How learning an instrument increases your brain power

In a previous blog post we talked about how playing an instrument can improve your social skills. But that’s not the only thing that happens when you start learning how to play. Many different studies have shown that the benefits of learning an instrument include a wide variety of improvements to your brain power.

The reason behind these improvements is that whenever you play an instrument your brain releases chemicals that actually strengthen your brain cells and improve the growth of more brain cells. This in turn makes your brain smarter, stronger and better at many other activities you need throughout your day.

The video below shows how this is possible.

Let’s break it down into the different areas of improvements.

YOUR MEMORY WILL BE IMPROVED

As explained in the video, when you play music you’re using both parts of your brain which in turn boosts memory power. When you learn to play, many different parts of your brain learn how to work together, and these skills are transferrable to other daily activities.

Over time, musicians have more complex brains than people who only perform regular daily activities. This also leads to higher IQ levels.

YOU’LL HAVE BETTER MATHEMATICAL SKILLS

From the previous paragraphs we have learned that people with a good musical education are generally smarter than people without. A study in 1997 showed that music training is a superior way to increase children’s abstract reasoning skills – these are the skills necessary for learning maths and science.

In addition, maths is an important part of musical theory, showing another link of the two.

MUSIC IMPROVES READING AND COMPREHENSION SKILLS

When we read and try to understand what we have read, we need to create certain connections in our brains. These connections are also formed when we read and interpret music, so we can play it well.

MUSIC SHARPENS YOUR CONCENTRATION

Studying any subject will improve your brain power in that particular area. The amazing thing about learning an instrument is the amount of transferable skills you are developing. Your brain improves as you learn.

Focus is another example for this. When you practice your instrument, you teach your brain’s different parts to focus together. This makes you better able to concentrate in other areas of your life. Music can even be beneficial for those with ADHD.

This, of course, all happens over time. As you improve your playing skills, your levels of concentration will progress accordingly. And as you learn to play longer and longer pieces, your attention span will also increase.

PLAYING AN INSTRUMENT CAN HELP TO DEAL WITH DIFFICULT EMOTIONS

It can be tough for anyone to overcome difficult emotions such as stress, insomnia or depression but if you have a healthy outlet for these issues you can only benefit. It is a form of self-soothing as you learn to express your feelings in your music.

DO YOU NEED MUSICAL RESOURCES?

Have you decided that learning a musical instrument is the right thing for you or your child? Great! We provide musical tuition books with the perfect pieces for your Rock or Pop exams. All pieces come with full notation and downloadable backing tracks. We currently offer books for bass, guitar and drum tuition.

(This is a guest post from Isi Dixon of Session Player @ www.session-player.co.uk.)

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