About 1.08 into the video Mike makes a comment about music being a very common thing in times that many people watch TV now. That not only did most people know how to read a little music which they all learned in school, but in fact whole groups or families of instruments were created for this market. So this was not a solo kind of thing at all, but something the whole household was involved in. (I say household rather than family because I suspect that there where more extended families and boarders than there are now) I feel that interacting with other people is important.
As an added note... I have been playing drums, guitar and bass since the early 19070s and started playing mandolin in the past few years. I can't read music (at least not in real time) but only follow chord charts. So perhaps being able to read music is a bit over rated. I am currently making a Mandocello (as with the Cello, the C is pronounced as CH). Len's Madocello build
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