There’s an abundant amount of research that proves musical activity to be beneficial to both the human mind and body. No matter your age or skill level, playing a musical instrument is a great form of cognitive exercise. The health benefits range from lowering stress and blood pressure to preventing dementia and depression. If you’re looking for a fun hobby to promote general wellness and a great sense of self, you might want to consider giving those local piano lessons a try.
Here are the Top 10 from Health Fitness Revolution and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic:
Keeps the mind sharp
A study administered at the University of Kansas Medical Center concluded that musicians performed better at cognitive tests than non musicians. Regularly playing any instrument is a great form of exercise for the brain. Whether you’re hitting a drum set at full speed or lightly blowing through a saxophone, several parts of your brain are in action.
Musicians typically have great coordination. The act of playing any instrument would require you to have sharp hand-eye coordination. This can even benefit you on the basketball court, or any sport that requires good hand-eye coordination.
Research shows that creating music reduces stress by lowering cortisol levels. The effect of playing at an alternate speed can further promote these benefits. Playing music can also act as an emotional outlet. Creating your own music allows you to mold your sadness, joy or tension into a poetic work of art.
Sharpens your reading skills
One of the biggest aspects of being a musician is being able to read and apprehend music. Continuously reading and recognizing different notes better advances your reading and apprehension skills.
Improves respiratory system
Whether you’re blowing on a clarinet, flute, or any other wind instruments, one of the first things you must know how to do is breathe properly. These instruments thrive off air vibrations that the musician is responsible for creating. This means breathing both effectively and efficiently must be second nature to the musician.
Increases listening skills
In order to play music you must be able to listen intuitively. The ability to listen allows you to know whether you’re hitting the right notes. This in turn leads to better listening skills, which is an important aspect of building social relationships.
Promotes sense of achievement
The process of learning how to play an instrument can be both time consuming and weary. Overcoming this directly results in a sense of achievement and pride. The phrase “you get what you put in” is the perfect cliche for this tiresome yet rewarding process. The more time and effort you put into mastering an instrument, the greater your sense of achievement will be.
There are many elements of music that mustn’t be overlooked while playing an instrument. As a musician, you must be able to listen in on the beat, rhythm, texture, timbre, and so on. The only thing more beneficial than concentrating on your own sounds as an artist is concentrating on the sounds of a musical group. Being in a musical group further boosts these concentration skills by making you focus in on the harmony of the group as a whole.
Reforms time management skills
The lengthy process of learning how to play an instrument would require you to manage your time adequately. This in turn promotes better time management skills, which you can apply to your everyday responsibilities.
Helps Treat Alzheimer’s
The mental stimulation involved in playing and listening to music can promote better memory in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. In a study done on Alzheimer’s patients, it was concluded that music memory was retained far better than spoken word. This was due primarily to the heightened arousal caused by music, which led to improved attention and memory.