Playing an Instrument Benefits Your Brain

No matter whether you’re a child or an adult, when you listen to music, your brain becomes more engaged and active. However, when you play an instrument, your brain gets more of a “full body workout,” according to studies. In the video below, Anita Collins (TED ED) explains the fireworks that go off in musicians’ brains when they play. The video also examines some of the long-term positive effects of this mental workout. These benefits can have a huge impact on a child’s life as they learn to play from an early age.

Neuroscientists have studied all aspects of the arts, such as sports and painting, but confirm that the artistic and aesthetic aspects of learning to play an instrument are different from any other activity.

Playing music increases volume and activity in the brain that allows musicians to solve problems more accurately and effectively in both academic and social settings. Musicians often have a higher level of executive function that includes planning, strategizing and attention to detail.

Studies suggest that musicians also have more cognitive functions that can lead to processing and storing knowledge better. Disciplined and structured practice strengthens the brain functions and uses visual, auditory and motor cortices.

Musicians are also known to exhibit enhanced memory functions for creating, storing and retrieving memories more quickly and efficiently. Musicians give each memory multiple tags, such as a conceptional tag, emotional tag, audio tag and contextual tag.

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