Playing a musical instrument can bring a wide range of benefits to individuals of all ages, ranging from physical and mental health to cognitive and social development. Whether you’re a musician or a music fan, learning to play one will only benefit you in many more ways than you think!
10. Improved Brain Function
Playing a musical instrument improves your brain function. Music engages many cognitive functions simultaneously, increasing connections between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. This can enhance skills such as reading comprehension, logic, and pattern recognition.
9. Uplifted Spirits
Playing an instrument relieves stress and improves your mood. Music releases dopamine, the feel-good hormone in your brain that leaves you feeling happy and relaxed. Making music can lift your mood and decrease anxiety, depression, and stress. Just think of how mesmerizing those professional piano players look and sound when they let themselves be immersed in their performances, to our delight! Even by simply watching someone play an instrument, your good mood increases!
8. Improved Memory
Sister with 10 but different in meaning, playing an instrument boosts your memory and mental sharpness. Music and memory are deeply connected in the brain. As you learn to play an instrument, you have to memorize notes, chords, and fingerings, which over time will strengthen your recall and retain information more easily.
7. Elevated Dexterity
You want to be better at cutting paper, drawing, staying within the lines, cooking, and aiming at a dart board? Playing an instrument improves hand-eye coordination and dexterity, and the examples we enumerated are just surface-level. Think about driving! Whether you play piano, guitar, or violin, you have to coordinate both hands to manipulate an instrument to produce music. This boosts your grasp on an instrument and other tools, with practice.
6. Enhanced Creativity
Playing an instrument enhances creativity and gives one the tools to pragmatically make use of it. Think of when melody ideas hit you in the middle of the day/night, but you can’t reproduce it note by note since you don’t play an instrument. The areas of the brain involved in inventing music are the same and responsible for creativity in other activities! Music exercises the creative, emotional, and intuitive parts of the mind.
5. Acquired Patience
Playing an instrument teaches patience and discipline. Learning an instrument takes practice and dedication. It teaches the life skills of setting goals and working consistently to achieve them. Mastering an instrument builds patience and discipline. You will give up, of course! Many times! But you will also pick it back up and persist because you’re reading this article now!
4. Renewed Neural Pathways
Playing music reduces the risk of cognitive decline as you age. For older adults and seniors, playing an instrument has added benefits for the aging brain. It generates new neural pathways that strengthen cognitive abilities and may delay age-related decline. Playing an instrument is quite the antidote to brain aging and mental regression!
3. Heightened Self-Confidence
Playing an instrument improves self-expression and self-confidence while performing for others builds trust in yourself and those watching you. Since the ability to communicate through music is most exerted when you have spectators, we do encourage it sooner than later. So make sure you show others how you play that new instrument when you pick it up! If you’re too timid, record yourself prior to having guests over.
2. Enhanced Extroversion
Playing an instrument enhances social skills and connectivity. Think about jamming! Creating with others leads to new friendships and learning opportunities. Playing in a band or orchestra helps develop teamwork, empathy, and the ability to listen to others. A set of skills that will translate perfectly useful to any other industry or field!
1. Educated Music Consumption
You ever wondered how can two people listen to the same song and one will say ‘meh?’ while the other will start crying and say ‘did you hear the violins in part two??? OH MY GOD!’ It all comes down to musical education, which will inherently demand your attention once you start playing an instrument. Playing an instrument changes how you perceive music as you gain a deeper understanding of melody, harmony, rhythm, and song structure. This new perspective heightens your enjoyment and passion for music.
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