Millions of people across the globe play some kind of musical instrument, and millions of other sings, dance, and listen to music.
Musicians have learned to read music, to keep a steady rhythm, and possibly even how to write their own music. What they may not know so much about are the benefits that come from learning how to play an instrument, those that benefit the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of human health. The fact is, there are over a dozen amazing benefits that can come from playing a musical instrument, and from music in general.
Let’s take a look at a few:
Physical Benefits of Music
Many may think that playing an instrument or listening to music can only be beneficial mentally and emotionally, but it actually has surprising physical health benefits, too. In order to play some instruments and sing, deep breathing is required, which helps the diaphragm, lungs, and respiratory system in general, as well as the heart. Taking deep breaths can event prevent certain respiratory diseases.
One proposed benefit that hasn’t yet been proven to be fact is that playing an instrument can improve the musician’s immune system. An increase in muscle strength is a common benefit, as is improved posture and better hearing. And of course, making music, singing, or dancing has been known to significantly reduce stress levels in a person and allow their blood pressure and heart rate to decrease.
Music serves as an emotional escape or an outlet for many people, but studies and research show that it has physical health benefits, as well.
Mental Benefits of Music
The mental benefits of music are some of the most well-known. It improves the function of the brain and several tests have shown that playing a musical instrument can recover memory, help the performance of the brain, and assist in the recovery of those who have suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease or a stroke, or some other disease or injury that has impacted the brain or nervous system.
Some research has even pointed toward something called the “Mozart effect”, where, after listening to classical music like that composed by Mozart, a person’s cognitive abilities improve. Coordination is also something that can be improved. For example, when one plays the piano, they must focus their eyes on reading music, focus their hands and fingers on playing the keys, and oftentimes, they must use their feet to use the pedals.
Concentration skills improve as a result, as do listening and reading skills. Mathematics is also an element of music. Playing an instrument and singing requires rhythmic skills, and with a certain number of beats per measure, many musicians subconsciously learn to add notes that have a unique numerical value to come up with the sum of the rhythm.
Emotional and Psychological Benefits
As mentioned above, music can often be a coping mechanism for people and can invoke many different emotions in them, such as joy, loneliness, sadness, excitement, and more. Music allows us to connect with the emotions, good or bad, that we are feeling. It allows for self-expression, whether one is playing it, singing it, writing it, or listening to it.
Oftentimes, those who are struggling to feel as if they are heard and to find their place in the world turn to music to create their place, utilize their talents, and express themselves. Playing an instrument allows a person to discover and develop a passion, as well. And, playing music can instigate a feeling of satisfaction and achievement.
Once a musician has mastered a piece or finished writing one, a goal they have set for themselves is complete, and that is one of the best feelings, emotionally and psychologically, that one can have.
Music has been around since the beginning of time, and even though it has changed and developed greatly to adapt to new tastes and styles, it still holds a special place in the lives of almost every person in some shape or form. Music has many benefits concerning physical, mental, and emotional health, but perhaps the biggest benefit it brings is how it connects and impacts us on a daily basis.