Guest Post by Julie Morris

You can learn more about Julie Morris at Read her post about hobbies below.





Hobbies: It’s Not Just Building Ships in Bottles Anymore

To paraphrase Matthew Woosley at, to have a hobby is something that makes us human. While work is something we do, hobbies are something we want to do. And there’s such a broad range of them, from playing sports like golf or even rugby, to sketching, gardening, building model cars, or just watching movies. Essentially, they keep us from being bored and having too much idle time, and they’re good for our mental health as well.

It’s Now Easier to Learn New Hobbies

What’s different now for hobbies is how we can learn them. It wasn’t that long long ago that when we were interested in starting one, we had to either rely on someone to help us get started, or maybe we checked out a book from the library. Now, we have so many hobby instructional sites on the web, as well as all kinds of videos on YouTube. In addition, we don’t seem to be limited to learning hobbies such as painting, drawing, knitting, or even building ships in bottles. We can use our online resources to get step-by-step instructions, either textual or video-based, on so many others, from car restoration to salsa dancing. You can even learn how to play a musical instrument. Plus, a lot of these online hobby sites can connect you with others in your own community who also have the same one.

The More, the Merrier

You don’t have to go it alone. Learning a new hobby can also be fun with a group of friends. You can take cooking classes, learn wine tasting, form a knitting circle or a Bridge club, and also learn how to dance. Learning a new hobby as a group creates a small social community where you can teach each other and share ideas.

Learn to Make Some Beautiful Music

One hobby that you can do by yourself or with a group of friends is learning how to play a musical instrument. Even if you can’t read a note of music, there are plenty of online resources that can show you how, from learning how to read music to music theory and composition. Learning an instrument with a group of friends can really boost your socialization. And there are so many instruments from which to choose! But if you really want to impress your friends with your new music ability, you can go big and learn how to play tubas, cellos, or flutes — it all depends on your preference.

Renting vs. Buying an Instrument

The first thing you must decide when you choose to go with any one of those three is whether you want to rent or buy. With renting an instrument, you don’t have to put as much money up front, and any necessary repairs have probably been made. Also, if you decide it’s not for you, all you do is return it to the store. If you want to buy one, as Kathleen Boyle of The Washington Post says, it is like buying a car: you have to consider size and affordability.

Consider that a new tuba can cost as much as $3,000, and a new cello as much as $5,000. But like a car, buying used is also an option. When you buy a used tuba, you need to consider the manufacturer, the number of valves, and the type of finish. When buying a used cello, you need to inspect the wood, listen to the tone, and sit down with it to make sure it is comfortable to play. Meanwhile, if you’re buying a used flute, you need to find out when it was last serviced, if any of the pads are loose or missing, how clean it is, and how quickly the keys respond when you touch them.

Overall, if you’re new to any of those three instruments, renting might be your best way to get one. That way, you can not only learn how to play the instrument, but you can also learn about it, which will help when you decide to purchase one.

No matter which hobby you choose, though, it’s always better when it’s done with friends. Even if you all decide to learn the tuba together.

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