One of the best decisions we can make in our life is learning how to play a musical instrument. Playing an instrument has many physical and emotional health benefits, and learning to play is one of the best ways to train your brain to be strong and resilient. Here are some reasons why, courtesy of Mage Music.
Playing music activates both sides of your brain, so it makes learning easier and can increase comprehension and math skills, as well as coordination and memory. It produces neural growth factors that make you smarter, stronger, and more focused. In addition, learning to play music develops the same areas of the brain involved in cooperation, time management, organization, and speech and verbal skills. Emotionally, regularly playing an instrument teaches you responsibility and can fill you with a sense of accomplishment. Playing music has also been shown to strengthen abstract reasoning skills in children and young adults, even more than in learning computer skills.
In older patients, listening to music has been found to improve creativity and decrease blood pressure and feelings of depression and fatigue, as well as increasing mental resistance to pain. Music enjoyment elicits dopamine release, which is tied to motivation, reduced stress, and improved immune response systems. In dementia patients, singing and listening to music has been found to improve mood and memory, as well as attention and executive functioning. And learning to play a musical instrument is even more beneficial than simply listening to and enjoying music. Performing music has a calming effect on the performer, as well as the audience.
Broaden Your Horizons
Learning to play a stringed instrument like a guitar has additional benefits such as learning to appreciate other cultures when you learn about their music styles. Your concentration skills deepen and your memory capacity increases. Even learning a simple instrument like a ukulele can improve your eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills, along with being less complex to learn. It’s small and portable, the strings are easier on the fingers, and playing it can be a ton of fun.
Choosing Your Instrument and Practicing
When considering what instrument you would like to learn, put on a good pair of headphones and pay attention to what the instruments sound like, and what appeals to you. Your taste in music will have weight on your decision. If you like classical music, a piano may appeal to you. If you like rock music, a set of drums or a guitar might be what you need. You should consider online lessons, as well. Especially at first, secondhand equipment will work fine.
As with most things, practice makes perfect. That requires some discipline, but it also means setting up the right place to practice at home. A spare room is ideal. You might want to soundproof the room down the line, but for now, the main thing is to avoid distractions. For instance, if the windows are cracked and/or not blocking outside noise, browse Angi’s lists of local pros for window repair.
Long story short, music makes you feel better, as per The Week. It’s a form of self-expression that helps you to develop perseverance and discipline. Classical music has been found to calm you down, and children who perform music together develop compassion for each other, a key component in emotional intelligence. So go ahead and give it a try. This time next year, you’ll be a better person and you might even lose weight. Win-win!
Mage Music loves teaching all ages. My instruments are guitar, piano, voice, and electric bass. I can also help you with home recording and song composition. If you’d like to study with a nationally certified music teacher, click here!
Mage is a creative artist and Nationally Certified Teacher of Music with a Master of Fine Arts in music composition and performance, a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies, and an Apple Certified Macintosh Technician credential.