They say music can soothe the savage soul and that’s never more apparent than when you’re looking for a new hobby to ease your worries and woes. Playing, listening to, and writing music are all exceptional pastimes that have big benefits.
If you’re thinking you can’t learn a new skill and have no musical talent, you’re probably wrong. At least about the former. While it’s true that musical aptitude is largely considered an innate talent, it’s also a skill that can be learned and refined over time. Remus Badea, the executive director at the American Music Institute, explains that what an individual lacks in music talent can be made up with in dedication, practice and passion.
Benefits of music
Being a musician – even a bad one – is quite simply good for the brain. According to Inc., musically inclined individuals have a larger corpus callosum. This bundle of nerves connects the left and right side of the brain. People who learn to play music later in life may experience less age-related hearing decline. Children who practice an instrument are often able to overcome learning disabilities such as dyslexia. Johns Hopkins further asserts that listening to and playing music can help improve memory and reduce stress.
There’s really no limit to the types of musical activities that can be learned, either alone or in a group. For those who aren’t comfortable with their creativity, going to concerts and collecting vintage vinyl are great options. The academically inclined musician may wish to attend a music history class while those who prefer to take a more hands-on approach to their hobbies without being front and center may consider an online music production lesson.
Learning to play
Individuals who would prefer to create their own music should research both group and online lessons, each of which offers unique benefits. While there are numerous types of instrument, string and wind are perhaps the two that offer the most rewards.
The guitar, for example, affects the brain in a few surprising ways. GuitarPlayer.com reports that those who play guitar tend to experience pain to a lower degree and may even have enhanced brain function. The site further reports that researchers in the Netherlands have found that guitar players have stronger hearts. Fender notes that those who play the guitar also have more social opportunities and claims the concentration required to churn out tunes and twangs can even help block out negative energy.
While music icon Carlos Santana may enjoy the above benefits, musicians Lester Young and Dexter Gordon, each accomplished saxophone players, may have had even more reason to play their instrument of choice. Those who play the saxophone have a unique opportunity to improve their posture and core muscles while keeping their respiratory system in top shape. Playing the sax, flute, or trumpet also improves hand/eye coordination and finger dexterity. And similar to playing the guitar and listening to favorite tunes, playing the saxophone can relieve stress.
Choosing an instrument isn’t an easy task and one that’s different from person to person. Music & Arts is a great place to start. Founded in 1952, this online and brick-and-mortar retailer offers a huge selection of woodwinds, guitars, drums and percussion instruments, along with online lessons that cater to everyone from the budding musician to music educators. Instruments should be researched and, if possible, rented or borrowed prior to making an investment.
Music has been an integral part of human life since the dawn of civilization. It has the power to spark memories and etch moments of time into the mind. It’s no wonder that music, in all its forms, offers so many benefits to those who want to play or simply enjoy soothing sounds and socialization.