Does Playing an Instrument Benefit Your Mind?

Forget about drinking energy drinks to improve concentration and taking medication to enhance brain potential. All you actually need is music! That’s right. The powers of music are endless, which isn’t very surprising, but did you know that listening to music and especially playing an instrument can be beneficial to your mind? Research shows that it can and that we should definitely not underestimate what it can do for us.

Why is playing an instrument beneficial to the mind?

In recent years, scientists have made enormous breakthroughs in understanding how our brains work using fMRI and PET scans. Every single activity we do has the corresponding area in the brain that activates when we do that activity. When a person listens to music, many different parts of the brain get activated in a split of a second in order to understand all of the elements such as melody and rhythm. However, there is nothing that activates the brain like playing music – it engages both hemispheres and almost every area of the brain at the same time, especially the visual, auditory and motor areas. Doing this often, practicing playing an instrument regularly, can have long term benefits and change brain structure and function for the better.

What changes playing an instrument makes in your brain?

Neuroscientists were able to prove that learning and playing an instrument increases gray matter in several brain sections and strengthens connections between those sections. Musical training can also improve verbal memory and spatial reasoning. Long-term memory is also affected and improved by playing an instrument. Being musical and practicing regularly can lead to better brain development of children. Not only that but musicians also tend to be more mentally alert and better at combining the information from different senses. Learning at a young age has better and more drastic results than starting later on in life, although it is never too late to improve brain functions. Other issues that playing an instrument helps with include age-related decline in hearing, dyslexia, and dementia.

What else is playing an instrument beneficial for?

This comes with no surprise, but playing an instrument makes you happy and relaxed. Doing what you love and de-stressing is always good for the brain, body, and soul. This will help you lead a happier life and avoid depression and anxiety. It also helps patients recover and has a very calming effect on children, plants, and animals. If you happen to be a part of a group, a band or simply take lessons with other people, you will improve your communication and cooperation with other people and straighten some relationships, too. When you need a quick burst of concentration, playing an instrument is a great method to try since it increases blood flow in your brain which in turn releases energy.

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