7 reasons to learn a musical instrument

There are many advantages of playing an instrument. If there is such an ability that is truly worth developing and that benefits everyone, I believe it’s to learn a musical instrument. Here’s why.

Health benefits of playing an instrument:

  1. It reduces stress

Did you notice that listening to calm music can put your nerves at ease and make you feel relaxed? Active participation in music (singing or playing an instrument) has very similar effects, but much stronger.

When I was little, my dad had a very stressful job. But he managed to find a way to let off steam and avoid bringing work stress home. When he got home, he used to sit by the piano and play (he graduated from 1st degree music school). It was nice – home filled with music instead of stress and tension. Now being an adult myself I often follow my dad’s way. Everyone has those days when they feel like exploding. For me there’s no better solution than to sit by the piano and play. Well, maybe to play and sing! It really lightens me up!

  1. It helps brain development

Studies show that practising music enhances long term and working memory in children – not only in areas connected to music. Playing an instrument has benefits in geometry and reading skills, too. As music involves brain activity in the same areas as speech, practising an instrument helps language learning and treatment of speech difficulties. A study by professor Gottfried Schlaug showed that children who practised music 1,5-2,5 hours a week for 15 months have experienced a noticeable growth in corpus callosum – part of the brain that connects hemispheres and allows them to communicate.

Link to the article here.

  1. It slows down aging processes in the brain

Studies show that playing an instrument improves brain plasticity – a process of building new connections between neurons. And that helps you keep your mind sharp even as you’re aging, it can slow down signs of dementia or even Alzheimer’s disease. The longer your musical education is, the better – you’re likely to extend the state of being mentally fit.

More about the study here.

Social and emotional benefits of practicing music

  1. It teaches discipline

Let’s be honest – learning to play an instrument is very challenging! But it comes with a very positive side effect: self-discipline. Every single day you have to organize your schedule to find a few moments for practising. And when you do find some time for playing, you need to use it as effectively as you can. I guess there’s no better way to train discipline and time management.

  1. It’s exciting

People often say: PLAYING MUSIC IS FUN! And they’re right. When you play, you give joy not only to yourself, but also to others.

  1. It comes in handy in many situations

Playing an instrument is an ability that you can use as a gift for others. During a birthday party you can accompany when everyone sings Happy Birthday. At Christmas you can make family carolling feel more special. And it’s always nice to sit by the fire or at the grill party, take an instrument, play for everyone and encourage them to sing.

  1. It gives you satisfaction and sense of achievement

When you try to learn your very first piece, it may be frustrating. But the moment you finally master it, casual and free playing gives you an indescribable satisfaction. It doesn’t matter if you start by learning a simple song or a really complicated masterpiece – trust me, you never forget your first music piece!

That of course is not the end of many, many health and personality benefits of practicing music known to science and to musicians themselves. But aren’t those 7 reasons to learn a musical instrument already enough to convince you that music is good for body and soul?

Now you know some important health, social and emotional benefits of practicing music – and that it influences many different areas of our lives.