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Why You Should Learn How to Play an Instrument

Music has a way of bringing people together. It speaks to our souls, crossing cultural, racial and socioeconomic boundaries and drawing people in like a warm fire. Musical instruments give us the power to harness this interaction and connect with others on an almost spiritual level.

But what if you’re past the prime of music-learning? What if you’re out of school, raising a family or even on the other side of the hill? Fear not. It’s never too late to learn something new, especially when it comes to music. Interested? Take a look at these reasons why you should learn how to play a musical instrument.

1. Stress Relief
Playing an instrument works as a stress-reliever. Not only do you have the opportunity to learn a new skill, but it encourages you to take time and drift into a different world. Music also increases self-awareness and a sense of accomplishment, making you feel more positive overall.

2. Academic Success
Studying music has also been shown to increase scholastic success among students. On average, students involved with music have higher grades, score better on standardized tests and are more active in the community than regular students. As an adult, take this to mean that you might actually finish the newspaper’s crossword puzzle after learning a new instrument.

3. Creativity
As we grow older and begin careers, start families and focus on the necessary aspects of life, we can lose touch with the creative aspects. Learning how to play a musical instrument fosters this lost creativity and connects us with the right side of our brains. Music plays with our mental, emotional and cognitive abilities, thus stimulating the brain to think more creatively.

4. Confidence
Learning how to play a musical instrument develops a sense of accomplishment. By mastering a new skill, whether it’s a song, chord or even just a note, your confidence gains a significant boost. And performing in front of teachers, friends or family only betters our self-esteem.

5. Discipline
Playing music requires a significant amount of dedication and practice with the instrument. Having a specific time set throughout the day and week gives a sense of discipline and work ethic. As an adult, setting a practice time will help give structure to a busy lifestyle.

6. Social Life
It’s true, playing an instrument can even expand and improve your social life. By learning a new skill, you also connect with an entirely new community of people who share the same interests. Music develops social skills, enlarges our inner circle and even helps us relate on a deeper and more personal level.

7. Memory
Learning an instrument sharpens your mind and keeps it alert. Not only does music require concentration, but it encourages memory retention. Whether memorizing a piece is necessary or not, memorization will come naturally through visual factors (sheet music), physical aspects (hand positioning) and aural influencers (the way the music sounds).

8. Fun
Last but definitely not least, playing a musical instrument is fun! Learning a new skill, especially one which has such beautiful benefits for you and others, brings a positive aspect into your life. You have the opportunity to develop yourself while sharing joy with those around you.

While learning something new as an adult isn’t always easy, it can be incredibly rewarding. Picking up an instrument is one such occasion. It can be scary and challenging to try and learn something new and complicated, but the rewards outweigh the costs.

So go ahead, give it a shot and take your life up an octave.