Learning how to play an instrument is something that many people have on their bucket lists. Of course, most bucket lists are jam-packed with options, and this can mean that some things don’t get crossed off for years to come. The following will explore a few of the reasons you might want to bump learning an instrument up to the top of your list by examining the ways in which playing an instrument is good for your wellbeing.
Improves Mental Faculties
Several studies comparing musicians with non-musicians have found that musicians regularly perform better at cognitive tests. If it helps, you can think of music as another language (mathematically, it is), and this means that when you play music, you’re communicating in another language which is an excellent exercise for your mind.
Musicians also tend to have better coordination than non-musicians. This is because most instruments require hand-eye coordination. You might even notice the impact of improving your hand-eye coordination when performing other tasks and activities that require this type of coordination.
When you learn how to properly hold an instrument, you’ll quickly realize that it requires you to sit or stand differently than you’re used to. Not only will getting your form correct improve your posture, but according to AllStringed, it will also improve your ability to play well. You might notice your muscles are a little sore at first, but if you keep working on correcting your form, your back will strengthen, and the discomfort will pass.
Creating music has been shown to help reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. If you alternate your speed of playing, the benefits become multiplied. Many people also find that playing music serves as an outlet for their emotions, allowing them to transform their sadness, tension, frustration, joy or other feelings into art.
Wind instruments are those that require you to breathe through them for sound to be created. When you’re learning to play an instrument in this family, typically, your first lessons will revolve around proper breathing techniques. Improving your breathwork can have massive effects on your life besides a cardiovascular boost. Many people breathe incorrectly, and learning to breathe correctly can improve their oxygen levels by as much as 30%. More oxygen in your system results in better focus, concentration, memory, creativity, and improved mood.
Helps Those With Alzheimer’s
People with Alzheimer’s disease who play musical instruments were found to have better memories than those who didn’t. While researchers haven’t entirely ironed out why this is, it is believed that music memory is retained better than spoken word memory due to the heightened arousal caused by the music.
Across the world and all throughout history, music has been used in a spiritual context to help people connect with and worship the divine. In the Bible, music is even used by David to keep evil spirits away from Saul. If you’re someone who seeks a bond with the divine, music can be a stellar way to accomplish that. Worship music and gospel music, in particular, are designed for this, but pretty much any tune can be devoted to the grander elements at play in the universe.
Improved Immune Response
Studies have found that playing music, particularly creating your own music, can improve your immunological response. This can help you fight viruses and protect your body from infections and other problems.
Friends And Achievement
Aristotle famously claimed that the secret to happiness was friendship and achievement. Learning to play a musical instrument allows you to work on both. Not only is music a fantastic way to meet people and make new friends, but it also offers you a sense of achievement each time you manage to reach another learning milestone. Both of these elements can do wonders for your sense of self, in turn boosting your confidence in all areas of your life.
The above information should have made it clear that there are a ton of benefits involved in playing a musical instrument. If music is something that calls to you, you should answer the call as soon as you’re able. If finances are an obstacle for you, look into whether your local library has an instrument service (yes, some libraries lend out instruments for free to people with a library card) or seek out an inexpensive instrument to begin with, like the harmonica, which you can purchase for around ten dollars. When it comes to music lessons, you can begin online by following along with free introductory courses on YouTube or other platforms.