5 Benefits Of Learning To Play A New Instrument

Learning should be a never-ending pursuit. Right from one’s childhood and even when you reach adulthood, there’s always so much to learn from the world around you. Apart from updating skills and academic learning, there’s so much for you to develop, not excluding studies in the field of art. Music is one of these.  

If you haven’t already, you may want to consider learning a musical instrument. Especially when you’ve long desired to pursue this as a dream, why not turn that dream into a reality. You don’t necessarily have to be a master at your chosen instrument. At the very least, you can give yourself that pat on the shoulder for taking the baby steps necessary in developing that inner Mozart in you. 

Even if you’re reading this and you’re already up there in age, there are still plenty of good reasons for you to do so. Playing a musical instrument can be a form of stress-relief, and it’s also a very satisfying hobby, among others. Apart from that, the benefits of learning to play a new instrument include: 

  1. Healthier Changes In One’s Brain Structure

If you were to compare the brain scan of a musician and that of one who doesn’t play music, you’d notice apparent changes in the structure of one’s brain. 

One of these changes has to do with the corpus callosum of the brain. This refers to that part in the brain that’s composed of a mass of nerve fibers connecting both sides of the brain. For musicians, this part is noticeably larger. 

Other parts of the brain that are also larger are those responsible for movement and hearing. 

These healthier changes can be translated to mean that the brain is more powerful, in terms of structure and function. This makes those areas of the brain function better, and it can also result in better reasoning and literacy skills of musicians. 

  1. It’s A Simple Physical Exercise

This benefit applies more to the aging population, who also need that added dose of physical exercise. Because of their age and other underlying physical limitations, the forms of exercise that the older population can do may be more limited than with the younger ones. Despite this inability, the need to have at least minimal active physical movement is still needed.   

One of the best forms of easy and straightforward physical exercise is learning how to play an instrument. For example, if you were playing the violin, you’d be exercising your arms and fingers. If you were playing the piano, you’d be using your fingers and your feet. In playing the drums or the bongo, you’re even giving yourself that cardio exercise. From the simplest instrument to learn, and even up to the hardest instrument to play, you’re still able to enjoy those two benefits all in one. 

Hence, for every half hour or hour that you spend daily in trying to learn an instrument, you’re able to hit two birds with one stone. Not only is your brain given that much-needed exercise, but your physical body as well. 

  1. It Can Protect The Brain Against Dementia

One of the adverse effects of the presence of gadgets today is that the brain is used and exercised less. Instead of reading books, people are now more inclined to watch videos. Also, now, machines could do almost every task. Even simple calculations are performed by calculators, and no longer by some effort of the brain to do manual calculations. 

When you learn to play an instrument, you’re able to give your brain the ample exercise that it needs. In effect, you’re protecting it from dementia and other brain diseases. You’re allowing yourself to be educated with a new skill, while also protecting your brain. 

For example, you’re learning how to play the guitar. Your brain is processing the movements of your fingers to play the right chords, while you’re also trying to remember how to position these chords on the guitar. All the more is this exercise evident when you’re also reading from notes. 

Music can successfully reach areas of your brain that other activities couldn’t. Hence, it’s more than enough to give your mind its needed daily stimulation. 

  1. It’s A Form of Therapeutic Treatment

If you ask many musicians what they love the most about the instruments they play, a majority would probably tell you that it has to do with their ability to express themselves. Music has also become their outlet for whatever negative experiences it is that they wish to let out. 

For those that suffer from stress, anxiety, and depression, rather than immerse yourself too much in the taking of synthetic medication, a better recourse instead would be to have an outlet. Apart from writing and art, music is one of the best. As you play your instrument, it’s here that you can pour out your emotions and release whatever negative energy it is that you’ve been keeping inside. 

Give it a try, and you’ll see for yourself how, even after an hour of playing music, you’ll feel a lot better and lighter. Having this kind of healthy outlet will improve your overall mental, emotional and psychological health. 

Even your overall body health gets better, too. When you play music, you can pour out negative thoughts and experiences on a positive activity. In effect, this lowers your stress levels. Like a domino effect, your blood pressure level reduces too, which keeps the health of your heart in a better condition.   

  1. It Gives You A Chance To Bond With Others

This benefit applies the greatest again to the elderly or even to those of you that may be living alone away from home. No man should ever be regularly alone, as one will always have that need to socialize. In learning to play an instrument, you also have this ability to bond with others. 

For instance, you may become part of a practice group or a band. Even if it may only still be a newbie group or an amateur band, you now have that sense of belongingness and friendship to nurture.   

Conclusion 

With all these said, perhaps now you’re more convinced to give learning a new instrument a try. Whatever it is you so desire to learn, give it that big push now. Apart from the distinct advantage of having an added skill, all the other benefits that it brings to you are endless. It improves your brain functions and emotions and makes you a healthier and happier person in general. Now you can enjoy the ability to make music to fuel your days. 

About Andrew Wendowski

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