Increases Emotional Perception
In 2009, the European Journal of Science investigated the relationship between musical training and the processing of vocal emotion. They found that those who were musically trained better detected vocal emotions. This makes sense because there are many “emotions” conveyed through music. For example, excitement is produced through dynamics that get progressively louder and higher pitched. Apparently, being exposed to this tonal variance in music can help you to not just detect the emotions of music but the emotions behind people’s words.
Increases Personal Discipline
No one (unless you are insanely gifted) can effectively learn to play an instrument overnight. Making music requires work and a consistent investment of time and effort. As they say, perfect practice makes perfect. Discipline is necessary to go through the process of consistent, focused practice, especially when you would rather watch that new movie. This discipline can carry over into other aspects of your life, elevating the quality of the life you live.
Enlarges The Brain
Another study in 2003 from the Journal of Neuroscience compared the brains of professional musicians, amateur musicians, and non-musicians. The study found an increase in gray matter in many areas of the brain of professional musicians. The amateur musicians had less grey matter in those areas, and the non-musicians had the least gray matter. According to Via Radiology, gray matter provides us with information processing power. The more advanced you are in music the larger volume of gray matter you have in your brain.
The process of learning music leads to you playing in front of other people. This could include playing in front of your teacher, playing at a seasonal recital, or playing for curious family and friends. This fosters the valuable expertise and grit necessary to confidently hold it together when other people are watching.
Benefits Spelling And IQ In Children
The National Center for Biotechnology Information directed a study involving a group of German elementary students to study the effects of musical training. They compared three groups: those who played an instrument, those who didn’t play an instrument, and those who didn’t play an instrument but had a member of the family did. They found that the non-verbal IQ of those who played an instrument was the highest. In addition, those who played an instrument had the fewest spelling mistakes. Perhaps playing an instrument is the perfect solution for a child who is struggling in school!
Decreases Age-Related Hearing Loss
In a study performed by the then doctoral student Benjamin Zendel and Dr. Claude Alain, participants were instructed to attentively listen to complex sounds. It was found that the older musicians auditory cortices responded the same as the younger participants and at a higher functionality than the older non-musicians, who had age-related hindrances. This is ironic because many musicians experience hearing loss from the loud music they are a part of, but if you protect your ears from the “loudness” of the music, music actually benefits your hearing!
Benefits The Brains Of Babies
McMaster University performed a study in which one-year-old babies participated in interactive music classes. These classes entailed activities such as learning to sing specific songs and playing percussion instruments with their parents. They found that the babies who participated in the interactive music classes smiled more often, could communicate better, were less distressed, responded more favorably to music that was tonal and consonant (as opposed to atonal and dissonant music) and had more advanced brain responses to tones of music. I never knew babies could take music classes when they are 1 year old, but apparently, it helps their brains!
Speeds Up Reaction Times
At the Université de Montréal in Canada, Dr. Simon Landry led a study comparing the reaction times of musicians who had at least 7 years of training with non-musicians. Dr. Simon had the participating students place one hand on a mouse, the other on a vibrotactile device, and placed a speaker in front of them. If the students felt a vibration from the vibrotactile device, or heard a sound from the speaker, or sensed both happening at the same time, they were instructed to click the mouse. The results demonstrated that the musicians had significantly faster reaction times in all three ways they were stimulated.
There you have it! 16 benefits to remind yourself of so you can accomplish your goal of learning to play an instrument.
Inspired To Play?
Check out our articles on the best electric guitars for beginners or the best acoustic guitars for beginners. Each article will give you all you need to know to pick out the perfect guitar for your needs.