Blog

How Playing a Musical Instrument Affects Mental Health

Music helps people release the locked up part of themselves as they negotiate everyday life and the associated stress. It has a relaxing quality that lowers stress and makes people feel better. People who know how to play a musical instrument typically pick it up at the end of a stressful day in order to play some notes that take them to a different plane of existence. Once people start playing their musical instruments, the mind is transported from the stressful day-to-day life into a different world that is inhabited by musical notes and happy feelings.

A study conducted by the American Psychological Association confirmed that playing a musical instrument from childhood keeps a person’s mind sharper as he ages. In another study conducted by the University of Kansas Medical Center involving healthy adults aged 60 to 83, it was found out that the musicians in the group performed better on a different cognitive test than those group members who do not play any musical instrument.

A person who has been performing musical activities throughout his lifetime is performing a challenging cognitive exercise that makes his brain fitter and up to the task of accommodating the different ageing challenges. Studying how to play a musical instrument involves many years of practice, which creates alternate connections in the human brain that would compensate for cognitive decline as the person gets older.

Playing a musical instrument benefits you as well as the people around you.  The following are some of the mental health benefits of playing a musical instrument:

  1. Increases the capacity of your memory. Playing a musical instrument stimulates the brain and increases the memory. Research has shown that regularly playing a musical instrument can change the power and shape of the brain, making playing a musical instrument an effective therapy to improve a person’s cognitive skills. Pieces of evidence are emerging that a musician’s brain is functionally and organizationally different to the brain of a non-musician, especially with regards to the area of the brain that is used in processing and playing music. A person who knows how to play a musical instrument has a more active brain part that controls the motor skills. His memory actually grows and become more active. Other studies show that playing a musical instrument can increase a person’s IQ by around seven points.
  2. Refines your time management and organisational skills. A person who is learning how to play a musical instrument has to learn how to be organised and to be able to manage his time wisely. A musician clearly understands that the quality of his practice time is more important than the quantity. A person who is learning how to play a musical instrument can progress faster if he will learn how to organise his practice time and make plans to work on the different challenges playing a musical instrument brings. He has to efficiently use his time if he wants to progress in his playing.
  3. Enhances your coordination. Playing a musical instrument requires hand-eye coordination. The musician’s brain has to subconsciously convert the musical notes he reads into specific motor patterns while also adding rhythm and breathing to the mix. It requires lots of practice to achieve such degree of coordination, something that may prove to be very difficult for people who do not play any musical instrument.
  4. Sharpens your concentration. Playing a musical instrument requires concentration on different things such as rhythm, pitch, tempo, note duration, and quality of sound. When playing a musical instrument as part of a group requires a higher level of concentration because the musician has to hear himself while also listening to all the other sections and to play his instrument in harmony with the other members of the group.
  5. Relieves stress. Playing a musical instrument can relieve stress and allows a person to foster self-expression. As he advances in playing his instrument, he can play it the way he wants it. Music allows a person to express his emotions in the same manner a painter expresses his emotions in the canvass.

It will be a great advantage if learning to play an instrument starts at an early age. There are different musical instruments a child can learn to play. Getting a child the best student violin brands will enable him to learn to play this exquisite musical instrument that will enhance his mental health for many years to come.

Also read: How Asylums Help Deliver Fresh Music To Audience?

Forget Gym Equipment and Start Dancing More to Lose Weight

forget-gym-equipment-and-start-dancing-more-to-lose-weightIn order to lose weight, you might immediately think of hitting the gym. There are people who have drastically transformed after taking on heavy gym equipment. Those who are extremely serious will most likely see the results they desire to see. There is no problem in hitting the gym if you are dead serious in achieving your goal. The only problem is that if you are busy, you might always have an excuse for not going to the gym. You will say that you are too lazy to drive or you are too tired from work.

Instead of putting on pressure to hit the gym, why don’t you just ditch it and try dancing at home instead? There are a lot of benefits that dancing can give. If your goal is to lose weight, then dancing can help you achieve that. Take note that for each Zumba session for instance, you are losing around 3,000 calories. It depends on how long you dance and how much effort you put into it.

It’s more fun

Another reason why you should try dancing is that it is more fun. You will enjoy the process and not even think about losing weight at all. Before you know it, you have already shed a lot of weight and your goal has gradually been achieved. Compare this with gym equipment. It seems like you are made to suffer. Most gym enthusiasts would say no pain no gain. In dancing, you will still gain a lot without necessarily undergoing pain.

Less injury

Another problem when it comes to the use of gym equipment such as dumbbells is that they can cause too much pain even after you have finished hitting the gym. You will suffer from excruciating pain especially if you have forced yourself to try on the heavier weights. Dancing on the other hand won’t cause injuries. As long as you have done warm up exercises, you are good to go. You also need the right set of steps so you won’t immediately go for the more complicated ones. This will prevent injuries from happening.

You don’t have to leave home

It is fun to try Zumba or other forms of dances in large groups. However, you might also want to try doing it at home alone. You don’t need a dance instructor to help you out. You simply need an online video to follow. You can even just play your own favorite songs and dance your heart out. As long as you are consistent in dancing, then you will see the fruits of your labor in no time.

While you’re at home, you might also want to invest in the best elliptical brand so you can use the machine before or after you dance. You can also try out other exercises before you start dancing. Whatever technique you use as long as you are consistent, you will see the results soon. Just have fun while dancing and you will forget you are even doing it for weight loss.

Also read: What’s the Ultimate Workout Music to Get You Pumping?

Glastonbury Festival Updates

Cjx5fMFVEAQWY2kGet on to Glastonbury experience the biggest festival and unearth your favorite band. Glastonbury is the top destination to keep you occupied with some fresh music. Start on Friday but not too early. While you get ready for the Bad Sounds grab ciders. At 14.50 Walrus most in demand Frightened Rabbit will play the Other Stag. Do not miss their cinematic indie, it is worth waiting. The all new project from the Bombay Bicycle Club Toothless by Ed Nash is definitely one to watch out for. Go to the Pussy Parlure stage and get a sight of Hayden James who plays soulful electronic jams, one of the best for weekend hears.

Daughter will be up at the Park Stage and is soft and smooth on the ear. Some of the biggies on the Pyramid Stage will be Foals. Looking for some thunderous music of rock n roll, try the Savages at the Park Stage. Clam down after some rock n roll with Sigur Ros at the John Peel Stage, some pure texture. Every festival has a highlight and this one has Honey Soundsystem and NYC Downlow before you move to the Pussy Parlure to catch DJ Yoda not until 3 am.

Saturdays stay up for DJ Yoda and move to the Haelos environment of hop sound in the Other Stage. Then move to Park Stage for Izzy Bizu, pop singer. The Berlin origin producer Calptone is definitely a bet at the Sonic Stage with some dancing. The 3pm slot is a clash between Wolf Alice and Lapsley. They both are waiting to take you down. Enjoy the rock n roll. At the John Peel stage is the MO and at the Pussy Parlure is Vaults. Adele at Pyramid stage will close the night. On Sunday pick She Drew The Gun and the pop from Marscicans. At John Peel stage, Matt Corby plays inspirational pop. At the Other Stage is Afro Clutsers and Years and Years from Walrus favorites. Annie Mac will perform at the crowds.