The Rewarding Benefits of Learning to Play an Instrument

We all have that one thing. That hobby we’ve always wanted to try or skill we’ve always wanted to pursue but have never taken the leap to do so. And one of the most common of these skills is to learn to play an instrument.

Music speaks to all of us in unique ways. It has the ability to soothe us in times of difficulty and amplify good feelings on the best of days. Being able to create these feelings for yourself is a wonderful skill to have.

If you’re looking for a sign to answer the question, “should I play an instrument?”, this is it!

Don’t worry, if you need more convincing, we’re here to help. Listed below are some fantastic reasons to learn how to play an instrument. After reading this article, you’ll be ready to pick up your instrument of choice today.

Playing Music Boosts Your Creativity

Like any art form, when you learn to play an instrument, you’re exercising the creative side of your brain. The more confident you become with your chosen instrument, the more you’ll find that you’re able to express yourself creatively through playing.

Think of learning an instrument like learning a new language. With a little practice, you’ll be saying exactly what you want to say through your music in no time. This can be in the form of putting your own stamp on an existing song or creating your own music from scratch.

When it comes to playing music, there are no rules. You have the freedom to create anything your heart desires.

Learning an Instrument Improves Patience

One of the most common reasons for not learning an instrument, even if you want to, is a lack of patience. Learning any new skill is hard work. And with music, you have to learn a variety of skills at once to master an instrument, especially if it’s your first.

You’ll be working on your finger placement at the same time you’re learning to read music, understand chord shapes, and perfect your technique. You also have to learn how to move your hands independently of one another.

If this sounds like a lot, it’s because it is. However, with patience and perseverance, you’ll see results over time. This will build more patience, as you’ll see that hard work pays off!

It Also Improves Your Memory

Do you ever feel that your memory simply isn’t where you’d like it to be? Well, one of the benefits of playing an instrument is that it increases your memory capability.

This is because learning how to play an instrument stimulates your brain in unique ways, improving both your memory and abstract reasoning skills. As your musical skills increase, you might even notice that you feel smarter. Studies have shown a strong relationship between academic success and musical training.

Learning Builds Confidence

We’ve gone over how playing an instrument makes you smarter, and how it can improve your patience. Now let’s talk about how playing an instrument can make you a more confident person.

Building any new skill does wonders for your confidence, as each time you reach a new milestone, you’ll get a renewed sense of accomplishment and pride. Imagine, you’ve been struggling with a new song for weeks and finally nailed it! There’s no better feeling.

The increase in creativity and comfort with self-expression you’ll get through playing will also help you feel more confident in yourself and your abilities.

You’ll Develop a Deeper Appreciation of Music

Learning to play an instrument is a tough but rewarding experience. Through your trials and triumphs, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation of music as a whole, as well as different composers, styles, and genres.

You’ll never know how difficult Liszt’s La Campanella truly is until you’ve attempted to play it yourself. By building your skill and progressing through the levels of musical difficulty, you’ll develop an understanding and appreciation of the skill it takes to be a master of the instrument.

Music Provides Stress Relief

It’s a sad fact, but anxiety and depression run rampant in our society. An astounding 18% of adults live with an anxiety disorder in the United States alone. And that doesn’t touch the number of people who deal with high-level stress on a day-to-day basis.

Whether you suffer from mental illness or experience a great deal of stress in your daily life, music can provide relief. Music has a profound effect on our emotions and can lower our heart rate and blood pressure.

When you play music, you’ll likely notice that you begin to feel relaxed, both in your mind and body. This is because music decreases the levels of stress hormones in your body. Playing music is one of the most effective forms of self-soothing there is.

It Can Strengthen Your Immune System

In addition to the emotional and mental benefits you’ll receive from learning how to play an instrument, music can have a positive impact on your physical health. Both listening to and playing music increases your body’s production of an antibody known as immunoglobulin-A.

This antibody acts as a protection against viruses, killing them off before they’re able to make you sick. So the next time you’re starting to feel ill, take your vitamins, but pick up your musical instrument as well!

You’ll Have the Chance to Build New Relationships

A somewhat unexpected benefit of learning to play an instrument is that you will give yourself the opportunity to build new friendships. You’ll be part of a worldwide community of musicians, who, thanks to modern technology, are available to connect with at the click of a mouse.

And that’s if you learn to play at your home completely on your own. If you take lessons from a piano teacher Brooklyn, for example, you’ll not only build a relationship with your teacher but with others in your class as well.

On top of creating new relationships, you’ll have the chance to improve existing relationships as well through sharing the gift of music. You can play start by playing at gatherings of family and friends and, if you get good enough, move on to playing for other audiences.

Learning an Instrument Protects Your Brain

As we age, our bodies naturally begin to break down. And a common, yet unwelcome, part of this decline is in our brains. Thankfully, however, we don’t have to accept this as an inevitability.

Learning to play an instrument enhances your cognitive function and promotes healthy aging. This means that your risk of developing diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s is lower, as you’ll be increasing the resiliency of your brain.

It’s never too late to reap the benefits of playing an instrument! Being a lifelong learner is essential to staying healthy well into your later years, and playing music is one of the best ways to do it.

It Uses Every Part of Your Brain

Just like every other part of your body, your brain needs exercise to stay in peak condition. Playing an instrument is a great way to provide that workout, as it uses every part of your brain.

You use one part of your brain to hear the music, another to respond to what you’re hearing, yet another to read the notes, and still another if you perform the song yourself.

Because music is such an excellent workout for your brain, it can actually increase your brain’s size! Music has a positive effect on your brain’s learning capacities, increasing the size of both your auditory and motor cortexes.

Those with no musical experience have also been found to have less grey matter in certain areas of their brains, which is what provides you with information processing power.

Music Protects Your Hearing

You’ve probably heard that music can damage your hearing over time. And while this is a possibility, it only happens with prolonged exposure to extremely loud music. If you enjoy your music at a moderate volume, it has the opposite effect!

Training your ears to pick up complex sounds such as musical notes can protect them from age-related hearing loss. In a study presented by the Society for Neuroscience, it was found that older musicians don’t experience the changes in the brain that result in hearing loss.

Playing an Instrument Speeds up Reaction Times

If you’re interested in improving your sports performance or even your gaming skills, consider picking up a musical instrument. By learning how to play an instrument, you’ll help to build your reaction times.

Scientists at the University of Montreal found that people who have a history of training in music have been found to have a faster reaction time to sounds, vibrations, and a combination of the two. 

Playing an instrument also helps with coordination. Almost all instruments require you to use your fingers in a rhythmic manner, totally independent from one another. Learning an instrument builds not only your hand-eye coordination but your fine motor skills as well.

You Can Get in Touch With Your Emotions

As we mentioned earlier, music is an excellent outlet for expressing emotions.

As you experience the many emotions that are conveyed through music, you’ll begin to build your skill in processing emotion. This means you’ll be better in touch with your own emotions but you’ll also be better equipped to pick up on how others are feeling.

It Improves Your Time Management Skills

Believe it or not, learning to play an instrument will help to improve your time management skills. And when you think about it, it makes sense. If your schedule looks like the typical adult’s, you’re on the go from morning until night.

In order to fit music into your schedule, you have to be disciplined with your time. If you take too long on another task during the day or scroll social media instead of focusing on your work, you might find that you don’t have time for piano practice.

You’ll never see the results you could if you aren’t consistent with your routine. Learning an instrument takes daily practice, which means staying on top of your time management and organizational skills.

Music Builds Your Listening and Reading Skills

If all of the benefits of playing an instrument we’ve listed so far aren’t quite enough, consider that learning a musical instrument also builds both your listening and reading skills.

When you learn to play an instrument, you’ll learn to read music at the same time. This improves your ability to process information by building new connections in your brain. You’ll find that retaining information from reading, whether it be sheet music or a textbook, is much easier.

In addition to keeping your ears healthy, learning music can make you a better listener. As you advance in your musical journey, you’ll learn to listen for timing, tuning, and expression. In the process, you’ll be training yourself to pay more attention to everyday conversations as well.

Begin Your Journey to Learning to Play an Instrument Today

Life is far too short to put off things that you want to do, especially when it’s something as beneficial as learning to play an instrument. So what are you waiting for?

Whether you’ve always dreamt of tickling the ivories or strumming your favorite song, pick up an instrument and start learning today. You’ll have fun while improving both your mental and physical health and maybe even making some new friends in the process.

Looking for more inspiration for your next favorite hobby? Be sure to check out our blog!