Building Self Esteem with Music: How Learning to Play Pays Off..
Author: Maria Rainier
I’ve struggled with self esteem and confidence issues for as long as I can remember. I was often characterized as “painfully shy” and “anxious” by my teachers when I was a young girl, I had a hard time making friends, and I still find it difficult to express myself verbally when I’m caught off-guard. Fortunately, I can communicate well in writing, but those aspects of low self esteem have still gotten to me on more than one occasion. I understand how it feels to be alone in a group of people, and I hope what I’ve learned can help you overcome any low self esteem problems you might be experiencing.
Of course, there’s no hard-and-fast way to get out of that mindset. There aren’t really any quick tips or easy fixes, but I can offer some observations on the role of music in my efforts to increase my self esteem. Here are some of the ways music has helped me build my self confidence, recognize myself as fully capable person, and open up to the wide world of my own potential.
Freedom of Expression
Since my worst period of issues with low self esteem, I’ve realized that one of my main problems was – and still is – the inability to access my own feelings and emotions. I minimized my reactivity to people and events in order to prevent myself from doing something that might offend others in some way. In that process, I lost myself and the opportunity to know myself, but learning to play the piano helped me to recover some of my subverted self. Playing an instrument is almost impossible to do without expressing some kind of emotion, so this was the first step toward acknowledging and understanding my feelings. I even found that my playing was a way to communicate emotions to an audience, which is one of the most exhilarating and empowering discoveries I’ve made.
The Fruits of Long Labors
Spending long hours taking lessons, practicing, learning the right techniques, and internalizing sounds is a difficult process that takes dedication and self-motivation. I found that it was an effective way to experience the benefits of working hard to achieve a personal goal. By continuing to pursue my goal of playing the piano over a period of sixteen years, I’ve become a professional musician with the power to perform. This rewarding process has inspired me to pursue other interests, such as professional writing and teaching. The power of success was strong enough to propel me to new heights of self esteem.
Impressions of Empowerment
I became pretty good at playing the piano because of my own hard work and the expertise of my teachers. Looking back at where I started, I’ve come a long way, and I can attribute a good amount of that to my own perseverance. That’s an empowering sensation, and when I feel empowered, I feel capable of taking on the challenges of daily life without blaming myself or getting discouraged.
Positive Opportunities for Interaction
Taking music lessons from a good teacher and performing for others were great ways for me to break out of my comfort zone. Social interaction has never been one of my strengths, but playing the piano has helped me come to terms with that problem. Although it was difficult in the beginning and the process of getting used to interacting with others was long, I’ve become reasonably comfortable as a student and performer. Because of my interest in music, my ability to interact with others has grown stronger.
A Torch to Pass
The final role of music in my self esteem journey was to enable me to teach something valuable to others. I’ve taught piano lessons to many young students who are enjoying the same benefits I discovered years ago. Having knowledge that can help or somehow benefit others is a great self esteem boost that will never fade away.
Bio: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she writes about education, online degrees, and what it takes to succeed as a student taking a bachelors degree program remotely from home. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.