Learning an instrument has many benefits



Gabe Josefowicz, Student Writer

Often people find themselves asking them the question, “Should I learn how to play an instrument?” Well, there are actually a lot of benefits from learning to play one. Increasing your reaction time, learning the origins of where the music we know today comes from, and even helping reduce problems in older age, there are many benefits of music.

Playing an instrument has to be the biggest creative freedom that exists. Even without words, music can speak volumes – the music tells a story and speaks for itself. A lot of times when I find myself listening to music, if the song doesn’t have a good feel, then I can’t listen to it. The words could be this big poetic masterpiece but, if I can’t feel something through the music, there’s just no point in listening to it for me. If you can make someone feel a certain way through playing your instrument, it has to be one of the greatest feelings in the entire world. Now if you get to play those songs that make you feel a certain way, it becomes even better.

Learning to play an instrument also is shown to increase your reaction time. In a study at the Université de Montréal in Canada, Dr. Simon Landry led a series of three tests. The tests were given to musicians and nonmusicians to test their reaction times. Musicians were shown to have a far greater reaction time compared to nonmusicians. This is a direct result of being able to switch in between notes and chords in a timely manner. If a musician is involved in a band, this would help their reaction time as well. When performing with other people, you have to all be in sync and be able to adapt if something goes wrong or if someone messes up. It may also help you in some life or death situations that involve how good your reaction time may be.

Learning an instrument is also proven to increase your brain function and help with memory loss. Studies show that when the human brain ages, people who play instruments are less susceptible to getting Alzheimer’s and having chronic memory loss. 

When people get older and retire, more often than not they don’t have all that much to do to keep up with their brain activity. Taking up an instrument is a great way to keep your brain active. You have to constantly be aware of what you’re doing, where changes in the song are, the structure, what key you are in, and so much more.

Playing an instrument could turn out to be one of the greatest choices you might ever have the opportunity to make. It could not only benefit your mental health, but it can also open your mind.  Music is can open doors; it’s about time you open yours!