Five reasons why you should take
up a musical instrument
1. Improve your health
A range of health benefits
have been identified among people playing an instrument, as noted by the BBC in a recently-published guide to the positive
effects of making music. One study conducted among older adults taking drumming lessons found that their white blood cell
count increased, an important factor in strengthening our immune system. In addition, their moods also were positively influenced.
Research published in 2005 confirmed that learning to play an instrument helps people
to relax. Researchers found that this in turn brought about a positive impact on the immune system.
Relaxation also brings with it emotional benefits, especially when the lives we lead are often hectic. Donn Rochlin,
a piano consultant who also runs drumming workshops, explained, “I get accountants, doctors, lawyers who come to my
drumming circles and they are so bottled up in their work and all they want to do is hit something. The act of beating on
a drum for 30 minutes has a calming effect.”
2. Train your brain
Playing a musical instrument can help guard against cognitive decline in later life and
memory loss. This is because musical training has been found to produce additional neural connections within the brain, and
this benefit isn’t restricted to people who played an instrument in childhood. Those of us choosing to take up music
in adulthood can also gain.
A study conducted by Harvard neurologist Gottfried Schlaug
uncovered evidence suggesting that playing an instrument even grows the brain. A group of professional musicians were found
to have larger brain volumes than a non-musical group. Schlaug discovered with colleagues in a separate study that after 15
months of musical training in childhood, structural improvements in motor and audio functioning within the brain occur.
3. Learn to manage time and persevere
Learning a musical instrument can be a demanding process. Getting the best out of it requires regular practicing
and a determination to stick at it when the results aren’t quite as good as you would like. Effective time management
and a willingness to persist, skills which are useful in a variety of life situations, will help in arranging your time to
fit this into your daily schedule and then keeping to your plan.
Increase your academic abilities
Organization and discipline
are valuable assets for academic work, but researchers have found more evidence demonstrating how playing an instrument assists
you in this area. According to psychologist Lutz Jäncke, IQ levels can increase by up to seven points among people who
play an instrument, and this phenomenon occurs in both children and adults.
study carried out with children aged 9 and 10 in the US showed that a year of music lessons had a positive impact on their
reading ability. While a group of children taking lessons saw their reading ability hold steady, the abilities of those within
a group receiving no music lessons fell. Musically trained children also did better at processing sounds and language.
5. Become a better listener
seem rather obvious to suggest that playing the piano is going to help with this. However, there a a number of less evident
rewards to be gained.
Jäncke pointed to evidence that better listening among musicians helped them to be more emotionally aware
of people’s feelings, which they were able to identify more quickly by the tone of their voices. This argument is supported
by research from Yale University revealing a link between appreciating emotional expression in music and understanding emotion
in everyday settings. (Courtesy of CMUSE)
to all of our new students!
Lorelei Kurowski – Ukulele with Josh Foutch
Luisa Frackiewicz – Guitar with Josh Foutch
Isabella Hernandez – Piano with Audrey Dobbs
Laney McGrath – Violin with Kathleen Gaiden
Frank Maturo – Voice with Madeline McCord
Jake Babula – Guitar with Josh Foutch