Learning to play a musical instrument can have many benefits. It can improve reading and comprehension skills. “Written music is a bunch of marks on a piece of paper going up and down” one of my fellow orchestra members told me after I told him how far along I was with writing music to go along with my book. It takes effort to figure out where the notes of music are produced on your instrument. Learning to play an instrument takes time and effort. You have to train the muscles of your fingers/hands/lips/tongue (depending on the instrument you chose to play) to make specific movements. Learning to play a musical instrument teaches you patience and perseverance. Musicians have to practice difficult sections of music multiple times in a row before they can play it correctly. Overcoming musical challenges can give you a sense of pride about yourself. Others showing their appreciation of how well you played through their applause gives you a sense of accomplishment. Just as a story in a book can bring you into another world, music itself is history, and each piece usually has its own background and story line that can further your appreciation of other cultures. Music can relieve stress when it is an avenue of showing your emotions. Some hospitals use music therapy for treating children and teens with autism, depression, and other disorders. Often, one hears stories about the dreaded piano lessons when one was a child. Just as Rainier had to try different jobs before he found the right fit, one can try out different instruments to play. My husband is tone deaf. He said he was kicked out of the school choir when he was a child and given sticks to “play” in music class. His story was part of table topics at one of our toastmaster meetings one night. As the story goes, he lost one of his sticks and became the conductor. My husband exaggerates. We all have different talents. And some of us take longer to bloom than others. A big thank you to those of you who have read my book Flip Flap Fly . . . A Cardinal’s Journey and told me you or a child you gave my book to read love it. Now it is time for me to play myself a lullaby before I go to sleep tonight.