Since music is such a powerful weapon that brings joys to whoever it hears it, I must tell you that there are a lot of wonderful benefits of playing a musical instrument that you should consider if your goal is to live a happy and fulfilled life. The Chinese philosopher Confucius once said, “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without,” and he couldn’t be more right! Everybody loves music and for a lot of people music is a part of their daily lives. If you haven’t had the opportunity to learn how to play a musical instrument, it’s not too late! You just have to put a bit of effort into it, but you also need to have a little patience and perseverance, since you can’t achieve a new skill overnight. Nowadays neuroscientists are discovering new ways in which musical training can actually improve the function and connectivity of different brain regions, so it’s safe to say that musical training optimizes brain function. Here are a few interesting benefits of playing a musical instrument that may surprise you and that will give you a sense of appreciation and pride for music:
1. Increases the Capacity of Your Memory
In my opinion, this is definitely one of the most wonderful benefits of playing a musical instrument! A lot of studies have shown that both listening to music and playing a musical instrument can increase your memory by stimulating your brain. There is also research that shows that by playing a musical instrument, you can increase your IQ by seven points. That’s really impressive! As I’ve said before, it’s never too late to learn how to play a musical instrument, since this activity will help your mind stay alert and remain active, helping you to sharpen your memory.
2. It Teaches Discipline
Even though learning how to play a musical instrument can be challenging sometimes, you shouldn’t give up, since it will bring you a lot of wonderful benefits. One of the most important qualities musicians (just like athletes) possess is discipline. You really have to learn how to be more organized and more disciplined if you want to be a good musician. You have to practice every day, even when you don’t feel like it, and you should learn how to prioritize things, so you’ll have enough time to perfect this skill.
3. It Relieves Stress
Playing a musical instrument on a regular basis can actually decrease your stress levels, so what better way to relax than by playing your favorite song on the piano, on your guitar or on whatever musical instrument you prefer? A lot of studies have shown that music can lower cortisol (the stress hormone), thus making you feel more relaxed. Michael Jolkovski, a psychologist who specializes in musicians, thinks that music helps people feel more relaxed by making them connect more with each other. He says that, "[Music] can satisfy the need to unwind from the worries of life, but unlike the other things people often use for this purpose, such as excessive eating, drinking, or TV or aimless web browsing, it makes people more alive and connected with one another," and he couldn’t be more right!
4. It Improves Your Social Life
Playing a musical instrument will definitely improve your social life since it will help you connect with all kinds of people. Maestro Eduardo Marturet, a conductor, composer and musical director for the Miami Symphony Orchestra, emphasizes the important effect playing a musical instrument can have on children by saying that, "Socially, children who become involved in a musical group or ensemble learn important life skills, such as how to relate to others, how to work as a team and appreciate the rewards that come from working together, and the development of leadership skills and discipline."
5. It Teaches You How to Be More Responsible
You need to have patience and to persevere if you want to learn how to play a musical instrument, since this can take a lot of time and effort on your behalf. You will need to rehearse a lot and also, you’ll have to work difficult sections of music multiple times in a row before you manage to play it correctly. It’s actually pretty challenging and this will teach how to be more responsible, more disciplined and more organized so you could maintain a steady practice schedule.
6. It Betters Your Mathematical Ability
In order for you to play a musical instrument, you’ll need to learn how to count notes and rhythms and this will definitely improve your math skills. Also, learning music theory includes a lot of mathematical aspects and a lot of studies have shown that “students who play instruments or study the arts are often better in math and achieve higher grades in school than students who don’t.” So, you shouldn’t be surprised if you can understand fractions or equations better if your new hobby is playing the guitar, for example.
7. It Enhances Your Coordination
Playing a musical instrument requires good hand-eye coordination. When you play music, you’ll have to read those notes, which your brain has to subconsciously transform or convert into specific motor patterns. You will also have to add a specific rhythm and you need to pay attention to the way you are breathing, so you’ll be able to play beautifully.
Learning how to play a musical instrument can bring you a high sense of achievement and it’s a very rewarding experience that can help you improve other areas of your life too. Do you play a musical instrument? What benefits does this pleasant activity bring you? Do you know any other amazing benefits of playing a musical instrument? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section!