Why you should consider taking up learning an instrument.
Learning to play a musical instrument has so many benefits – whether it’s building your confidence, enhancing your memory or widening your social circle. I’m not just saying this because all the research points to this assertion being true, but because I have seen the benefits of it first-hand.
I am learning to play the piano! And from a very basic stage too- I had no experience at all prior to the lessons I am having with my (very patient) tutor.
My mother would often say ‘anything worthwhile doing is never easy…’and this definitely applies to learning to play the piano. But, I am finding some immediate benefits. One of which is that learning to read music is like learning a new language and this encourages new learning and brain plasticity, which at my age is not a bad thing. I have to remember the notation and how it relates to the key board and so my memory is being strengthened. I am learning to be persistent in the face of difficulties; playing does not come easily and I constantly need to go back and ‘do it again ‘. I am learning to be patient with myself and not to assume that success will come easily.
Learning to play the piano helps me understand better how I learn, for example I know that I am the kind of learner that needs to try things practically and that repetition is key. I also know that ‘little and often’ is the way for me, I need to keep trying each day and that I respond best to a routine-so practicing at the same time each day really helps.
I am also learning that piano playing helps me to ‘switch off’, as, when I am trying to play, I am focused solely on the key board, and the notes and the sound. Most of all it is satisfying to achieve the playing of a piece that a day or so previously I could not try- however humble. This brings a confidence and sense of satisfaction that is so lovely to experience.
Here are Tutor Doctor’s 10 ways in which playing an instrument can improve our brains.