Benefits Of Learning To Play A Musical Instrument
Learning to play a musical instrument is a skill that benefits the musician physically, intellectually and socially throughout their lifetime.
Fine motor coordination
Have you ever noticed how clumsy a chimpanzee is? While immensely stronger than a human being, a chimpanezee is unable to perform delicate tasks. Somewhere along the line humans traded strength for dexterity and rose to the top of the food chain as tool makers.
Learning a musical instrument capitalizes on our natural abilities and hones our fine motor skills through repeated practice.
Have you ever heard a grown up call themselves a “band nerd”? Be it a band nerd, or a groupie who is “with the band”, learning an instrument in a group setting as is done in most schools provides a format for social cohesion.
Even after leaving this setting, it is often the case that people who have learned an instrument will form long term relationships with others who have done the same.
Studies have shown that students who have learned to play a musical instrument are on the whole smarter than their peers. This may be due to many factors, but brain scans of students while playing their instruments show increased activity in large areas throughout the brain. As they say, use it or lose it.
It takes concerted effort over a long period of time to learn the language of music and its application. In adult life, there is no other character quality that more defines success than discipline. From firefighters to computer engineers, a disciplined mind is the most prepared.
Status and Achievement
Someone who plays a musical instrument will never lack for entertainment, an important thing among adults. In informal gatherings such as campfires, reunions, and meetings, a musician is the center of attention.
Fun, stress relief and spirituality
Playing a musical instrument involves a part of the brain that, when triggered, can be a mildly euphoric trancelike state. Priests of all faiths master instruments from the lute to the flute and use it in their worship both publicly and privately. Similarly, the playing of a musical instrument allows a quick mental place to get away from the stress and pain of life.
Effect Others Positively
A musician can influence lives. During the physical performance of an instrument, people can be moved to tears, to action, to donate, and to come together as a group for change. We look to the huge benefit concerts as the most obvious examples of these. Bob Geldof was knighted for Live Aid at age 34, and raised millions for hunger relief.
The mind-body connection is finely honed by the many hours of practice. Movements must not only be synchronized to sound, but anticipated in advance while other action is being performed.
If a child can master a musical instrument, they already know that they can master other things. Like life, education, and social life. What their time on earth has in store for them is not such a struggle as it would be otherwise. For them, long term effort is part of a cause-and-effect relationship.
Prestige within the musical community
While learning to play any instrument is difficult, there are instruments that are more so than others. Learning to play a harmonica may not carry the same prestige as learning to play a violin, but both are not easy if mastered.
There are many ways to benefit from the learning and playing of a musical instrument. Each person will benefit in their own ways over their own lifetimes.