Music is hands-down one of the joys of living. Listening to music is one of the few things that make this life that can ofttimes be arduous, bearable. Perhaps the only thing better than listening to music is making it yourself including learning to play a musical instrument. Here are the benefits of learning to do it for children and adults.
Benefits of learning to play a musical instrument for children
Enhances cognitive function
Learning to play a musical instrument teaches a child to create, store, and retrieve memories. Studies show that people who play an instrument have improved memory compared to those who have never played one. It involves both the left and right sides of your brain which improves overall learning ability. Coordinating various movements requires deep focus and concentration and also improves hand-eye coordination.
Improves listening skills
Learning to play an instrument involves listening to instructions from the teacher as well as paying attention to rhythm, pitch, and speed, all of which improve listening skills.
Teaches perseverance and creates a sense of achievement
Learning to play a musical instrument takes a lot of time, patience, and practice which builds discipline. The sense of achievement from learning and mastering a skill can also be a huge confidence booster.
Teaches responsibility and discipline
The fact that instruments need maintenance to keep them looking and sounding good makes learning to play one is a way for children to learn responsibility.
It may help them develop social skills
For children who attend a class with others, learning to play a musical instrument can help them develop social skills including how to make friends, how to relate with people, how to work with others in a team among others.
In much the same way listening to music offers stress relief, learning to play a musical instrument can be calming, refocusing their attention from stressful, anxious thoughts.
Exposes the child to culture and history
Learning to play a musical instrument can involve music theory which is a reflection of culture and the era it was composed in. Understanding the origins of music can give children a deeper understanding of what they are playing.
Emotions and self-expression
Music and learning to play an instrument give children the opportunity to express themselves creatively without any fear of judgment. Music also fosters an emotional connection that allows children to develop empathy for others.
Learning to play a musical instrument, in particular, a wind instrument can help you breathe better. It requires you to take deep breaths which leads to a stronger respiratory system and is calming as well.
Benefits of learning to play a musical instrument for adults
In addition to the benefits enjoyed by children, learning to play an instrument as an adult has the following benefits
Expand your social circle
Loneliness is steadily increasing globally especially with the collapse of many social structures that allowed people to meet and form connections. Learning to play a musical instrument with others puts you in contact with like-minded individuals which can create an opportunity to make new friends.
May increase brain plasticity and grey matter
Studies show that learning to play an instrument as an adult improves your cognitive abilities by improving your brain plasticity as you age. When it comes to brainpower, the more grey matter, the better. Research shows that the volume of grey matter in some regions of the brain is higher in adults learning to play a musical instrument.
Boosts blood flow
Studies have proven that brief periods of music lessons including learning to play a musical instrument raise the blood flow in the left hemisphere of the brain. Next time you’re feeling sluggish with diminished energy, reach for your musical instrument.
Can help you multitask
Learning to play a musical instrument can enhance your multitasking skills because it pushes you to involve multiple senses at once.
Improved mental health and quality of life
One study found that seniors who participated in group keyboard lessons reported significantly decreased feelings of depression, anxiety, and loneliness. They showed an increase in Human Growth Hormone (HGH) which is linked to benefits like increased energy levels and fewer aches and pains. Learning to play a musical instrument at any age is beneficial to one’s mental health.
Above all, learning to play an instrument is fun which is justification enough to get into it whether as a child or adult.
Uses of music for mental health
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