Music is a form of expression and entertainment. Often, songs convey important messages about different themes. Music keeps people entertained during their drive to work, their commute, and other situations. It adds drama and personality to films and TV shows. Needless to say, life would be dull without music.
Learning how to play an instrument to create music is an even more entertaining journey. It’s a productive way to pass the time, especially during a pandemic. But aside from keeping you busy, learning to play an instrument can be helpful in many ways.
Make Meaningful Connections
Learning an instrument can lead you to meaningful connections. For example, if you take guitar classes, you get to meet people with the same interest. And this similarity can be something that you bond over and become good friends. You can practice together, teach each other, and eventually share your other interests with each other.
Or even if you don’t take classes, there are many communities online where people who play instruments gather, such as online forums and social media. You can meet new friends in these communities. And they can give you a sense of belongingness and companionship, which is very much needed in a time when physical interactions with others are limited.
Sharpen the Brain
Learning how to play an instrument is a good brain exercise that can improve your memory. When you learn how to play, you need to memorize many things. For instance, if you’re learning how to play the piano, you need to know how to read the music sheet. And you need to know where your fingers should be for each note. This activity can expand your working memory capacity so you’ll be able to remember things easily.
If you feel like you’re impatient or have a short attention span, learning an instrument will help you fix that. It usually has quite a sharp learning curve. And the first few days or weeks of learning will test your patience. Maybe no matter how much you try to touch the right keys on a piano, you always press the wrong one in the middle of a song. So you’ll have to start over until you get it right.
Patience is a valuable trait that will help you in other areas of your life, such as school and work.
Learning to play an instrument and actually playing it can make you happier. One study found that one of the main reasons people listen to music is to improve their mood. It’s easy to see why.
For example, say someone feels lonely and chooses to listen to a sad song. It’s not necessarily because they want to be sadder but may be because the song carries a message they can relate to. And that song helps them find solace. On the other hand, another person who feels sad may choose to listen to upbeat songs to distract themselves and lift their mood.
Improve Depressive Symptoms
And since music helps uplift one’s mood, it can also be used to improve depressive symptoms. For instance, music therapy was found to reduce depressive symptoms and anxiety.
Music is a form of self-expression. So it’s a great outlet for emotions. Also, as mentioned earlier, music can lead to meaningful connections. The companionship in music can help someone ease their loneliness.
Motivate Physical Exercise
Listening to music during exercise can give you an energy boost. And it has other valuable benefits too, according to science.
For example, music is a great distraction from the pain you feel while you exercise. And this distraction can help you keep going. One study found that people who listen to music while exercising have longer workout periods than those who don’t. Another study found that listening to fast-paced, loud music can improve one’s performance in workouts, particularly endurance exercises.
Given these effects, it’s easy to see why every music streaming platform has pre-made workout playlists. And this may also be why some gyms play loud EDM music. It helps gym-goers work harder.
Improve Heart Health
Music has cardiovascular benefits as well. If music can motivate someone to exercise, the elevated heart rate can help them strengthen their heart muscles. Listening to music may also relax the arteries to improve blood vessel function.
Even if you don’t get a teacher to guide you directly, the internet is filled with resources you can use to learn a new instrument. And if you persevere, you will reap some if not all its benefits.