How Playing An Instrument Can Improve Your Brain

We all love music, there isn’t a person in this world who doesn’t like some kind of music or the other. Well, who would have thought playing music or learning to play an instrument could improve the functioning of our brains? I’m not saying it- it’s all well documented in science.

Science shows it helps in “neurophysiological distinction” which aids in literacy, thereby translating into better academic capabilities. Studies in the Northwestern University show that music can greatly improve the functioning of your brain. Studies show that (simply/just) listening to music is not enough, but that you have to practice playing music in order to improve your cognitive function. For example, just watching sports doesn’t make you fit, does it?

The same study shows that students who play music have better attendance and cognitive function, although active participation in making music is required to rewire the brain.

We all know one thing for sure- music has the power to change our mood, it definitely possesses the ability to motivate us and often improves concentration. Music makes us happier, leading to more dopamine release which means more contentment in life.

Want a more symmetrical brain? You better pick up an instrument. Brain scores show that musicians have a more symmetrical brain and that the areas responsible for motor control, auditory processing and spatial coordination are denser, which makes you a well-balanced person both physically and emotionally.

Want a faster brain? I know you do. Again, picking up an instrument is the answer. The Corpus callosum as the scientists call it, is a bridge between the left and right hemispheres of the brain and guess what, people who play music have a thicker and more efficient Corpus callosum, helping the two spheres of your brain to communicate better and faster.

Perhaps the single most reason for stress is the stress hormone cortisol, which leads to all kinds of unwanted stress related problems in our lives. But the good news is, listening to music decreases this stress hormone; even listening to sad music has benefits- it has been proved to provide you with the necessary physiological relief during hard times.

It increases the spatial intelligence of your brain which helps in understanding how things work. This is an essential skill for complex careers like architecture, engineering, math and computer science.

If you don’t want a receding memory down the lane when you age, music has shown to protect people from memory loss and cognitive damage. You don’t have to play music forever, even people who have played music for just 4 years seem to show the same results in their cognitive functions even after 40 years.

So go ahead and pick up that instrument you always wanted to, let the music flow through you for all the joys it has to offer you in life, for like Einstein said, “I know that the most joy in my life has come to me from my violin”. And if you are looking for that inspiration you always needed, look no further- here is a list of famous people who played instruments. Look up to them, learn, laugh and love.

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