Like every muscle in your body, the brain needs activities to learn. Basketball superstar Stephen Curry once said that building muscle memory is the most important reason he shoots that well. Constant practice will give you the accuracy of Curry’s shots. Now, apply this to everything you do, and you will notice how significantly better you are. People do different things to improve their brain’s memory. Some do Sudoku to challenge their brains while others learn a new language to develop their faculty of language.
There’s one activity that can feed your brain: playing a musical instrument. The benefits of music have long been espoused. Since Einstein’s time, music has played a central role in how scientists develop and proved their theories. Einstein, for example, was famous for saying that life is inconceivable without music. You probably feel differently but look at how music shaped your life.
Have you ever heard a song that takes you back 10 or 20 years ago? A song can remind you of people, places, and experiences. This is how powerful music is. It connects to your brain, triggering memories you thought were forever gone. This is why kids and adults alike will benefit from knowing how to play at least one musical instrument.
Improves Memory, Reduces Forgetfulness
Learning how to play a musical instrument improves cognitive and muscle memory. When you play a musical instrument, you use both sides of your brain. Since your brain is working harder, it improves your memory. Have you ever held or played the piano or guitar? If you have, then you know that you’re using both your hands for the guitar and even your foot for the piano, right? Imagine how hard your brain is working trying to send the instruction to all your limbs to move.
Shouldn’t that be a reason to learn how to play a musical instrument? If the piano is too much for you, begin by looking for a guitar teacher. Most kids start with either of these two instruments, but the great thing about the guitar is that some teenagers can teach themselves how to play it. As for older adults (and even the elderly), learning how to play a musical instrument—even without a clear purpose—is a great brain activity. It will prevent forgetfulness that most older adults suffer from.
Builds Confidence, Lessens Social Problems
Mental health experts recommend music to people with social problems. Those who find it hard to socialize, meet new people, and build friendships will have an easier time with these activities once they have a musical instrument on their hands. Music is a great conversation starter. It also builds one’s confidence because mastering a musical instrument gives people a sense of achievement. Not many people can play an instrument, much less become experts in them. So, it gives everyone that special feeling to know they can accomplish something most people cannot.
When learning music, you will get to know like-minded people. Whether you attend a class in person or you subscribe to an online class, you’ll be surrounded by people who share your knowledge, interests, and passion. This is a great starting point for people with socialization problems to learn how to open up to others.
Improves Patience, Discipline, and Time Management Skills
Learning how to play a musical instrument will not be a walk in the park. Some take years before they can even play a more complicated tune. Others are stuck in the basic-level skill because they do not have the time to master what they learned. But here’s what you will learn about playing music: the more effort you put into something, the better the result will be.
Sure, the journey is tough, but learning how to play a musical instrument will give you patience, discipline, and time management skills. You have to carve out a schedule for your lessons and discipline yourself enough to attend these lessons even during the busiest times of your life. Remember that there is no shortcut in learning music so while the process is difficult, the end game is one of the most fulfilling things in life.
It will do everyone good to learn how to play music these days. As your world turns upside-down because of the coronavirus pandemic, don’t you need an anchor? Music is that anchor. When you’re stressed, anxious, and confused, play a musical instrument and get lost in its world. There’s no better feeling in the world. Even binge-watching your favorite shows will not nearly be as satisfying as learning a new skill during these crazy times.