Learning to sing or play an instrument is wonderful fun and a great way to meet new people. It’s also an important way to release some of the stress of our busy lives. But did you know that there is a multitude of reasons as to why you should continue to pursue music beyond the means of it just being ‘fun’?!
Play music helps to reduce stress
Research has proven that playing a musical instrument frequently can help alleviate stress. The act of playing an instrument has been associated in lowering heart rate, blood pressure and lowering the stress hormone ‘cortisol’, which makes us feel more at ease. Further, a psychologist who regularly studies musicians, Michael Jolkovski says that helps to reduce by bringing people together, “It [music] can satisfy the need to unwind from the worries of life… it makes people more alive and connected with one another”. So, not only is playing a musical instrument fun and enjoyable, but it’s a great stress reliever!
It teaches patience and discipline
As individuals must practice in order to improve, this can assist in helping students to become more patient and disciplined. Success in music cannot simply happen overnight and this, therefore, teaches students to keep allocating time to difficult tasks in order to achieve their goals. It can also be particularly useful for students with ADHD to learn an instrument as this can help them with concentration. Ultimately, learning a musical instrument is worthwhile because it teaches students the life long skill of patience and discipline.
It can improve your social life
Whilst we often see music as an individual skill, or something we do by ourselves it can in fact be the opposite! Learning an instrument is a very social thing, as you get to connect with others in your music classes, or meet new people at recitals. This can in turn help with improving children’s social skills as they learn to engage with people both their age and older. The social benefit of music is reflected in Eduardo Marturet, musical director for the Miami Symphony Orchestra’s commentary, “socially, children who become involved in musical groups or ensemble learn important life skills, such as how to relate to others, how to work as a team and appreciate the rewards that come from working together, and the development of leadership skills and discipline”.
Improves academic skills in the classroom
Not only does music enhance your own musical ability and skills, but it similarly assists with maths, reading and comprehension skills. Music and mathematics have been found to be closely interconnected. Through children understanding concepts such as beat, rhythm and scales they are more likely to understand mathematical ideas such as how to divide and create fractions and recognise mathematical patterns. This is supported by Lynn Kleiner, founder of Music Rhapsody’s statement, “It seems that music wires a child’s brain to help him better understand other areas of math”. The same benefits of music apply to reading and comprehension, with reading and understanding music notes and pitch helping students to read and understand literature within the classroom context.
So if you are thinking of learning an instrument, or maybe even discontinuing learning music you might want to reconsider why you should learn music- clearly the possibilities that come with music are abundant!