Music has been around for centuries. Evidence has shown that people have used music for religious ceremonies, story-telling, celebrations, and as a form of expression or communication. People used music to bond with each other and it dramatically impacts our way of life in today’s society.
Musical instruments have evolved over the years; however, in the past, they mainly consisted of anything that could produce a sound or melody. Thus, one could say the first musical instruments are the human voice and our hands, but the earliest types of instruments were made from sticks, animal bones and skin, rocks, and beads.
Benefits of Learning to Play an Instrument
Learning to play an instrument is not only an excellent skill to have, but it has many cognitive, social, and physical benefits. Children are encouraged to take music lessons from an early age as it stimulates the brain and enhances concentration. In addition, the longer you play an instrument, the lower the risk of developing brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Playing a musical instrument not only makes you smarter, but it has the following benefits:
1. Increases Patience
Not everyone can handle uncertainty or wait for a long time. Learning to play an instrument takes time, and one has to employ patience to master such a skill.
2. Improves Language Skills
Learning to play an instrument introduces you to the different pitch sounds, which are beneficial to learning other languages. Additionally, it allows you to identify the accents, tones, and rhythms found in many languages.
If you want to play an instrument, it requires developing a schedule or plan for practicing. Adhering to a plan allows you to become more disciplined.
Learning to play an instrument helps develop motor skills by simultaneously using your eyes, ears, voice, and even hands.
5. Social Skills
Playing an instrument makes you more confident, especially if you are in a band or group. In addition, it allows you to work with other people and develop a sense of empathy.
Making Music a Part of Your Life
Now that we know the benefits of playing an instrument, let us look at incorporating music into our daily lives.
- Set your alarm to play your favorite song in the morning. Waking up to music is a great way to motivate you to get out of bed
- Create a workout playlist of lively and energetic music to encourage you to exercise
- Play music while commuting to make it more comfortable and make the time go by faster
- Listen to music while doing chores or tasks that you consider to be boring. Playing music in the background will also help to get them completed in a much faster time
- Attend a concert or music festival in your spare time
Benefits of Listening to Music
Not only is listening to music entertaining, but it also has many physical, mental, and emotional benefits, especially during a pandemic. Music can:
1. Lower Stress and Anxiety
Music is a great tool to manage stress and anxiety as it can relax your mind or act as a distraction. Listening to music is therapeutic and can relax your muscles, reduce your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. Many persons listen to music to become more optimistic during and after stressful or traumatic situations. College students who need to function at optimum levels can listen to music to get good grades.
2. Bring Back a Memory
Hearing a specific song from your childhood can bring back memories long forgotten. Listening to music can help with learning and the retention of information. Many students perform better in tests when they listen to music while they study.
Music has also proven to slow the effects of brain diseases that contribute to memory loss. So, just as the body needs exercise to keep fit, the brain uses music to stay in shape.
3. Manage and Reduce Pain
Focusing on music can significantly alleviate acute and chronic pain in some people. Music is used as a distraction and provides an escape while the brain releases endorphins into the body. In addition, many hospitals and outpatient clinics use music therapy as a way for patients to manage and decrease pain levels after accidents and surgeries.
4. Make You Sleep Better
People who have insomnia will have a slightly better chance of falling asleep if they listen to soothing music before bed. Music can create a relaxing environment for babies which soothes and lull them to a peaceful sleep.
5. Influence Your Mood
Listening to music can significantly affect our moods and regulate our emotions. For example, certain types of music stimulate the brain to release dopamine, which is a chemical that makes us happy and even reduces depression.
6. Increase Performance
Music motivates us to work harder. Whether during a workout or writing an article, listening to music allows us to focus on the task at hand. Overall, listening to music contributes to our well-being and keeps us healthy.
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