Before we played music in video games, people actually learned to play real musical instruments at home. Why? Well, besides being traditions passed down through families, it was a form of curing boredom. (And … badass musicians–no matter how ugly–have traditionally been considered swoon-worthy by just about everyone.) But these days, we forget how much warmth and light fills a room when the music is coming from an actual person, rather than a machine. Whether it’s playing Linus and Lucy on the piano, or singing Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue with ukulele accompaniment (see the author’s father, above), the combination of endearment and entertainment is unmatched when it’s coming from the person next to you. Plus, not only do you get major gratification from learning an actual skill, you’re guaranteed to be a hit at parties.