The following post was guest written by Liyana Perry of Sage Music School.
We’re all looking for ways to combat certain mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and many others, and medication doesn’t work for everyone. Meditation, yoga, and exercise are the most common alternative methods that people use to help themselves with these issues (as it was proven by multiple studies that these methods are very effective). However, things that most other people consider as hobbies can also help you out immensely. This is where playing a musical instrument comes into play!
And even if you’re not suffering from a health condition that we mentioned, playing a musical instrument still has a lot of positives. Keep in mind that you usually shouldn’t start playing an instrument by yourself (without following any tutorials or having a teacher by your side). Music lessons are highly recommended!
Now, let’s see why you should learn to play a musical instrument!
Improves Long-Term Memory
It’s a well-known platitude that practice makes perfect. But what does this actually mean? Well, if you want to play a musical instrument like a pro, you’ll have to practice constantly and not give up. This means that you’ll be improving your memory as well, since you’ll be memorizing the songs, chords, and other elements involved in learning to play music.
Most people take around a year or two to really get going with their instruments, but it all depends on motivation, type of instrument, instructional value, and a lot of other factors, so take this with a grain of salt.
Boosts Your Listening Skills
You might not have good listening skills if you’ve never played an instrument before, but you’ll develop them with time. For example, if you’re looking to play the guitar, try to tune it yourself, just through listening. Not so easy, right? If you get stuck, use a free online guitar tuner to check your work.
After some time, you’ll be able to notice the slight differences in pitch. The fact of the matter is that playing an instrument will boost your listening ability over time.
Sharpens Your Concentration
You won’t be able to become a great musician if you don’t concentrate on what you’re doing. Try to find the mistakes that you’re probably making (since you’re just starting out) and focus on improving them. Even the slightest improvement goes a long way in learning how to play instruments, so don’t ignore anything.
Even the way you hold the instrument could be wrong, so focus! Plus, you’ll sharpen your concentration by playing an instrument as well.
Improves Your Social Life
Everyone loves sitting around a bonfire at night with friends, singing songs, and playing musical instruments. It’s also a great way to make new friends since someone will surely approach you while you’re doing what you love. And, if you’re good at it (which you’ll surely be with enough practice), you’ll be approached by even more people. In any case, your social life will thrive because of this!
Can Help With Depression and Anxiety
Working out and meditating are great for mental health, but playing an instrument can be even more effective for some people. Not only is it a great outlet for self-expression and catharsis, but it actually helps release dopamine.
Develop your Own Creativity
Adding to the previous point, you’ll improve your creativity by playing instruments. Start off by practicing playing some well-known songs that are easy to play. Once you master the easy ones, you might even start writing (and playing) your own songs. Everything that you play has a positive effect on your creativity, so when you’re feeling confident about playing, give it everything you’ve got!
Additionally, keep following tutorials for as long as you can and keep an eye open for the smallest of details – they’re usually the most helpful when it comes to playing a musical instrument.
Author bio: Liyana Perry writes on behalf of Sage Music School where they base lessons on the science and research of the psychology of learning. Their effective teaching methods create confident and capable students who enjoy the happiness of making music.