Martin Backhausen is a professional musician with decades of experience. He knows learning a musical instrument can provide many benefits for your brain and spirit.
Improves Your Memory
Learning an instrument improves your memory, as well as your muscle memory. When learning an instrument, you are engaging both the left and right sides of your brain. This is particularly beneficial for children because it allows them to use new brain patterns. It’s also been used as a form of rehabilitation for people with brain injuries.
Chronic stress is a big problem for people in today’s fast-paced society. Frequent exposure to stress can lead the body to be in a chronic state of stress.
The good news is, playing a musical instrument can reverse the stress response, helping our brains and bodies to feel calm. You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy this benefit, either. According to WebMD, the best way to reap this benefit is to approach playing music as a fun activity rather than a serious one.
Playing Music Makes You Smarter
Recent research has discovered that learning an instrument increases executive functioning in children and adults. The executive function is responsible for decision-making, solving problems, planning, and self-control. It also allows the person to adjust to changes when performing tasks.
Executive function has also been shown to have a greater impact on academic success than IQ, according to Psychology Today.
Make New Friends
Learning an instrument introduces you to new people, which can allow you to make new friends. Friendships are typically built on a common goal or love for something.
When you are learning an instrument with others, this gives you an instant way to connect based on your shared love of music.
Increase Self Confidence
Learning an instrument also improves your self-confidence. One reason for this is that it provides a sense of accomplishment. You’ll take pride in improving as a musician, which can increase your confidence as well.
Playing an instrument also provides a means of self-expression. As you get comfortable expressing yourself through your music, you’ll find it easier to express yourself in other ways as well, Backhausen explains.
Improves Discipline and Patience
Learning an instrument requires a lot of practice. You must be dedicated to putting work into practicing. This can teach you time management and strengthen your sense of discipline.
It also teaches you patience. Learning an instrument requires practicing over time. In fact, most people need to dedicate a year to learning an instrument to become proficient at playing it.
It can seem like it will never pay off. However, it eventually does. To keep practicing, you’ll need to have patience and realize that it provides delayed gratification.
Martin Backhausen earned his bachelor’s degree from Full Sail University before going on to get a Master of Music in Music Production from Berklee Online. He’s able to read music and play by ear. He currently works as a music producer for artists in various genres, including punk rock, R&B, country music and neo-soul.