Think that learning to play a musical instrument is just for children? Wrong! There are numerous benefits that learning a musical instrument as an adult can bring. Here's just a few:
1. Brain Health
Playing a musical instrument gives a significant boost in keeping the brain healthy. According to research, most activities only use a few areas of the brain whilst playing a musical instrument uses almost every part of the brain. Playing a musical instrument not only increases the production of grey matter in the brain but also strengthens the connections between the different parts of the brain.
"Playing music is the brain's equivalent of a full body workout" - Ted Ed
2. Mental Health
Playing a musical instrument has been shown to help mental health by reducing stress, anxiety and depression. It requires all of your attention allowing you an escape from day-to-day stresses and creates a feeling of mindfulness and calm. Music releases dopamin, the feel-good chemical in the brain, so playing an instrument makes people happy! Factor in the sense of achievement you'll feel when you learn a new note or master a piece and you'll never have felt better.
3. Physical Health
The controlled inhalation and exhalation of air when playing brass and woodwind instruments is a great workout for your lungs and diaphragm which in turn helps to strengthen your core. With a strong core comes better posture which is beneficial whilst playing an instrument and to reduce aches and pains during day-to-day life. Playing music, especially classical music, has also been shown to reduce blood pressure and lower the heart rate.
4. Social Interaction
The later years can often be challenging from a social perspective but learning to play a musical instrument can be a fantastic way to meet new people. Initially, the main interaction will be with your teacher but you'll soon be ready to get out and meet other like-minded musicians so you can enjoy making music together.
Watch below to find out about our work with Age UK in Cheshire and using brass music to help overcome isolation and promote well-being for adult learners in partnership with Fodens Brass Band.
Making music is fun and that is reason alone to have a go! And the more you play and the better you become, the more opportunities you will have to share your new skill and hobby with friends and family bringing joy and fulfilment to everyone involved.
"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream" - C.S. Lewis
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BBC Radio 6 Music’s article 6 things music can do for your mind
Learn more about Music supporting those living with dementia and their carers
The NAMM Foundation discusses Benefits of learning and playing music for adults