You’re my guitar hero: Fender eyes work-life balance

strummerGuitar giant Fender – the brand of choice for the likes of Joe Strummer, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, the Edge and Ronnie Wood – is banging the drum for its digital learning app Fender Play with the launch of a pilot workplace scheme, designed to promote an enhanced work-life balance through the power of learning a musical instrument.
The launch follows a study carried out by Fender and published in October last year, which showed that 72% of people said they picked up a guitar for the first time to gain a life skill or as a means of self-betterment.
In tandem with the study, Fender consulted award-winning neuroscientist, musician, record producer and author Daniel Levitin, who is best known for best-selling book This is Your Brain on Music.
In his research, Levitin found people experience obvious emotional benefits, such as increased creativity and self-expression, but also cited less obvious benefits like increased patience, confidence in self and skills, work ethic and persistence over time.
Beyond the emotional component, playing an instrument also has proven physical benefits, apparently, including enhanced hand-eye co-ordination, a boost to the immune system and enhanced brain development, especially in youth and older players.
Fender Play director of product Mary Keenan said: “When we created Fender Play, our goal was to make learning an instrument as easy to grasp and effective as possible. Two years later, we’re proud to have developed a product that people can use to positively impact their everyday life in myriad ways, spanning physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Our ability to share the power of playing with more people is what drives us every day.”
The first company to sign up to the scheme is Amazon-owned US online shoe and clothing retailer Zappos, which has dubbed the programme “Strum for the Sole”.
As part of this relationship, all Zappos employees will have the opportunity to learn an instrument using the Fender app for guitar, bass and ukulele, as a means to reduce stress, promote increased creativity, self-expression and confidence, among other benefits.
Zappos has a dedicated Jam Room on its corporate campus where employees can go to relax during the work day. Zappos employees will also receive a discount on select gear and instruments on Fender.com, should they wish to purchase for at-home or personal use.

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