Learning a musical instrument is an amazing experience! You get to try new things, have opportunities to work with others, and of course you have an amazing skill at the end of it. But learning music offers a wide range of benefits beyond any of these factors! We’ve made a list of the biggest non-musical benefits of learning music.
1. Learning Music Builds Self-Confidence
If you’ve made it through your first few music lessons, you may already be applauding yourself. And so you should! Because it’s hard to start something new, and it can feel daunting in the beginning. Getting good at an instrument requires time and patience. But this kind of challenge is really good for you! Overcoming challenges builds your self belief. When you can finally play that piece, or nail that technique! It’s an amazing feeling. And now you know that you can tackle any challenge because you’ve done it before!
Performing is also amazing for building self-confidence. It can feel scary at first, but once you’ve done it, your brain will understand that there’s no danger! And you’ll feel more confident overall.
2. Music Education Improves Overall Learning Ability
Albert Einstein was not only one of the greatest physicists in history, he was also a master violinist! Music and logic are in many ways intertwined. By understanding musical elements like rhythm, scales, notes, chords and structure, you build your ability to understand patterns and relationships in other subjects. Building a connection between the creative and logical parts of your brain can improve your cognitive function!
Learning music also develops your short-term and long-term memory. Memory is a useful skill to train for both learning and mental health. Music helps to keep the plasticity of the brain alive, so that you can continue to develop and learn.
3. Learning Music Strengthens Social Skills
Studies show that people who play music with others have a much easier time working with others and fitting into different social circles. They learn to become one with others and adapt to their environment. Learning music develops our trust in others and ability to work together. It’s also a great way to help with loneliness, boredom or conflict. Playing music helps to regulate your mood and gives you a feeling of belonging.
4. Learning Music Develops Patience and Discipline
Never before has it been harder to keep people’s attention than it is now. Smartphones, tablets, computers and TVs are everywhere! It’s difficult for most people to stay focused on anything for more than a few seconds. So it’s really important to practice self-discipline. Developing your musical skills requires you to switch off your devices and get stuck in! Time spent on structured music education is a great antidote to the non-stop scrolling of social media!
Patience is a Virtue
Attending music lessons doesn’t give you the instant gratification of social media. Instead, it requires perseverance and patience. It gives you the chance to see the benefit of staying focused. So without you even realising, it will improve your ability to concentrate. So satisfaction from social media is instant and short-term, and satisfaction from learning music takes much longer. But it’s ultimately much deeper and longer-lasting!
5. Learning an Instrument Improves Movement
Playing an instrument strengthens your muscles, balance, coordination, fine and gross movement skills. String instruments, woodwind, drums and piano all require each hand to do something different at the same time. It’s an amazing exercise for refining your coordination skills! Think about playing the drums for example. You have to be able to move the body quickly, co-ordinating both arms and legs to keep the rhythm. There are many studies to verify the benefits of music lessons on movement. Amazingly, even two years of piano lessons has been shown to have a significant effect on movement skills. Who would have thought that playing music might help you play sports?
6. Music is a Universal Language
Learning music has proven to be of great importance to people with developmental disorders and mental illnesses. Music can create positive change in people with a range of physical and mental illnesses by giving them a tool to express themselves and to understand their surroundings. They may have difficulty expressing themselves through ordinary speech, but music gives them the ability to communicate through a universal language. Of course, they also benefit from all the points listed above, and come away with an amazing skill! There really are no down sides.