Life is tough. So learn how to play the guitar, you’ll be better for it!

(Watch the video first, it’s relevant to my post)

Reading all the articles about the tuition industry in the past few days, it has become ever clearer to me that Singaporean parents view life here as an intensely competitive thing (“$1 billion spent on tuition in one year”; “Tuition no enough”). The strange thing is, I have never had any tuition in my life as a student. Yet, I did well enough to top my school in GP for the A-levels in 2001. I won that competition without any tuition, ey? What gives? Here’s my (open) secret. Being a musician has helped me develop discipline, creativity, and the ability to connect to my emotions — skills that all contribute to being an effective writer.

The musician in me was dead chuffed (very pleased) when I first came across the video above. TED-Ed confirms what I’ve known all along! My brain is stronger because I’m a musician. (That just means that I’m less stupid than before, but let’s not nitpick.)

Being a musician has helped me develop discipline, creativity, and the ability to connect to my emotions — skills that all contribute to being an effective writer.

People often act surprised when they first hear of my musical life, as if I am particularly “talented”. Here’s the thing, though — I don’t think I’m especially talented. All my abilities are the result of hard work, persistence, and perhaps a touch of good fortune. I count myself lucky that I have received excellent guidance from the people around me, from my father’s insistence on discipline (oh, how we hated that word as children), to a Physics teacher’s silent nod of approval when he saw that I had a B.B. King CD in my bag. The whole discipline thing? It’s the reason for my current musical ability.

So, if you’re finished with your exams and find yourself looking for something to do, pick up the guitar. It’s pretty easy, especially if you have the right guitar. (Ask me about it in the comments.) It’s a workout for your brain!

PS. I know a good guitar teacher who’s not me. Here’s a taste of his music!

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