The Many Physical and Mental Benefits of Learning a Musical Instrument


1.     Improves co-ordination.

Learning to play a musical instrument results in the parts of the brain controlling motor skills grow and their activity increases. Playing an instrument requires a lot of hand eye co-ordination. Research at the University of Kansas Medical centre which was published in the journal of Neuropsychology, found that people who played musical instruments performed significantly better on cognitive tasks than non musical peers.

2.     Improves mathematical skills.

Counting note values and rhythms involves mathematical skills and improves your abilities in this area.

3.     Increases IQ.

Many studies have shown that students learning a musical instrument increased their IQ by seven points.

Studies suggest that academic abilities improve on learning an instrument.

Professor Susan Hallam, of the Institute of Education, University of London found research discovered that learning to play an instrument enlarges the left side of the brain allowing them to remember almost a fifth more information.

A study in the journal Social Science Quarterly  called “ Adolescents involved with music do better in school”, found that playing music had positive effects on reading and maths.

Research by cognitive neuroscientists from 7 leading US universities  found music training improved cognition, motivation, attention, memory and other developmental benefits.

If you look online there are many studies showing the benefits of learning a musical instrument.

Adults learning to play an instrument can sharpen their memory and slow down mental ageing and other benefits, its never too late to gain mental and physical improvements.

4.   Perception.

Musicians are better able to pick out what others are feeling just on the tone of their voices and more perceptive in interpreting the emotions of others.  

5. Improves language skills.

Several studies show musical practice increases memory and language skills.

6.     Sharpens your concentration.

Playing an instrument requires you to concentrate on pitch, note values, speed, rhythm, volume and expression.

7.     Stress relief.

Playing music is relaxing and enjoyable causing you to focus on what you are playing rather than anxieties or problems. Music calms the mind.

8.     Develops discipline.

Musicians develop a sense of discipline as you need discipline in order to learn to play an instrument. Time needs to set aside each day for practice and more practice.    

9.     Benefits to the brain.

Research has shown that learning a musical instrument improves academic and social skills.

Improves sensory integration, focus and attention and motor capacities.

Builds the connections between brain cells.

Improves memory.

Engages the left and right hemispheres of the brain.