Benefits of learning a musical instrument

Adult Ukulele

Benefits of learning a musical instrument

Whether you are an expectant mum, a professional soloist, an enthusiastic member of an amateur choir, or someone returning to music after decades away, there are huge benefits to engaging with the creative side of your personality.

Countless academic studies have examined the benefits to health and wellbeing that come along with participating in music, from helping children with severe emotional challenges to attend and thrive at school, to slowing and even reversing age and illness-related declines in mental functioning (University of St Andrews, 2013). Musical activity even at moderate levels can have a beneficial impact on brain function, so learning an instrument can have repercussions way beyond the practice room.

There is even evidence that musical activity actually changes the structure of the brain, leading to an increase in IQ of up to seven points in both children and adults (University of Zurich, 2009). The same study showed how the aural processing areas of the brain are enhanced, with demonstrable impacts on learning languages, and critical thinking. The enhancement of these audio processes has also been shown to help musicians empathise at greater depth through a more acute perception of tone of voice.

Learning an instrument has also been proven to increase the successful treatment of anxiety and depression in both children and adults (Berklee College of Music, Boston, 2013). The same study looked at the physical benefits, including lowering blood pressure, decreasing heart rate and enhancing immunological responses.

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