Benefits of Playing a Musical Instrument

Growing up, I wanted to be like my older sister and play in band. I wanted to play drums, but they wouldn’t let me. So, I got paired with the clarinet instead. I loved it, and I was able to learn the saxophone as well. My enjoyment went so deep that I continued into college and I played in my university’s marching band. Those years brought me so much joy and happiness. I haven’t played in about 3 or 4 years, and I sometimes feel like I am missing something since I don’t play anymore. Upon reading some interesting benefits to playing music it has made me realized parts of life that I have been missing.

There are many benefits for the brain that occur while learning and playing a musical instrument. One of the benefits to playing a musical instrument can be that it strengthens memory and reading skills. The skills needed to play a music instrument are the same needed for cognitive mechanisms. Learning a musical instruments involves using both hands, and so forth both parts of the brain. Doing so forces your brain to work harder and improves your memory and physical movements. Also, learning an instrument at a young age helps with their ability to learn faster and protects them from dementia.

There are physical differences in the brain between musical and non-musical people. One of the these physical difference it the amount of gray matter in various parts of the brain. Gray matter’s function is for processing in the brain. This can be for retaining memories, body movements, regulating emotions and more. Also, if you need a boost of energy, you can listen to some music to get a natural brain boost.

Besides helping the brain grow and develop differently, it can also help with recovery. Music has also been proven to help with brains recovery from an injury. It allows the brain to re-learn motor skills, social skills and physical abilities. There is a lot of cool science behind it right now that shows improvements in stroke and Parkinson patients. They are able to re-learn functions faster by using music as an assistant for them.

One of the key benefits of playing music is it makes you happy and helps with depression and anxiety. Music can makes us feel many emotions depending on what type of music we are listening to. But if you are listening to more upbeat and happier songs, it is proven to make you happier. It has even shown to lower heart rate and blood pressure, which also lessens the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone, so with lower amounts we are able to feel more relaxed. Besides these factors, it also allows us to feel connected with others when we have the same taste in music. We are able to make connections with other people and can increase happiness. Playing an instrument can bring people comfort from the daily repetition and therefor lowers stress as well.

Lastly, instead of scrolling social media, which doesn’t trigger the brain at all, start listening to music. Music triggers and stimulates the brain and is a better way to occupy your time. Music is able to help you feel happier and that you have a more enjoyable life.

Playing an instrument is more beneficial for brain growth aspect and helping with brain functions, but if you aren’t interested in learning one then listening to music is a good 2nd choice. Make sure to find different types of music for the type of environment you need. If you are wanting to relax and maybe meditate, find some slower paced music that is quieter and calmer. If you need a boost in energy, pick music that is faster, upbeat and louder. Make yourself some playlists that you jive with and can help you get the things done that you want to accomplish.

Now, I think I will try to go play my clarinet again.

From Your Life Tutor
-Sam

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