Have you ever wished that you learnt an instrument as a child? Or perhaps you did learn an instrument, but gave it up or sold it. Playing an instrument is not just for children. Age is no barrier when it comes to learning new things, and especially not an instrument! Here are 5 reasons why adults should learn how to play an instrument.
Many children learn an instrument at a young age, so why not use this as an excuse to learn too? We have parents that learn with their child in the same lesson or have lessons on the same instrument separate to their child, so that they can compare notes! You can read more about the benefits of learning as a family here. Making music together makes memories together.
There is a joy and wonder in learning something new. Not to mention the sense of pride and satisfaction once it has been conquered! Learning an instrument will give you the opportunity to explore a new skill.
From a scientific perspective, when we learn something new, it creates new neurons and connections in our brain. These changes in your brain (also known as ‘plasticity’) can continue until the day we die and have been shown as a way to possibly slow down or prevent neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Playing an instrument is like lifting weights for your brain! The workout of neurons going crazy when we’re learning something new ensures our brains are in good working condition as we get older. When we play an instrument, we need to constantly practise. The more we practise, the stronger and fitter our brain becomes!
Practising an instrument uses both sides of your brain. The right side can help make sense of a whole situation and the left side can make sense of details. The strengthening and use of both sides helps to improve your memory power. This is because both sides are working together in order for you to play an instrument, creating new pathways and connections across the brain.
This TEDx Ed talk explains how the neural aspects of playing an instrument works and how it improves how you create, store and retrieve memories.
Music has been proven to release dopamine, the feel good hormone that keeps you coming back for more! Increased levels of dopamine help relieve stress. Stress manifests in our lives in many different ways, so to be able to have a resource that can quickly help us to decrease the stress is a great tool.
I encourage you to stay curious in your life. Explore different options to see what lights your soul. You might find that you have a natural gift for learning and instrument and enjoy every moment of discovering your new talent. At worst, you’ll be helping your brain and body perform at its peak as you age.