Simply listening to music is a great way to boost your mood and connect with your soul, so it should come as no surprise that a whole host of benefits comes with picking up an instrument and playing it yourself.

Whether it's piano, trumpet, drums, or guitar, whether you dabble on the weekends to buckle down for three hours a day, the perks of making sweet music are many.

Improve Your Memory

Playing an instrument stimulates your brain and can help increase your overall memory capacity. A 2003 study indicated that the brain structure of musicians differs from that of non-musicians. The results showed that those who play an instrument have higher memory capacity than those who don't, particularly when the musician learned to play in early childhood.

Furthermore, a 2009 The Telegraph article alluded to the changes in brain shape seen in those who play an instrument, suggesting people who play have better cognitive skills than those who don't.

grandfather playing guitar with grandson holding cymbals


Help Your Organizational Skills

Learning an instrument requires regular practice. Most music teachers suggest daily practice, and the best musicians understand that honing their craft is an essential part of maintaining their skill.

That means people who play a lot of music have plenty of practice organizing their schedules to ensure they have time for all their activities and daily tasks.

Smiling man taking or teaching a guitar lesson online


Learn Perseverance

Learning to play an instrument is akin to learning a new language. You start with a clean slate, then memorize basic notes and scales before you're able to navigate your instrument fluently enough to play familiar songs.

Even expert musicians often need to practice new music several times before mastering it, and if a song is complex, it can take even longer to learn it. This dedication and effort is likely to be extended to other aspects of a musician's life.

Woman writing music with a guitar


Learn Teamwork

If you're a member of a band or orchestra, playing an instrument requires you to work as part of a team. To play a song correctly, you need to cooperate with the other members and listen to the notes they're playing so that you know when and what to play when it's your turn.

In addition to these specific skills, being a part of any group working toward a common goal will always improve your ability to collaborate with a team.

teenage boys practicing with their band in the garage


Improve Mathematical Skill

To play music, you typically need to be able to read notes and count time. If you further your study of music to include musical theory, you'll need to grasp several mathematical concepts, including spatial properties, sequencing, and patterning.

Studies have even shown that students who play instruments often perform better in math during their school years.

person playing piano with metronome in the foreground


Improve Reading Comprehension

Studies indicate that children who play a musical instrument and receive training in complex musical skills have superior reading comprehension skills when compared with those who don't play an instrument.

Researchers assume that this is because musicians need to be able to quickly read a note and find the corresponding finger position on a piano, guitar, or other instrument.

Young girl reading sheet music in choir


Sharpen Focus

There's a lot to focus on when playing music, including pitch, tempo, dynamics, sound quality, note duration, rhythm, and, of course, reading the sheet music and translating it to the instrument you play.

If you're playing with a group of other musicians, there is even more to focus on, such as correct harmonies and more essential timing. With regular practice, most musicians notice a considerable improvement in their overall focus and concentration.

Young man playing piano and recording music


Relieve Stress

Listening to music has long been touted as a stress reliever, and playing an instrument can be just as good as, or possibly even better, than listening to your favorite songs.

Research shows that the significant health benefits that come with playing a musical instrument include relieving stress and anxiety.

smiling man relaxing on the couch playing ukulele


Boost Self-Esteem

Learning a musical instrument is a long process that takes concentration and hard work. For people who learn to play well, feeling a sense of pride and accomplishment is normal and certainly warranted.

Much like sports, enrolling your child in music lessons can be a great way to boost their self-esteem, but even adults can benefit from a little pride in their accomplishments!

woman singing and playing guitar at a concert


Increase Emotion Perception

Studies have shown that even very young children are able to pick up on the emotions in music. The training musicians receive to recognize timber, pitch, and timing makes them uniquely suited to picking up on the subtle emotions in sound in general. This all ties into the finely tuned auditory skills of people who play music.

There is also some evidence that people who are musically inclined are also better able to identify emotions through vocal cues.

Couple embracing while one of them plays the guitar


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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.