How Does Learning a Musical Instrument Affect You?

By Mitch Rice

Did you suppress your musical talents in fear it would deteriorate your academic results? If so, today you’re in for a treat. Stay tuned to find out!

To begin today’s chapter, let’s state the obvious first. Music unlocks the creative parts of your brain while helping you focus at the same time. Even as writers, we tend to listen to music while writing so that the external environment doesn’t affect us, we can dive deep into the topic, and we avoid reaching the infamous ‘writer’s block’. In the same way, playing any musical instrument has its perks.

Playing an instrument, like a banjo, improves your muscle-memory as well as your long-term memory. Once you learn to play something, even after ten years, you’ll probably never forget songs and melodies. After a little bit of a warm-up, you’re good to go. How does this happen? This happens because your muscles learned how to play the melody while your brain memorized the tune itself. If you want to give the banjo a try, this is the best banjo for beginners guide. Now let’s dive in deep.

Playing a Musical Instrument Sharpens Your Senses

When you play an instrument, you are constantly receiving impulses from your senses. Through vision, you are keeping an eye on your fingers playing the chords. Through hearing you are listening to the tune you are producing and interpreting when to hit a different chord. Lastly, you are changing the chords and playing through your touch. All of this happens instantaneously and quickly. Playing an instrument stimulates your brain and sharpens your sense of sight, hearing, and touch.

It Acts as a Medicine to Unknown Problems of Your Mind

Due to the increasing demand for our attention from social media nowadays, people are distracted too often. This decreases their reaction time and attention span. As a result, they might be slower to respond in situations, unable to focus in class, or struggling to have a peaceful mind. Fortunately, learning to play an instrument works wonders as it stimulates your brain to remove yourself from the busy distractions, keeping your mindfulness in check.

It Helps Interpret Your Emotions Better

Music is known to be strongly connected to your emotions. You’ll see every time you’re sad, you are prone to listen to melancholic songs. Many people use it to appraise their emotions, either trying to understand them or escape their situation for a short while, thus turning their sorrow into something beautiful.

Even people working out in gyms tend to listen to upbeat music to motivate themselves and distract themselves from their sore muscles. Whenever you’re stressed, you can immediately pull up your instrument and play to calm yourself down. All of this helps you stay in control of your emotions and to dissipate your energy through something positive.

Theta & Alpha Waves

If I’ve managed to pique your interest so far, you deserve to know something pretty cool about your brain. Our brain emits certain types of waves when learning something, called the Theta waves and Alpha waves. The Theta phase is what we call our creativity phase when we are in a very relaxed state. This is when we come up with some of our best ideas and creations. Alpha waves, to put it simply, are a more intense version of Theta waves.

Alpha phase appears when you are concentrating deeply on something, like when you’re watching the television screen until it literally puts you in a trance. It’s like you’re hypnotized and you’re not paying attention to anything around you. These are the states where your mind solely works on the inside and comes up with something extraordinary. It’s like a getaway to an entirely new world inside your mind where your brain jumps from your body and starts coming up with stuff that your conscious mind would’ve never imagined. In the same way, whenever you’re playing an instrument and focusing on a tune, that music can help you achieve exactly that. It improves your cognitive functioning.

Playing Music Kills Two Birds with One Stone

Hopefully, the things we talked about so far have made you realize how a simple hobby can benefit your life. It can improve focus, take away stress, and also make you more patient when you are struggling to achieve something. All of these qualities can help benefit your academics as well. If you learn to play at a very young age you may discover that you have what it takes to go professional, which could become your career. Learning an instrument won’t just benefit our daily life, it may uncover our true potential to something we may have never tried.

It Increases Your Dopamine Levels

Music brings us joy as it produces Dopamine. There will be more depth in your life as it includes more than the common cycle of eating, sleeping, studying, watching Netflix, and chilling. You will form a network of similarly talented people. You will feel special and gifted around other people and build up your confidence. Not to mention, if you are a guy, girls love a guy who can play an instrument.  Is that not a gift by itself?

Well, that’s it, guys! This brings us to an end. Make sure to showcase your talent if you do end up learning an instrument.