25 ‘Note’worthy Benefits of Playing a Musical Instrument

Let’s kick off by stating that there is a ton of benefits that playing a musical instrument provides.

Whether you’re an adult or a child, learning how to play a musical instrument can transform your life, regardless of whether you’re practicing as a hobby or because you want to choose music as your career.

Let’s start with one of the most extensively researched benefits that is that playing an instrument is proactive in reducing the levels of stress in your body and, therefore, in your life.

Taking the time out of your day to breath, focus on one activity and just generally taking a break from everyday life while doing something you love, it’s only natural that your stress levels are going to plummet.

2. Playing Increases Productivity

While reducing stress, learning and playing an instrument is a great way to increase your productivity. It takes mental willpower to put your smartphone down and pick up an instrument instead, and this kind of discipline will reflect on your everyday life.

Who could have thought that picking up a guitar could teach you the necessary skills to keep your room tidy?

3. Playing an Instrument is Creative

Once you’ve learned the basics of playing an instrument, such as the chords and the techniques, it’s time to get creative and start experimenting with what you can achieve.

Whether you’re trying to find your own sound, just mucking around and jamming with friends or trying to find the perfect way to communicate your message, this all comes through you thanks to your creative juices.

4. Builds Up Your Confidence

For many of us, confidence is a big issue, and the concept of standing on a stage, no matter how big or small, and performing our music is a daunting one, to say the least.

Even if you don’t perform in front of a crowd and only practice at home, this very act alone can-do wonders when it comes to boosting our confidence.

5. A Team-Building Exercise

Let’s say that you’re playing your instrument and your friends love what they hear so much that you all decide to start playing in a band. This requires a lot of team skills, especially since several unique individuals are all trying to stay in time with each other while concentrating on what they’re doing.

This is a great skill to introduce to your life and can benefit you in everything you do.

6. Growing Your Brain

If you’ve ever heard the statement that playing music can make you smarter, you might have dismissed it, but there’s now more evident than ever before to back-up this claim. When you’re playing or listening to music, your brain releases chemicals known as BDNF, synapsin I and CREB. These have all been proven to strengthen your mental capabilities and physically grows your brain.

Try thinking of music as a kind of fertilizer and nourishment for the garden that is your mind.

7. Enhance Your Social Situations

We’ve all seen movies where a couple of friends are hanging around a campfire, swigging beers and usually playing guitar fingerstyle. The truth is, this appears as such a stereotype because it’s what people do.

Whether you’re sitting at home with friends or down your local bar, why not grab your guitar and shed a little light through music into your social situations.

Be prepared to take requests!

8. Enhance Your Memory

There is extensive research into the fact that music is incredibly beneficial to the memory functions of your brain. This is why children look to say the alphabet in song form, and why you can remember the lyrics to that song you haven’t listened to in 20-odd years.

One study of 15 children who had never had music lessons were able to increase their memory functions by as much as 34%, all by trying to learn an instrument!

9. Get into Shape

Think about how much movement you’ll make when you’re jamming out on your fretless bass or rocking hard on your keyboard. Attending a live music venue can burn as much as 400 calories an hour, so rocking out at home a few hours a day, week in week out, it sure to keep you lean and fighting feet.

10. Take a Step Back in Time

Music has been a part of human culture for hundreds, if not thousands, of years and is a foundation for the human race. Using your chosen instrument, such as drums, you can explore varieties of music from all kinds of eras, allowing you to become educated in these cultures and appreciate its roots.

11. An Incredibly Rewarding Experience

Imagine grinding away trying to learn a song for months and months, let’s say, on a guitar. You practice and practice, but you still can’t get it. After months, you’re on the edge of giving up trying for good when you manage to practice it, and it sounds perfect.

There’s nothing better than having experienced this level of reward for something you’ve poured your heart and soul into.

12. Take Your Hearing to the Next Level

To be able to play music, you’ve got to be able to hear it. That doesn’t mean just listening to it. It means tuning into the music that you’re playing, focusing on every single note to ensure it’s the message that you’re trying to communicate.

It’s safe to say that with years of training under your belt, your listening skills in day-to-day life will improve dramatically.

13. Rid Yourself of Back Pain

Some instruments are abnormal to operate, and you will only be adopting these poses when playing. With this in mind, it’s clear why posture is so important when playing an instrument, ensuring you don’t hurt yourself or give yourself backache problems further down the line.

Therefore, learning to play properly can help you adopt natural and benefit poses, alleviating neck and back pain!

14. Bring Happiness into People’s Lives

Music plays on our emotions; there’s no question about it. If you’ve got a couple of happy and positive tunes in your arsenal and somebody is feeling a bit down, playing a bit of chirpy music can instantly transform their moods into loving life.

Don’t forget that you can also do this with your own mood!

15. Become Better at Math

Music has such a strong connection with mathematics that many people overlook this. Whether you’re counting notes, noting rhythms or counting the bars in your head while you play, learning an instrument is a great way to give yourself a bit of math practice at the same time.

16. Introduce Time Management into Your Life

Learning how to play an instrument properly requires a lot of discipline and organization on your behalf. All musicians know that the quality of your practice is far better than the quantity which means planning your day, so you can get everything done and have time for quality and beneficial practice.

Who doesn’t like a bit of structure in their lives?

17. The Value of Patience

Learning an instrument, unfortunately, doesn’t just happen overnight, but takes weeks, months and even years to perfect fully and even then, you won’t be close to where you want to be.

We live in a world where knowledge and communication are instant but picking up an instrument is a great way to remind yourself to calm down and remember that you’ve got time.

18. Fighting Off Flu

While this consideration might surprise you, one article featured in Live Science, suggests that the process of making music with an instrument can sometimes trigger an immunological response, which can help us to fight illnesses from viruses.

Who knew?

19. Take a Chill Pill!

Since music can help with all kinds of issues relating to depression, anxiety, and stress, being able to express yourself in such a unique way, it can become both extremely therapeutic and healing to both your mind and your body.

After all, how would venting about an annoying co-worker in the form of rocking out in your garage not be good for the soul!

20. Learning Something New

The human brain thrives on learning new things. When we were evolving in the past, our brains would store new experiences to help us make decisions in the long-term for our own survival.

After learning the basics of an instrument, there is a seemingly infinite number of things you can do and learn with it, meaning you can continue to learn and enhance your brain functions. You can even explore your instrument further by upgrading or adding various parts of or to it, like pickups, pedals, and cymbals.

When trying to learn new music, or even how to read music, you’ll be amazed at how good learning feels once your brain grasps a concept.

21. Becoming a Responsible Person

How well do you currently look after your possessions? Do you keep your car, laptop, record player (turntable), house, and bedroom tidy all the time? Having an instrument requires you to keep it well maintained. Otherwise, it simply won’t work or play as you want it to.

Every instrument is treated and looked after in a different way and is a great way to educate yourself and to teach yourself the values of looking after something.

Warning: Willpower required.

22. Express Yourself!

Music has long been known to express and invoke emotions that touch our very heart. When learning to play, educating yourself in ‘happy’ notes and ‘sad’ notes can help you to vent to yourself and the rest of the world how you really feel.

We’re all humans and feel the same emotions, just on different levels. Music is all about reaching and connecting those levels at our very core.

23. Improved Hand-Eye Coordination

Regardless of what instrument you’re learning to play, you’ll be actively improving your hand-eye coordination motor function skills at the same time.

When you’re focusing on singing, your track list, the crowd and keeping track of where you are in the song, being able to use your body effectively in these high-pressure moments will reflect into every aspect of your life.

24. A Healthy Hobby Creates Happy Humans

“All work and no play” is not the sort of life you want to live.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the ‘average’ way in this day and age. That means going to work, coming home, having dinner, lounging in front of the TV or your phone before going to bed. Having the structure and the free time to play an instrument keeps your dopamine levels up and your body stress-free.

25. Enhance Your Breathing Functions

If you’re playing a wind instrument, you’ll already be well aware of what instruments can do for your respiratory system.

When playing music, you need to be able to take long, deep breaths and learn how to control your breathing in such a way that you can make the required sound. These kinds of breathing exercises are things that everybody should be doing.

It’s a fun activity!

Finally, to conclude our list of benefits of playing music, there’s the most obvious point that playing an instrument is fun! Whether you’re in your bedroom rocking out on your own, loving life with friends or loved ones or performing to a crowd of thousands of people, music can help you feel alive.

Gavin Whitner
    Gavin Whitner
     

    A guitar player, songwriter, composer, and also the lead editor of MusicOomph, Gavin is one of the four musician friends behind this site. Outside of music, he's an avid sports fan and hardly misses anything from football (soccer) to F1.

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