Playing an instrument is not a digital experience. It is analog. No screens. No electronics needed.
Several times we have lost power at the house while I’m teaching flute lessons. When this happens during daylight hours, it does not affect my teaching. As long as the student can see the music, we can carry on right where we left off.
Once, we were without power in the evening. There was some light outside as the sun was beginning to set. It was too dark in the house to see the music, so we moved lessons outside to the front porch and carried on.
Fortunately, when the power goes out at night, I have two battery-powered stand lights. For practicing, my kids will use their camping headlamps!
Nonetheless playing the flute, piano, guitar, and singing requires no electricity. Playing an instrument or singing is a delicious escape from the digital world.
Ophthalmologists are concerned that the over-use of screens is causing eye problems in youth and adults. Indeed, there’s even a new diagnosis: Computer Vision Syndrome.
When playing an instrument, the music is in the “middle distance.” (As opposed to “near distance” when reading a book or “far distance” when looking out a window. Using middle distance vision can strengthen the eyes. If you use a computer or look at screens a lot, you may suffer from eye strain. It is important to take breaks from digital media. Playing an instrument is one good way to do this.
One Christmas, my son received “night vision” goggles in a spy kit. For many weeks, he enjoyed playing piano at night, wearing night-vision goggles. I’m a big believer in making practice fun and creative.
Both of my kids have to practice every day. I am thankful for the forced break from screens and electronics. This is another one of the many benefits of music education: teaching kids that there are alternatives to the digital world. Some things, like playing an instrument are still analog.