10 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”. Einstein was right: numerous studies have shown a link between musical training and academic success. When you learn to play an instrument, you stimulate your brain and enhance functions such as memory and abstract reasoning. These are skills essential for maths and science.
1. Makes you smarter
2. Makes you utilize every part of the brain
Science has proven that musical training has the ability to change brain structure and function for the better. It has the effect of improving long-term memory and can result also into better brain development for those who start playing at a young age.
Studies have identified differences in brain structure between musicians and non-musicians. Interestingly, a massive bundle of nerve fibers connecting the two sides of the brain is larger in musicians.
3. Decreases age related hearing loss
In a study to listen attentively to complex sounds, it was discovered that the older musicians auditory cortices performed the same as the younger participants and better than older non-musicians. Some musicians may experience hearing loss if they participate in loud concerts or rehearsals for example, but by protecting your ears from the excess volume, playing music can actually benefit your hearing.
4. Enanches your coordination
Playing an instrument requires a lot of hand-eye coordination. Reading musical notes on a page will require your brain to subconsciously change the note into specific motor patterns while breathing and keeping the right rhythm.
5. Creates a sense of achievement.
Achieving musical goals that you thought you’d never quite master can give you a great sense of accomplishment. When you first start learning, it can seem that holding out a note for a couple of beats or hitting a high pitch is a lot of work. With practice, you will become a more experienced musician, able to make beautiful sounding music pleasing not only to your own ear but others as well, and that is a very rewarding experience.
6. Improve focus, perseverance and creativity
We need focus to be able to learn an instrument and this of course is useful in other situations in life as well. It is very beneficial for those with disorders like ADD for example. Learning to play an instrument teaches you perseverance. It takes time and effort and the willingness to repeat, fail, try again, succeed, and finally master a piece.
7. Improve memory
Learning to play an instrument can enhance verbal memory, spatial reasoning, and literacy skills. When we play an instrument we are using both sides of our brain which enhances our memory power.
It has been shown that playing and listening to music can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or slow down the onset of it and dementia. It has also been shown to be beneficial for people recovering from strokes.
8. Relieves stress and calms the mind
Playing music puts our energy and focus on something positive which can help us lower stress and when our stress level goes down, our blood pressure and heart rate go down to a healthy level as well.
9. It increases discipline and time management skills
A musician knows that it is the quality of practice that is more valuable than the quantity. In order for a musician to progress faster, he/she will learn how to organize his/her practice time and also plan different goals to work on, making the most out of their time.
10. Playing music is fun
We can celebrate all the scientifically proven benefits of learning a musical instrument – but what matters most is that it’s enjoyable. While other hobbies might be passive, playing music actively engages and stimulates our brain. We feel happy and busy doing something we enjoy.
Learning to play music brings happiness to your life and for those around you. Not only is it fun to play music that you enjoy, but it feels great to hear an audience applaud you for giving your performance. It can also be very satisfying to voluntarily play in your community and bring happiness to other people with the power of live music.
As we can all see, playing an instrument has countless of benefits and hopefully, that will motivate you to keep practicing and to always hold music in high regard. Whenever us as musicians face challenges, we can remind ourselves of the end results and all the reasons we love to play. Jazz-saxophonist and composer Charlie Parker 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.”