The benefits of learning a musical instrument | Thorpe Hall School

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The benefits of learning a musical instrument

Playing a musical instrument has many benefits and can bring joy to you and to everyone around you.

This article will provide you with some of the many benefits of playing an instrument (in no particular order) and will hopefully give you a better sense of appreciation and pride for music.

Benefits include:

Increases the capacity of your memory.

Research has shown that both listening to music and playing a musical instrument stimulate your brain and can increase your memory.

Refines your time management and organisational skills.

Learning how to play an instrument requires you to really learn how to be organised and to manage your time wisely. A good musician knows that the quality of practice time is more valuable than the quantity. In order for a musician to progress, he/she will learn how to organize his/her practice time and plan different challenges to work on, making efficient use of time.

Boosts your team skills.

Team skills are a very important aspect of being successful in life. Playing an instrument requires you to work with others to make music.

Teaches you perseverance.

Learning to play an instrument takes time and effort, which really teaches you patience and perseverance. Most people can’t play every piece of music perfectly the first time. In fact, the majority of musicians have to work difficult sections of music multiple times in a row before they can play it correctly.

Enhances your coordination.

The art of playing an instrument requires a lot of hand-eye coordination. By reading musical notes on a page, your brain subconsciously must convert that note into specific motor patterns while also adding breathing and rhythm to the mix.

Betters your mathematical ability.

Reading music requires counting notes and rhythms and can help your math skills. Also, learning music theory includes many mathematical aspects. Studies have shown that students who play instruments or study the arts are often better in math and achieve higher grades in school than students who don’t.

Improves your reading and comprehension skills.

Music involves constant reading and comprehension. When you see black and white notes on a page, you have to recognise what the note name is and translate it to a finger/slide position. At the same time, you also have to read what rhythms the notes are arranged in and force your tongue to produce the correct pattern.

Increases your responsibility.

Playing an instrument comes with its responsibilities. Maintenance and care are very important in keeping an instrument in working condition. Each instrument has different procedures to keep it functioning properly, but most instruments need cleaning and some form of oiling/greasing. In addition to maintenance responsibilities, there are other aspects such as remembering music events (like rehearsals and performances) and making time to practice.

Exposes you to cultural history.

Music reflects the environment and times of its creation. Therefore, you learn a variety of music types such as classical traditions, folk music, medieval, and other genres. Music itself is history, and each piece usually has its own background and storyline that can further your appreciation of other cultures.

Sharpens your concentration.

Playing music by yourself requires you to concentrate on things like pitch, rhythm, tempo, note duration, and quality of sound. Playing music in a group involves even more concentration because you must learn to not only hear yourself, but you must listen to all the other sections and play in harmony with the rest of the group.

Fosters your self-expression and relieves stress.

It’s your instrument, so you can play whatever you want on it! The more advanced you become on an instrument, the greater you’ll be able to play what you want and how you want. Music is an art – just like an artist can paint his/her emotions onto a canvas, so can a musician play a piece with emotion. This has proven to relieve stress and can be a great form of therapy. In fact, music therapy has been useful in treating children and teens with autism, depression, and other disorders.

Creates a sense of achievement.

Overcoming musical challenges that you thought you’d never quite master can give you a great sense of pride about yourself.

Promotes your social skills.

It’s very common for people to gain lifelong friendships through musical activities like these.

Boosts your listening skills.

Although it’s pretty obvious, playing an instrument requires you to listen very carefully to things. You have to learn how to hear when you’re playing a wrong note in order to correct yourself. Tuning your instrument means hearing if the pitch you’re playing is high (sharp) or low (flat). When playing in an ensemble, you have to listen for the melody and play softer if you’re the supporting part (accompaniment). There are too many examples to list every possibility here, but by playing an instrument you are guaranteed to improve your listening skills.

Teaches you discipline.

As previously mentioned, playing an instrument can be very challenging. One of the qualities that musicians learn is discipline. Practicing often and working on the hard parts of music and not just the easy and fun stuff requires discipline.

Elevates your performance skills and reduces stage fright.

Enhances your respiratory system.

In order to play any piece of music correctly when playing wind instruments, you’ll need to take huge breaths and learn how to expel the air properly to make the desired sound. Breathing exercises are highly recommended for musicians, and they can really strengthen your respiratory system.

Promotes happiness in your life and those around you.

Playing a musical instrument can be very fun and exciting. Not only is it fun to play music that you enjoy, but it feels wonderful to hear an audience applaud you for giving a great performance.


Thorpe Hall School offers a range of musical instrument tuition, and a variety of clubs, groups and ensembles where students can perform and play together.