Learning Is Fun and Healthy

By Justin Bower, Logan County 4-H Educator

I’ve always had an interest in music. I was in choir and band and loved to dance too. As a 4-H camp counselor you usually found me in the rec hall at 4-H Camp Ohio teaching line dances as early as 6:45am. Now let me be clear, I was decent at music, but by no means am I great at any one of these things.

My singing voice tends to be too nasally, I cannot play complicated pieces on instruments, and my dancing range is stuck in line dancing. However, in high school I still wanted to learn something new. I had learned piano, and several brass instruments but I wanted to be able to play while camping and dragging our upright piano around did not seem like the most practical thing.

I settled on trying to learn guitar. My mother had a travel acoustic guitar that no one had touched for a few years. So I decided to start looking up lessons on YouTube, printing off chord charts, and taking the time to practice and learn. Now I am in no way a skilled guitar player now but I can get myself through leading worship or camp songs by using chords (and just so you know, Alice the Camel is a great song to play on guitar).

With us having to stay at home more than we are used to, you might find yourself bored or in a rut. Take the time to learn something new!

Here is a list I created of some useful skills you can learn on YouTube:

  • Using hotkeys/keyboard shortcuts
  • Changing a tire
  • Mastering folding
  • Speed-reading
  • Craftsman skills
  • Learn Spanish

Here is a list of some not as useful but fun skills on YouTube:

  • Rubix Cube
  • Ukulele
  • Drawing
  • Juggling
  • Unicycling

Taking time to learn skills you want is great for your mental health and well-being. Doing things you enjoy and challenging your brain makes you feel good and encourages you to be more positive.

When you decide what you want to learn feel free to use YouTube, Google, and books to teach yourself the skill. Know that it takes time and practice. The key to learning a skill is identifying what you are weakest at and continually practicing that. For example, I struggled playing a F chord, but after intentional practice and playing songs with the chord in it I was able to do it.

Here’s my challenge for you:

Take time this weekend to practice a skill that you are trying to learn.

guitar and guitar case with 4-H sticker

This is my guitar and guitar case. I decided for 2021 that I was going to start putting some of my favorite stickers on my guitar case. Notice which sticker I put on first.

 

Justins Sig

Justin Bower

Logan County 4-H Educator

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