Learning to play an instrument is like starting to study a new language. It may seem hard at first, but once you start playing your first notes, the satisfaction and benefits you have are so many that as soon as you get into the rhythm, you’ll hardly stop.
It’s like having in your hands a new communication tool that allows us to express ourselves in a completely different way: through a melody.
You don’t have to feel like a phenomenon to choose to start playing an instrument. In fact, you can start out just as a hobby and discover yourself better than you think.
“MUSIC PRODUCES A KIND OF PLEASURE OF WHICH
HUMAN NATURE CANNOT DO WITHOUT IT”.
The Chinese philosopher, with these words, wanted to emphasize the fact that music produces numerous psychological benefits. The extraordinary thing is that these benefits are not only for the player, but also for all the people who have the privilege of listening.
Learning the art of music leads to numerous positive effects, and playing an instrument can lead to people’s lives:
- It improves cognitive skills,
- Sound makes you smarter,
- Improves organizational skills and work performance,
- Improves your math skills,
- It relieves stress,
- It improves self-esteem and dispels shyness,
- Promotes socialization and harmony with others.
- learning to play
Improves cognitive skills
According to a recent study carried out at the University of Montreal, published in the journal “Brain and Cognition”, studying a musical instrument from an early age helps the brain from the elderly.
It would seem, in fact, according to the conclusions of research director Simon Landry, that learning to play an instrument, makes the brain more responsive to sensory stimuli. This would bring considerable benefits to people, because it prevents aging and helps them to stay alert and react more quickly.
The research was carried out on a sample of 16 musicians who started studying between the ages of 3 and 10 and 19 non musicians. Subjects inside the room were called to respond to 3 types of simulations (audio, tactile and audio-touch) by clicking on a mouse.
The results show that the musicians all had much shorter reaction times than those who did not study music. This answer, according to Landry, would show that long-term music training reduces reaction times to stimulations. It can also affect senses not directly related to music.
Playing an instrument regularly seems to affect the parts of the brain that control motor skills (e.g.: using your hands, running, swimming, etc.), hearing, storing sound information and memory actually grow and become more active. Other results show that playing an instrument can increase your IQ by seven points.
Playing makes you smarter
To be able to play a song with a musical instrument, you have to put into practice a lot of knowledge and you have to solve a large number of problems.
In fact, you have to memorize the most difficult passages, choose the rhythm you want to give to the melody, read the notes on the score and reproduce faithfully. All the work that there is before the reproduction of a song, has positive effects not only on the cognitive abilities of people, but also allows you to develop the ability to do analytical reasoning and problem solving … in short, playing an instrument also makes more intelligent.
THE MOZART EFFECT
Some research published in Nature even suggests that even just listening to a certain type of music can enhance intelligence in the very short term.
“The Mozart effect” is a theory according to which, just listening to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Sonata in D major for two pianos”, would be able to cause a temporary increase in cognitive and intellectual abilities.
The research dates back to 1993, and was developed by two physicists Gordon Shaw and Frances Rauscher. The sample analyzed would be 36 students divided into 3 groups placed in different listening conditions.
The first group was made listening Easy listening. Atmospheric music, chamber music.
The second group was made to listen to Mozart’s sonata.
The third, on the other hand, remained in absolute silence.
After listening, the three groups of students were given an intelligence test on spatial reasoning, the Stanford-Binet. The results showed that the group that had listened to Mozart’s Sonata before the test scored higher than the others.
This experiment was challenged by a great many experts and scientists, due to the fact that no one ever managed to replicate the results.
This experiment has been contested by many experts and scientists, because no one has ever been able to replicate the results.
It is not known, therefore, whether the Mozart effect is reliable or not. But why not run the risk of improving your performance before a test, an examination or a question?
Listen to the “Sonata in D major for two pianos” before testing. You’ll potentially be smarter for at least 15 minutes!
Improves organizational skills and work performance
Playing an instrument therefore prevents premature aging of the brain because it keeps it active and shiny. But it seems that it also affects people’s abilities in terms of organization and time management.
Those who learn to play an instrument as children, with the aim of improving faster, learn to organize time and practice so as to learn as quickly as possible.
The ability to organise time and tasks effectively also has a positive impact on work performance and guarantees better profits within companies.
Improves skills in mathematics
Studying music, theory, time, rhythm and musical scores includes the study of notes and their duration: this requires the application during the study of certain formulas of mathematics and logic.
Playing an instrument implies in itself the development of the ability to recognize patterns and structures that are repeated continuously. This implies the stimulation from a neurological point of view of the area of the brain that is the basis of logical-mathematical reasoning.
Some researchers, in fact, have underlined that, very often, students who play an instrument and study music, at school, in particular in mathematics, achieve better results than students who do not. (source: Friedman, B.)
Do you have as a schoolmate someone who plays a musical instrument? Now, do you understand why his average in mathematics is generally higher than the rest of the class?
Improves reading skills
To know how to play an instrument means to read scores and to know how to recognize notes while playing them in a very short time.
Playing an instrument not only helps you to keep your concentration on a particular activity for a long time, but it also helps you to improve your reading skills.
It is therefore not surprising that musicians, trained in rhythmic and tonal techniques and these types of exercises, have a greater ability to read quickly and understand the texts immediately.
Playing a musical instrument discreetly means having a great anti-stress device in your hands. The possibility to play, in fact, when you want and where you want is definitely a way to express your emotions and let off steam.
It is not by chance that many doctors use music therapy as a treatment for autistic children, depressed people or those with some other disorder.
Playing an instrument is a cure for shyness
When you learn to play an instrument, many times you have the opportunity to perform in front of the audience. The more shows and performances you do, the more self-confidence you gain and the less fear you have of the stage. Being confident in one’s own abilities also means being more confident in everyday life and this improves one’s self-esteem.
One of the great values of music is to foster socialization and relationships with others. Learning to play an instrument means taking a path where different people and personalities meet, starting with the teachers, to other boys/girls with the same passion.
No wonder, in fact, that one of the main reasons why you start to study music, is precisely to meet new people and learn to be with others.
Playing in a band, being part of a choir, even participating in exhibitions, allows those who play to learn to share the moments of their lives with others and to communicate with them.
Playing together, therefore, means learning to work together to achieve a common goal by defining one’s role and personality within a group, improving self-perception and socialization.
Learning to play an instrument is definitely an investment
It takes time to learn and money, but the cognitive, psychological and social benefits are so many that all the sacrifices are certainly worth it.