Mastering musical instruments delivers many additional skills

There are many opportunities for students to get into playing instruments such as lessons or playing in the school band or orchestra.

One of the many benefits is stress reduction. This was shown in a study that was published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. The study was performed by exposing three groups of people to stressors, but before the exposure, the three groups listened to either relaxing music, the sound of rippling water or no sound entirely. The study indicated that listening to music beforehand had caused a reduction in the stress hormone cortisol for the first group.

Music has also been proven to strengthen your immune system. Physiologists Daniel J. Levitin and Mona Lisa Chanda found that listening to music and playing instruments increased the body’s amount of immunoglobulin-A, which is an antibody that can kill viruses. 

Playing instruments can help with your hearing. When you’re playing an instrument either by yourself or with a group, you have to listen to make sure you’re in tune, that your timing is right and that your dynamics and other style characteristics are right. This can help you to isolate tones and better identify voices or other noises in loud rooms.

Coordination can be improved by playing an instrument. When playing, you have to focus on playing the right notes at the right speed. Switching hand, finger or even foot positions can be a challenge, but practice makes perfect.

Another benefit is an improvement in memory. A study by ABC Science showed that the more musical training you’ve received, the more you can remember. This study took two groups of students, one that had received musical training and one that had not, and read a list of words to them. After a certain amount of time, the students would state all of the words that they could remember. The result of the study showed that the more musical training the student had received, the more words the student was able to remember.

Breathing, such as deep breathing or being able to hold your breath for longer, can be improved by playing most instruments. The breathing point only applies to instruments that you have to blow into such as woodwinds and brass instruments or singing, but if you do play those instruments, you’ll see improvement in your breathing. When playing, an important part of creating phrases and contrast is when to breathe. A breath in the middle of a phrase will disrupt and separate the phrase, but breathing in between phrases will separate the two parts and create contrast when there’s room to do so in the notes. Oftentimes, players will be told where to breathe by their conductor or by the music itself.

Better posture is another benefit of playing an instrument. When playing, to get the best sound possible, you need to sit up straight. Good posture is important for avoiding getting tired and using all of your lung capacity, this is especially true for woodwind instruments or even singing. Almost all instruments require good posture, even the piano.

Playing an instrument can also enhance students’ perseverance. When starting an instrument, practice is the only path to improvement.. No one is going to be perfect at it immediately. Players need to practice a lot to improve their playing. Perfect practice makes perfect.

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