11 Benefits of Learning Music as an Adult

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There’s no doubt that getting your children into music can enhance everything from their language skills to emotional intelligence. But learning to play a musical instrument isn’t just for kids. 

Despite what the old adage says, you can teach an old dog new tricks. Often, you’ll find that you’re actually more responsive to learning music as an adult, not least because you’re more mature, motivated, and in the classroom completely of your own accord. And, as well as finally getting to learn that instrument you’ve always wished you could play, there are a host of other gains to be had from taking music lessons as an adult. 

Want to know more about the benefits of playing an instrument and why it’s never too late to start? Keep reading to find out!

1. Train Your Brain 

By integrating both the left and right hemispheres, playing music lights up the entire brain and forges new neural pathways. As a result, you can reduce the natural brain shrinkage  that starts around age 30 and instead look forward to improved memory, cognition, spatial reasoning, and literacy. Likewise, the multitasking involved with playing an instrument can also improve your multisensory skill set and stop the natural decline of your ability to divide your attention.  

2. Lower Stress Levels

One of the greatest benefits of music, in general, is its power to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. This is because listening to music lowers your body’s levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. 

The benefits of playing an instrument are even greater when it comes to your mental health. By transferring your energy and focus and channeling it into something as enjoyable and beautiful as a musical melody, you’ll experience both physical and mental stress relief as your blood pressure lowers and the tension melts away. 

Starting with easy instruments when learning music can help make the process easier for especially anxious individuals. The piano and guitar are both great for beginners, although the ukulele is even easier. Plus, the relaxing tropical sounds of a ukulele are guaranteed to boost your mood!

3. Sharpen Your Reaction Times

Learning an instrument is a rich and complex experience that integrates visual, auditory, and tactile information, along with fine movements and body awareness. Having to process all this input and respond accordingly helps improve both your physical and mental reaction times. 

4. Expand Your Social Circle

One of the biggest benefits of music is how it brings people together. From shared playlists to sing-a-longs and concerts, music is the “universal language of mankind”

Because of the power that music has, learning an instrument can be a great way to meet new people and expand your social circle. While the main interaction will be with your teacher at the start, you’ll soon connect to fellow students, local musicians, and other like-minded people who share your passion for the collaborative experience of making music. 

5. Increase Dexterity and Coordination 

Playing an instrument is one of the best ways to define your manual dexterity and coordination. Whether you prefer the precise movements of playing the piano or the energetic actions involved in playing the drums, music lessons are ideal for training your hands and body to move in a skillful, coordinated way.

6. Boost Blood Flow

If you feel your energy levels waning later in the day, music lessons are a great way to get your blood flowing and give you the boost you need. Thanks to the way playing an instrument brings your mind and body together, you’ll soon feel energized without having to reach for caffeine or an energy drink. 

7. Be More Mindful

Thanks to the meditative benefits of playing an instrument, it’s an easy and effective way to practice mindfulness. Whether you’re strumming chords or practicing a simple scale, you’ll soon feel present and centralized, achieving an instant sense of calm and focus.  

8. Improve Breathing 

While most instruments make use of your hands, taking voice lessons or learning a brass or woodwind instrument will also improve your breathing control. As well as working your respiratory system, the controlled inhalation and exhalation of air you’ll need for these instruments will strengthen your core and improve your posture. 

9. Feel a Sense of Accomplishment

As we get older, we have fewer opportunities to learn new skills and take on new challenges. Because of this, learning an instrument as an adult can give you an even bigger sense of accomplishment than you may have has as a kid. Even if you’re returning to an instrument you abandoned, being able to pick up a guitar or flute and play a piece of music is a wonder you’ll never take for granted!

10. Take a Journey of Self-Discovery

It’s never too late to realize the musical talents that have lain hidden away for decades. But learning an instrument as an adult won’t only take you on a musical journey. It’s also a chance to take a journey of self-discovery as you uncover things about yourself that you might never have known otherwise. 

11. Have Fun!

Music lessons are also a lot of fun, which is reason enough to go! The more you play and the better you get, the more you’ll experience a true and incomparable sense of joy in your newfound hobby. Plus, think of all the happiness you’ll spread whenever you share your musical skills with your friends and family. 

Learn the Benefits of Learning Music as an Adult

As these many benefits show, learning music as an adult is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. 

Not only will taking music lessons boost your physical and mental health, but you’ll also meet like-minded people, have fun, and experience whole new levels of accomplishment and self-enlightenment!

Want to discover the benefits of playing an instrument for yourself? Contact Sloan School of Music to discuss your music education needs today!