Playing an instrument is rewarding in and of itself, but did you know that there are many health and social benefits as well?
Whether a veteran or learning an instrument for the first time, when musicians play they gain mental, emotional, and cognitive benefits.
Playing an instrument helps you focus your energy and mind on a positive activity, which can relieve stress. In a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, volunteers in three groups were exposed to a stressor and each then exposed to a different stimulus:
- Relaxing music
- The sound of rippling water
- No sound
Those in the group listening to relaxing music has significantly lower stress hormones. Playing and listening to your own music can help relieve and take your mind off of a stressful day.
Teaches Patience & Perseverance
Learning to play an instrument is not always easy. It takes a lot of practice and involves both mind and body: memorizing music and other information, learning fingerings and/or chord shapes, and even building strength.
As you hit each milestone you gain a mental reward for your efforts, which keep you motivated. In turn, you will learn patience and perseverance.
Improves Time Management Skills
Adding an instrument to an already busy schedule teaches you how to use your time wisely and block out time for tasks throughout the day. When you use your time to your benefit, you can find yourself getting more done during the day and feeling a sense of accomplishment.
Just remember to occasionally take time to yourself!
Helps Improve Memory
When you learn a new skill, your brain creates new neural connections that can help compensate for cognitive declines later in life. Playing an instrument requires a lot of memorization: where you have to place your fingers and/or mouth, the chords, reading the music, and more. If you find yourself forgetting where you put your phone or your keys, picking up the skill of playing an instrument may help you remember!