Aside from language, one of my (Rob) principal joys is of playing the piano. Having started at six years old, music has consistently been a part of my life since then. It wasn’t easy to learn, and I feel that I’m still learning and will do as long as I continue playing. I don’t believe there’s any point of perfection whereby you can learn no more, which is what makes the whole process so enjoyable.
When I started learning Spanish, I saw various parallels between learning language and learning music, with a broad overlap in necessary skill-sets. In fact, musicians often make good linguists, and many multi-linguists also play an instrument. The skills used in playing an instrument are beneficial for language learning too – two Stanford studies have confirmed this. This article summarises a few of the ways that learning a language is like learning an instrument.