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This year the National Association of Music Merchants is urging people to get involved in “Pledge to Play,” which encourages those who have always wanted to play a musical instrument to achieve their dream. A recent Gallup Pole indicates that the majority of Americans wish they did play a musical instrument – 85% in fact.

The “Pledge to Play” website, wannaplaymusic.com, has information about the benefits of playing music. Studies have shown that children who play music do better in school and in life. Adults who play music have lower stress levels and a positive outlet for emotions.  

A few of the top New Year’s Resolutions of the nation even allow room for spending more time with your instrument or learning a new one. Coming in strong at #6 on New Year’s Resolution lists include Askmen.com’s “make more time for hobbies” and 2011resolutions.org’s “learn something exciting.”

Not surprisingly, many of America’s professional musicians have resolutions relating to their career. Paste Magazine spoke to 40 musicians and groups and found that their New Year’s Resolutions ranged from writing more songs, listening to new musicians, and practicing with a metronome, to stop eating fast food and cleaning their apartments. But a few musicians have joined the learn-to-play-a-new-instrument band: Anais Mitchell wants to learn to play the violin and Lydia Loveless wants to get better at the guitar. 

All of these people resolving to play music have inspired my own New Year’s Resolution: to play the piano at least three days a week. What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

Posted on January 5, 2012
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