Learning to play an instrument

Most people think that if you do not learn how to play an instrument when you are young it is hopeless. Only the child who practices four hours a day will become a great pianist or violinist, people mistakenly believe. Although you may not become a musical legend, learning how to play an instrument as an adult does have its benefits.

Your brain will thank you

Learning to play a musical instrument can change the structure of your brain and improve your performance on cognitive tasks. It has been scientifically proven that musical training can change the parts of the brain that control hearing, memory and the movement of the hands.

Playing an instrument can improve your mathematical skills because it forces your brain to think about notes and rhythm. You have to learn the difference between a whole note and a quarter note in order to play a piece of music accurately. It also takes good coordination and strong motor skills to play almost any instrument. Even the triangle!

Age doesn’t matter

Adults 65-80 performed better on tests of word recall, nonverbal memory and cognitive ability in line with the amount of years they spent playing an instrument. So the affect playing an instrument has on your mind is long lasting. People who take up playing an instrument later in life gain the benefits of increasing their hand strength and manual dexterity, or enhancing their lung capacity and breath control, depending on the instrument they play. Your IQ can even be increased by learning to play an instrument because it makes you more alert and sharpens your memory.

It’s good for your health

Playing music has a calming effect on both the mind and the body. It has been found to lower blood pressure and has been used as therapy for those suffering from insomnia and depression. Playing an instrument can also be a work out, depending on the instrument. It takes strength and endurance to play the drums for several hours or hold a violin to your chin. Various muscles are being used repeatedly and strengthened over time.

The natural soothing effect of playing music is not lost on the musician. The release of creativity and emotion can considerably lower a musician’s stress level. As adults, stress is a part of life but playing an instrument can be one of the weapons in your arsenal to fight stress.

It can help you become a better you

First of all, it takes good time management and organizational skills to run your life and dedicate an appropriate amount of time to practicing your instrument. As an adult, there are many things and people vying for your attention but you will never learn how to play an instrument if you do not make the time to practice.

Playing an instrument requires discipline and perseverance. Sometimes a musician has to spend several hours or days practicing before they can master the music they are learning to play. It is not something that happens overnight. You have to work on it, and that builds your resolve and determination. One such way is to take lessons to improve your abilities. Lessons can be taken online or offline, but it’s important that your teacher is skilled. Sites such as LessonRating offer reviews of teachers in your location, so you’re ensured a quality teacher.

One of the most important benefits that playing an instrument has for adults is the fact that it is fun. Yes it a challenge but progressing makes it worthwhile. When a musician finally gets a piece of music right, after working on it for a long time, they are proud of themselves. That pride raises their self-esteem and confidence which makes them feel better about themselves.

Photo from you-dont-know-love on tumblr