11 Reasons You Should Learn a Musical Instrument
Music is an integral part of many of our everyday experiences. Think about when you’re out shopping or at a restaurant. You almost always hear Music playing in the background. During an intense scene in a movie, you’re likely to hear some sort of music accompanying the dialogue and the acting. Music has the power to shape our mood and our experiences. Whether you have the radio on during your daily commute, you have some soothing tunes playing while you’re working, or you’re dancing the night away with your friends after a long week, music likely plays an important role in your life in some way, shape, or form.
Just as listening to music is a powerful experience, so too is making music. Knowledge of a Musical Instrument is associated with a variety of physical, mental, and emotional benefits, which we will be exploring in this blog. If you’ve dreamed about learning an instrument but haven’t been able to motivate yourself or you just want to learn about the incredible ways that playing an instrument can change your life, keep reading!
Better Academic Outcomes: Knowing how to play a musical instrument is associated with improved mathematical and reading comprehension skills. Music requires an understanding of beat, rhythm, and scales, which involves fractions and recognizing patterns. When reading music, you have to recognize the notes and know how long to hold it, how loudly to play it, and how it should sound. This knowledge can translate into improved writing and literacy skills. Reading and math are both processed via similar neural pathways as music.
Better Listening and Communication Skills: Playing music is all about listening. Music students are required to listen to rhythm, pitch, and speed simultaneously. You need to recognize if you’re playing a wrong note so that you can correct yourself. If you are playing in an ensemble, you also have to listen to what’s going on around you. This trains you to become more adept at active listening in conversations and recognizing both verbal and non-verbal communication cues.
More Patience and Discipline: Mastering a musical instrument, as with any new skill, takes a great deal of practice and dedication. Constant practice helps you to become more patient with yourself, as you recognize that learning is a process, not an overnight transformation. The sense of achievement you feel once you have mastered a piece is a powerful motivator to continue to push through when presented with a challenging task. This improved sense of patience and discipline can then translate to other areas of your life.
Improved Composure and Performance Skills: Many people are motivated to learn musical instruments so that they can perform for others. Learning a musical instrument therefore builds your confidence, and the more opportunities you have to perform, the less stage fright you experience over time. Performing music gives you the competence to connect with an audience and hold their attention and to maintain your composure in nerve-wracking situations.
Enhanced Sense of Responsibility: As mentioned earlier, learning a musical instrument requires practice and dedication, which puts your time management skills to the test. What’s more, playing a musical instrument also requires caring for that instrument. Different instruments require different type of maintenance, but common maintenance practices include cleaning, oiling or greasing, and tuning. These maintenance practices ensure that your instrument stays in working condition.
Improved Coordination: Most musical instruments require the use of your hands and fingers, and some require you to use different parts of your body as well. Oftentimes each of your hands will be forced to do different tasks, which is no easy feat. Not only does this improve your multi-tasking skills, but also your hand-eye coordination. And of course, using different parts of your body gets you moving and your heart rate up.
Improved Social Skills: If you’re playing in a band or ensemble, you become part of a team and learn to work well with others. Being part of a team requires coordination and working collaboratively to achieve a common goal. The bonds formed through playing music together and creating something great are powerful ones.
Decreased Stress Levels: Playing music is therapeutic because it allows you to express yourself. It can be an outlet for difficult emotions as well as a form of self-soothing. In fact, music therapy has proven effective in treating patients with autism, depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. Furthermore, sometimes playing music requires so much concentration that you don’t have time to focus on whatever stressful events are going on. Another study found that playing music helped reduce cancer patients’ feelings of anxiety. Yet another study found that babies who took interactive music classes smiled more.
Better Respiratory Functioning: So much of playing music is knowing how to breath properly. Depending on which instrument you play, you need to be able to take deep breaths in and exhale in such a way that you produce the desired sound. This is why many music classes start with breathing exercises. One study even found that playing the harmonica can help improve lung function in patients with pulmonary disease. Better breathing in turn helps improve your posture and strengthen your immune system. In this sense, playing music can actually make you healthier!
Better Brain Functioning: Short bursts of musical training increase the flow of blood to the brain’s left hemisphere, which is beneficial if you need an energy boost. Learning music also strengthens the brain’s executive functions, such as information processing and retention, behavior control, decision making, and problem solving. Studies have even showed that learning music can help stroke patients in their recovery and can slow the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Greater Cultural Appreciation: Music is a reflection of the cultural context in which it was composed. Learning different pieces of music is a great way to build appreciation for different cultures across space and time, which broadens your horizons and your understanding of the world.
If you love music and want to learn a new instrument or share your musical skills with others, you can do it on Konversai. Konversai is an online global knowledge platform that allows knowledge providers and knowledge seekers on any topic of interest to connect through one-on-one live video conversations. It is your one-stop shop for any and all personalized human knowledge, from music and performing arts to sports to travel to foreign languages to life skills and everything in between and beyond. No matter who you are, where you’re from, or what your circumstances in life are, you have valuable knowledge, skills, and experiences to share with the world. Konversai gives value to these knowledge, skills, and experiences. Knowledge providers have the option of charging as much or as little as they want for their time, while knowledge seekers have the opportunity to connect with anyone, anywhere in the world, who can offer them a personalized conversation on exactly what they’re looking to learn. Conversations can take place at any time that is mutually convenient for the knowledge provider and knowledge seeker.
Joining Konversai is a step towards democratizing knowledge, putting the human connection back into the heart and technology, and making the world better by enabling meaningful and authentic conversations. Get started by signing up for Konversai now!
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