The benefits of playing music

Einstein once said: “Life without playing music is inconceivable to me. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music... I get most joy in life out of music”. And as it turns out, Einstein was onto something: many studies show a correlation between musical training and academic success, in both children and adults. Learning to play an instrument stimulates the brain, improving functions like memory and abstract reasoning skills, which are essential for maths and science.

1. Makes you smarter
2. Make you utilize every part of the brain

Science has shown that musical training can change brain structure and function for the better. It can also improve long-term memory and lead to better brain development for those who start at a young age.

Furthermore, brain scans have been able to identify the difference in brain structure between musicians and non-musicans. Most notably, the corpus collosum, a massive bundle of nerve fibres connecting the two sides of the brain, is larger in musicians. 

3. Decreases age related hearing loss

In a study performed by the then doctoral student Benjamin Zendal and Dr. Claude Alain, participants were instructed to attentively listen to complex sounds. It was found that the older musicians auditory cortices responded the same as the younger participants and at a higher functionality than the older non-musicians, who had age-related hindrances. This is ironic because many musicians experience hearing loss from the loud music they are a part of, but if you protect your ears from the “loudness” of music, music can actually benefit your hearing.

3. Enanches your coordination

The art of playing an instrument requires a lot of hand-eye coordination. By reading musical notes on a page, your brain subconsciously must convert that note into specific motor patterns while also adding breathing and rhythm to the mix.

4. Creates a sense of achievement.

Overcoming musical challenges that you thought you’d never quite master can give you a great sense of pride about yourself. When you first start learning how to play an instrument, it seems like just holding out a note for a couple beats or hitting a high pitch is an amazing accomplishment. As you practice and become a more experienced musician, making beautiful sounding music pleasing not only to your ear, but others as well is a very rewarding experience.

5. Improve focus, perseverance and creativity

Focus is a necessary part of learning an instrument. Improving your musical skills forces you to use all the parts of your brain involved in concentration, making you better able to concentrate in other life situations. This is another reason why music is beneficial for those with disorders like ADD.

teaches you perseverance. Learning to play an instrument takes time and effort, which really teaches you patience and perseverance. Most people can’t play every piece of music perfectly the first time. In fact, the majority of musicians have to work difficult sections of music multiple times in a row before they can play it correctly.

6. Improve memory

Researchers have found that learning to play a musical instrument can enhance verbal memory, spatial reasoning and literacy skills. Playing an instrument makes you use both sides of your brain, which strengthens memory power.

It has been shown that playing and listening to music can help improve memory in  people suffering from  Alzheimer’s disease. Playing music has even been shown to help people recover from strokes as well as slow down the onset of dementia and Alzheimers.

7. Relieves stress and calm the mind

Music keeps you calm. It has a unique effect on our emotions, and has even been proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure. 

Playing music puts your energy and focus on positive activity, which can help alleviate stress. Those reduced stress levels can help get your blood pressure and heart rate down to a healthy level.

Focus is a necessary part of learning an instrument. Improving your musical skills forces you to use all the parts of your brain involved in concentration, making you better able to concentrate in other life situations. This is another reason why music is beneficial for those with disorders like ADD.

8. It increases discipline and time management skills

Learning music takes time and effort, and helps children understand that if they want to be good at something, they’ll need to put in the hours and organise their time effectively.

A good musician knows that the quality of practice time is more valuable than the quantity. In order for a musician to progress quicker, he/she will learn how to organize his/her practice time and plan different challenges to work on, making efficient use of time.

9. Playing the music is fun

We can harp on about all the scientifically accurate benefits to learning a musical instrument – but what matters most is that it’s enjoyable for the player. While other hobbies like watching TV or flicking through social media are passive, playing music actively engages and stimulates the brain, making you feel happy and occupied.

Promotes happiness in your life and those around you. Playing a musical instrument can be very fun and exciting. Not only is it fun to play music that you enjoy, but it feels wonderful to hear an audience applaud you for giving a great performance. It can also be very honorable and gratifying to voluntarily play in your local community and see the happiness on people’s faces because they enjoy watching you play. Conclusion As you can see, playing a musical instrument has many benefits and hopefully that will motivate you to keep on practicing and always hold music in high esteem. Whenever you come across challenges as a musician, think about the end results and always remind yourself of all the great reasons you love to play. I’ll leave you with an inspiring quote by jazz saxophonist and composer Charlie Parker who once said, “Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.”

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