Updated: Dec 11, 2020
Learning to play a musical instrument has so many benefits – whether it’s building your confidence, enhancing your memory or widening your social circle. Here are the ten reasons you should consider taking up an instrument this year.
Playing an instrument makes you smarter 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 math and science.
Your social life will improve Playing an instrument isn’t only good for your brain, it’s also great for expanding your social circle (sorry, pianists and organists). Joining a musical group at any age encourages you to develop relationships with new kinds of people. It also builds skills in leadership and team-building, as well as showing you the rewards of working with others.
Playing an instrument relieves stress Music keeps you calm. It has a unique effect on our emotions, and has even been proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure. Psychologist Jane Collingwood believes that slow classical music is often the most beneficial. “Listening to music can have a tremendously relaxing effect on our minds and bodies, especially slow, quiet classical music. This type of music can have a beneficial effect on our physiological functions, slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones.”
Playing an instrument gives you a sense of achievement Messed up your double-stopping in rehearsal, then totally nailed it at the performance? Playing and succeeding at a musical instrument gives you a huge sense of pride and achievement, especially when you manage to perfect a passage you’ve been struggling with for weeks.
It builds your confidence Playing an instrument helps you get comfortable with self-expression. As children begin to master their instrument, they will probably end up playing to a few audiences, starting with their music teacher or parents, and branching out to groups of other pupils and concert audiences. Playing in public can help children feel confident in presenting their work in a non-academic context.