The Benefits of Learning to Play a Musical Instrument

When your child comes home from school and beamingly announces the intention of joining the school band, parents almost inevitably feel trepidation. Is it going to be noisy? Is it going to be expensive? And, honestly, is it going to be worth all the effort? And that’s understandable. Especially if your own experience of school music consisted of tunelessly tooting a recorder until you lost interest… and everyone else you knew lost the will to live!

But with instrument rental providing a cost-effective alternative to making an expensive purchase, it is worth looking into the benefits of playing music. Learning to play a musical instrument has been proven to bring a variety of physical and mental advantages, and has even been shown to improve academic performance. So, let’s take a look at the unexpected side effects of renting a musical instrument for your child.

7 Benefits of Learning to Play a Musical Instrument

Mental benefits

Brain structure

Playing a musical instrument can physically alter the structure of your brain. Now, that sounds kind of scary. But it’s a very positive thing. Brain scans have revealed that the corpus callosum – the nerve fibers connecting the two sides of the brain – grows in size as people become musically adept. Encouragingly, it happens in adults too, so if you’re looking for a brain boost, why not take lessons at the same time as your children!

Brain function

Learning a musical instrument is thought to positively impact brain function in multiple ways. But the most noteworthy areas have been in verbal memory, spatial reasoning, and literacy skills. This has been linked to a reduction of both dyslexia in children, and in the development of dementia in later life. But playing an instrument has been found to benefit brain function in other ways too. From enhancing decision-making and problem-solving abilities, to boosting concentration and moderating behavioral problems, such as ADD.

Positivity and resilience

A study by McMaster University showed that playing – and listening to – music makes you happy. And if you’re happy and positive in your outlook, you’re more likely to be able to withstand life’s difficulties. This ties into music’s ability to tackle depression, anxiety and stress.

Physical benefits

Posture

You can’t play any instrument well while slouching. Any good music teacher will correct a child’s posture during their lessons. Over time, this will become an engrained habit. Breathing

As strange as it might sound, most of us don’t breathe correctly! We breath shallowly, taking just enough breath to get us to the next. When you play a wind instrument, whether brass or wood, your breathing changes and deepens. You begin breathing from your diaphragm, much like an athlete. Overtime, this can help to strengthen your respiratory system. It can also reduce stress. Especially when combined with an activity that provides a positive focus, like playing an instrument.

Movement, coordination and dexterity

Hardly anyone gets enough exercise these days. Even kids are slumped in front of screens. To play any musical instrument, you have to move. It may not feel like a physical effort to hold that flute or violin in place, but your muscles are working nonetheless.

And as you’re moving, you’re also developing your coordination and physical dexterity. As you practice, your fine motor skill develop, which can be an advantage in many areas.

Immunity

And this is the really surprising one. A couple of years ago, Live Science revealed that playing musical instruments ‘enhances the immunological response’ in the body. And this can help to make us stronger, and better able to fight off viruses.

Learning to play a musical instrument can be enormously beneficial to people of all ages. Renting that instrument relieves parents of a significant up-front financial burden. And of all the attendant worries – maintenance, repairs, insurance, and that major concern of wasted time and money. Because if your child does change their mind, you can simply return your instrument to Rent From Home. Or, even better, exchange it for something else. Giving your child the opportunity to continue their musical journey – and continue to gain the benefits from it – with an instrument that may be more suited to them.

Find out more about instrument rental with Rent From Home.