This is a perfect time to learn to play an instrument.  Music lessons online are widely available from every music school (including ours), by music teachers in Oak Park and nearly everywhere.  Sign up! Learn to play an instrument!

While making breakfast this morning, I heard it said on the radio that certain industries are doing extraordinarily well.  Netflix, among others and the video game makers; one prominent maker is now sold out of an extremely popular new game.  Will we and our children sit idly, playing games before a video monitor?  This is a time of opportunity; it seems wasteful not to take advantage of it.

I am reminded of a previous student, whom I helped to play well.  His mother tried to inspire him to practice, as he showed such promise, but it was ultimately difficult to achieve consistent results.  When I was asked to tune the piano at my students’ home, I saw the setup he had for gaming.  (I learned this was the term for sitting in front on a monitor and playing online video games, often competitively with others anywhere in the world.)  The gaming chair was something like a great Lazyboy recliner, but had built-in controls in the arm rest, a very professional looking joystick, and pedals.  The huge high-definition screen seemed far too close to where he would sit.  Not twenty feet away was a lovely Yamaha grand piano with our music on it, including Beethoven Sonata’s, Chopin Nocturnes and many other pieces. That piano was subsequently replaced with a fabulous Schimmel.  But regular practice wasn’t there, and he eventually quit.

We lead busy lives; it is the nature of our 21st century existence to have too much to do, with stringent school programs and requirements, sports, and other activities. 

This period of isolation, loneliness, and for many, frustration, may have a silver lining. Time, the most valuable of commodities, is usually in such short supply.  Restricted from much of the usual routine and activities, this may be the ideal time to do something different and new. Learning to play an instrument might be just the thing.