8 Ways Learning a Musical Instrument Will Enrich Your Life
It's never too late to learn a musical instrument. While it takes most people plenty of time and effort to play at a satisfactory level, it's worth all the work involved. You'll gain plenty of enjoyment and satisfaction from the act of playing, but there are many other powerfully life-enhancing benefits too.
1) Sharpens Memory and Concentration
Whether you sight-read an unknown piece or play an old favorite from memory, the act of playing an instrument gives you a mental workout. Just as physical exercise tones your muscles, brain exercise tones your mind. Regularly playing a musical instrument sharpens your memory and improves your powers of concentration - and the positive effects increase the more often you do it.
2) Develop Specific Mental Skills
But playing music develops specific mental skills as well as improving overall acuity. Firstly, paying attention to rhythm and tempo hones your mathematical and pattern-reading ability. Secondly, the process of reading notation gives a boost to your sensory perception and comprehension skills.
3) Spurs Creativity
Although some people are born more creative than others, creativity is a skill like any other that can be learned and developed with practice. Playing music helps unlock your natural creativity, with benefits for both your personal and professional lives.
4) Reduces Stress
Developing the creative side of your mind makes it easier to express yourself, offering a powerful way of reducing stress and frustration. What's more, the simple physical act of concentrating on your playing helps take you away from your daily worries, giving tired minds a valuable break. Regular practice will lead to lasting benefits of calmness and self-control across your life.
5) Better Coordination
Successfully playing an instrument means coordinating your eyes, mind, and body. Improving your coordination can make you feel more comfortable in your own skin. And as any yoga devotee will tell you, achieving a balance between mind, body, and spirit is the fundamental concept behind finding inner peace.
6) Improves Discipline and Tenacity
Few people find learning an instrument a breeze. It takes plenty of time and effort to reach a level that makes you happy. But sticking at it through the difficult times improves your self-discipline, and develops reserves of determination and tenacity to draw on in other areas of your life.
7) Enhance Your Performance Skills
Whether you play for your family or in a more formal public situation, mastering an instrument will give you greater confidence in your performance abilities. That can be hugely beneficial in your career if leadership and presentation skills are essential. It will also give you more self-assurance in daunting social situations when you need to be at your best.
8) Deeper Appreciation of Culture
Lastly, no matter which style of music you love, playing an instrument will open up whole new worlds of culture and history to explore. Whether your passion lies in 17th century Baroque or 1970s guitar heroics, learning an instrument will give you a deeper appreciation and understanding of the origins of your music.
Learning an instrument can be a long and sometimes difficult journey to set out on. But the benefits are more than worth it - and the further you develop your talents, the greater your rewards will be.