The Apache Pow Wow

Benefits of Playing an Instrument

Kali Tam, Staff Writer

Playing a musical instrument attains countless benefits. In fact, evidence shows that learning how to play an instrument benefits the brain much more than other types of activities, including sports and visual arts! From enhanced brain activity and reduced stress to being able to spread the joy of music to everyone around you, here are several reasons why playing a musical instrument can be very beneficial to you and your health!

1. Playing music is considered to be the brain’s equivalence of a full body workout! When you play an instrument, nearly every area of your brainvisual, auditory, and motorbecomes occupied.

2. Because the brain is processing different types of information at the same time, the corpus callosum, the link between the left and right hemisphere, becomes more engaged. This allows for a musician’s brain to transfer messages across their two hemispheres more quickly and efficiently.

3. Many studies have shown that musicians usually have an improved and increased memory compared to non-musicians, especially since they tend to create, store, and retrieve their own memories in more organized and fast ways. In addition to that, there is also evidence that learning how to play an instrument enables patients who are suffering from memory loss, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other types of diseases to regain more control over their state of mind and their memory.

4. Musicians have the capability to demonstrate and display a higher level of executive function, which is connected to work that includes strategizing, planning, and paying attention to detail.

5. Learning to play an instrument and exceeding  at it can be quite challenging at times, since it is basically impossible for someone to learn how to play overnight. It will require the musician to put in a lot of time and effort if they want to see rewarding results, which teaches musicians to have more patience, perseverance, and tenacious. Taking time out of your schedule to practice helps you develop stronger time management.

6. Music is a stress reliever! Playing an instrument requires you to emotionally connect with the piece, which has been linked as a proven way to relieve stress and lessen any anxiety that you may endure in your life. Even if you aren’t playing an instrument, just listening to music can drastically increase the amount of dopamine you have in your brain, which is the chemical that controls the brain’s pleasure and reward center.

7. If you play an instrument in a band, orchestra, or any type of musical ensemble, then you will definitely learn how to become a better team player. You are required to follow the conductor, cooperate, and listen to the rest of the players in order to produce music that sounds harmonious.

With these in mind, try to learn how play an instrument on your free time. It might positively impact your focus when you perform other activities.

Photo courtesy of GROUPON

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Benefits of Playing an Instrument