Studies have shown that learning to play an instrument like the guitar has so many health benefits as well as building confidence. Here are some reasons listed:
1 - It helps brain function:
Learning to play an instrument stimulates pretty much the whole brain, improving memory and abstract thinking which is great for academic studies like maths and science. Watch this video from Ted Ed to find out more:
2 - It's great for socialising:
Once you have got the basics of playing an instrument, you can start to play with others. This can be accompanying someone, playing in a band or performing at open mics. Through doing this, you can improve confidence, communication skills and sometimes leadership skills too. Some of happiest times has been playing with a band. It gives you a sense of belonging.
3 - Playing music can keep you calm:
I have a lot of experience working with young people with social and emotional mental health problems. One thing that can really help the young people I work with to process their emotions in a safe way is to play music. This can be anything from song writing to beating drums or singing at the top of their voices. It's a great release and there is a noticeable difference in the young people I work with.
4 - Sense of achievement:
It's such a great feeling when you have been practicing and practicing and you are finally able to play a piece you have been working on for a long time or when you get up on stage and do a performance, you pass a grade or you finish a song you have been writing. It makes you feel so positive and gives you a great sense of achievement.
5 - Build Confidence:
This has already been mentioned above, but it is a biggy! Learning to play gives you opportunity to try new things whether that's learning a new song or playing to an audience. When you try new things, it really builds confidence. It can also have a knock on effect outside of music making too... I would guess that I would find getting up and speaking in front of people a whole lot scarier if I hadn't had the experience of playing gigs!
6 - Improves patience:
Learning to play takes time and practice to perfect. You get out what you put in with playing and that's an important lesson which can be carried through to other areas of life too. It's always recommended too that when learning to play an instrument, you do recordings regularly or have other ways of tracking progress, the realisation of improvement is very satisfying. By recording, you can notice small changes which may otherwise be missed.
7 - Time management:
If you have things like school and work to think about then you must learn how to fit the time in to practice your instrument. Learning time management and how to be productive with time can be really good for those who have to multi task and people preparing for exams etc.
8 - Increased creativity:
Writing music and songs or even playing a cover of a song really helps to develop the creative side of the brain. Whether it is writing riffs, lyrics or doing your own interpretation of a song, being creative gives us opportunity to problem solve, try new ideas and try new ways of thinking. It also helps us to celebrate diversity and self expression - a way to create something from personal feelings and experiences. Here is a short video from Child Creativity Lab which gives some examples of benefits of creativity:
9 - It's FUN!!!
Last but definitely not least, playing an instrument is fun! Life is short, so be happy and spend as much time as you can doing fun things!! Watching TV or scrolling through social media can be fun but it's also passive. Learning to play is engaging, satisfying, it stimulates the brain and can make you feel happy!!
Thanks for taking the time to read. If you have any comments or would like to give further examples (because I know there's more!) I'd love to hear. If you would like to learn to play the guitar in Worthing, please check out www.theguitaracademyworthing.co.uk or email email@example.com