My mum forced me to play the piano at 9 and I HATED IT SO MUCH! Practice, practice, practice, etc. Now, looking back, I was not actually required to do tons of practice but when it is something you have to carefully work out, it seemed like that! Now? I LOVE IT SOOOOOOOOO MUCH! IT IS A HUGE PART OF MY LIFE! I am so glad my parents got me a very very determined teacher (because most would have quit with how much I rebelled) and now I am so happy. I am going to share with you 5 benefits I have found from learning an instrument.
1. Music is a source of relaxation and good for letting your emotions go.
There have been so many times where I have been stressed out, upset, furious, confused, etc, and I just went to the piano, played for 20 minutes and everything was ok. I expressed my emotions through the music and it was the same as blurting them all out to somebody. Someone may sit and enjoy the feeling of your music, the crescendos, the firm way you play, or the softness, the emotion. They are basically saying they like your feelings. In addition, you can play music to calm down your fuming girlfriend or put her to sleep whilst you come up with a plan to make her happy again.
2. Playing an instrument gets you attention.
Especially if it is something common like a guitar or piano. You can learn to play the glass harmonica, but it would be hard to carry around and you can't find one in a random building at a party and start playing, and your friend certainly does not have one at her house. Really, as people hear you play the songs they love, they crowd around, sing along, ask questions, give compliments, etc. Guys, learn an instrument and it will really impress the girls. It is a rule written in girly literature (which is like their rule books) that a guy is more attractive if he makes attractive music. Girls, you can not deny.
3. Music builds friendships.
As a musician, you will get to meet people you would not have been able to meet otherwise (see 2). You will find others that have the same taste, will point you in other exciting directions, and you will always remember them. In addition playing makes you appreciate other people's music more and you will be drawn to exciting people, and find new exciting songs to listen to.
4. Being a musician makes you important.
You would not believe how needed you become as a musician. I have been asked to play for so many things, weddings, church meetings, baptisms, parties, funerals, etc.You really get around and become a key part of the event. You could become a teacher and earn money like I am about to do.
5. Being a musician makes you feel better about yourself and gives you a feeling of accomplishment.
You get to see all those hours pay off, you realise that you CAN make yourself do hard things. This gives you courage to attempt other things. Your self-esteem increases. You feel accomplished and this just goes on and on as you get deeper, and deeper into the exciting world of music.
A note at the end.
Learn online, buy a book, etc. But I believe the best way to learn is with a teacher. You do much better with someone who has already been there and knows which direction to take you. There are 3 basic types of musician, the memoriser, the reader, and the understander. The memoriser learns songs they like and performs them, but you could not give them some music at short notice and have them play. This method sounds very tempting as it requires the least work, but I would not recommend it for someone who wants to get serious. The reader is someone who learns to read music, can be given a piece of music and perform it almost straight away because they know. These are very good for events, they are good teachers, and they can do very well at theory. They are usually bad at memorising. The understander can play by ear, figure things out, and can usually transpose very well. The issue with this one is that they very often can not read music very well and though they are outstanding at theory, they might struggle teaching. They can be good at writing their own music.
I would suggest that you learn to read music and as you go, add the other skills on. I am a reader, I can only memorise a bit, I can transpose depending on the key, I can not play by ear, but I am a good improviser.
Best of luck.