Music has always played a major role within human race. It is a strong reflection of our origins and history, and a powerful tool to express and inspire emotions, to connect with others. According to BBC, oldest-known musical instruments have been found in a cave in southern Germany and are estimated to be between 42,000 and 43,000 years old! These resemble bone flutes made of bird bone and mammoth ivory. This amazing discovery has proven once again that our lives have always been unimaginable without some form of music.
The purpose of this blog is to sum up all the reasons why learning a musical instrument is such a positive experience. It benefits your life in more ways than you can imagine, even the realisation that you can, not only listen to, but also create or recreate a masterpiece is incredible!
So, here are my 10 reasons why playing music is so beneficial. If you are thinking about taking up an instrument, I hope you find this encouraging, and, if you are already a musician, this is a reminder of how great it is to be able to play an instrument.
1. Playing a Musical Instrument makes you more intelligent
There are lots of studies showing a direct link between academic accomplishments and playing an instrument. Learning a musical instrument stimulates and strengthens certain sensors of the brain. In more detail, music training is believed to be far superior to computer instruction and enhances abstract reasoning skills ,which are necessary for maths and science. It also helps improve language and even motor skills such as hand and arm movement and co-ordination.
The likes of Neil Armstrong (baritone horn), Charles Dickens (accordion), Thomas Edison (piano), Louis Braille (organ), Albert Einstein (piano and violin) and many more remarkable people played a musical instrument.
2. Playing music relieves stress
Just like most activities you enjoy, playing an instrument is also known to relieve stress. It takes your mind off everyday worries and lets you drift off in the world of your own, while also benefiting the quality of your life as you learn a new skill. A huge plus is that playing music enhances your self-awareness and sense of accomplishment, thus making you feel more positive and uplifted.
3. You can build your confidence through playing music
The awareness that you have mastered a new skill, learned that song you always loved or generally made a noise that people find pleasant is always a great confidence boost. Learning to play a musical instrument develops your sense of achievement. You will always be performing in front of someone, whether it is your teacher, family or an audience at a competition or concert, which helps to overcome stage freight.
4. Playing an instrument improves your social life
When you are playing an instrument you automatically have more opportunities to meet exciting and interesting people that share the same interests as you. It can be through things like school orchestra, different musical events, by joining a local band or music workshop, or, simply, joining in for a jam with other musicians. You have more ways of meeting people with similar interests and this expands your social circle.
5. Learning to play will develop your own creativity
Not only in music. Learning to play an instrument stimulates the creative sensors in your brain and makes your mind open up towards new ideas. Not to mention, how well music always helps you express your emotions! You suddenly have discovered another world of self expression that can prompt you to be more confident of your skills in different areas of your life by creating new, exciting ideas and solutions.
6. Studying music develops your listening skills
You will have more knowledge and possibly a different perception of music you hear than people that have not received musical education. You will know and learn to recognise chord structures, tonalities, pitch, scales and many other techniques that other people will not notice. You will be able to judge and appreciate the music you hear more thoroughly.
7. Learning a piece of music enhances your memory
Learning to play an instrument will keep your mind alert and sharp at all times. It makes you concentrate and, sometimes, you will also be required to learn a piece of music off by heart. This trains your memory no matter whether you best remember visual things (sheet music, keys, frets etc), physical things (e.g. the way your hands are positioned as you play) or aural things (the way the piece of music is meant to sound, how each note is pitched etc) – playing a musical instrument incorporates it all.
Learning to play basically teaches you that the amount of effort you put into your practices will reflect in the way you play. You reap what you sow. Mastering a new skill always takes time and effort and this develops your sense of discipline as you always need to make time to practice and do your best when learning an instrument. You also have to make sure your instrument is in mint condition at all times as this will affect the sound and tone, therefore, it develops a big sense of responsibility. This will reflect in other areas in your life, such as, you may become more organised at work or studies.
9. Music exposes you to cultural history
Music reflects different eras of our past and variety of musical genres have developed from a certain time and situation in the world or specific series of events. Learning to play an instrument can help you discover amazing facts about history and the different influences in various genres. It helps you to better understand origins of different genres of music.
10. Playing Music is fun!
All the health and mental benefits of playing an instrument aside, you should learn to play because it’s something YOU enjoy doing! Find the instrument(s) you like the sound of and get creative! Being able to create music is always fun and exciting and you have so many things to try experiment with at your fingertips. You will possess a skill that many people wish they had. And that is a real gift in itself.