing music and playing with others. Not only does playing music connect you to yourself, but it connects you to other people.

There truly is nothing like playing music.