How Learning an Instrument Benefits the Brain

learning instruments benefits brain

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” – Plato

Playing an instrument involves all of our senses, leading scientists to conclude that music can result in long-lasting changes in the brain. While listening to music engages multiple areas of your brain, learning an instrument can be compared to a full-body mental workout!

Here are some reasons why learning an instrument will greatly benefit our brain power:

  • Memory

We all know that learning an instrument improves one’s memory and literacy. When someone’s trying to learn an instrument, they train the ability to simultaneously read the piece and demonstrate it. This increases the signals in the brain that will lead to memorizing music and learning more effectively.

  • Multi-tasking

Learning music leads to acquiring the ability to process multiple sensory experiences all at once. It’s a complete sight, sound, and touch experience as sensory and cognitive abilities will be developed over the course of years of training. For instance, one band member would need to listen to his or her own instrument aside from their bandmates, all while maintaining visual contact with everyone else.

  • Plasticity

Our brains adapt easily and will most likely reap the benefits of learning an instrument for a very long time. There are studies that revealed that musical training improves the brain’s plasticity, shaping brain regions involved with audiovisual processing.

  • Physical Health

Musical training increases the blood flow to the brain. It also increases blood flow throughout the body, keeping strained muscles amply supplied.

  • Recovery

Believe it or not, musical training can be a huge help for someone who has had a stroke or a brain injury. A study was done with 20 stroke patients that underwent musical training, and results showed improvements with respect to speed, precision and smoothness of movement as shown by tests. Musical training is an effective therapeutic strategy for the motor skills of stroke patients.

  • Reduce Stress and Depression

Music therapy can lower levels of depression and anxiety. Music has an effect in the management of food, stress, immunity and as a bridge to social bonding. Listening to music can directly affect our emotions while learning music will surely enhance it.

  • General Function

Your brain processes and retains information, controls behavior, helps you make appropriate choices, boosts problem-solving, and so much more.

Playing an instrument is a perfect exercise for the brain. It strengthens and improves our mental abilities in ways we could never even imagine — leading to better connections, increased motor and sensory skills, a better mood, and more!