*If you click a link on this website for a product we recommend, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you that helps us fund and create more content to help our users.
Do you love music? Have you tried music for self-care? Most people love music. Watch Tik Tok and you are bound to come across small babies bobbing up and down to their favorite tune. Music is considered one of the universal things that unite us.
Learning an Instrument
Did you know that learning an instrument, or even learning to play your own musical instrument, the vocal cords, has an overall positive effect on brain function? If you’re someone who seeks out mental stimulation as a way to keep on working the brilliant, malleable muscle that is your brain, then you will be delighted to know that listening to, as well as singing and playing music, definitely improve brain health.
Music Activates the Mind
Consider how much music impacts the mind. One, we are stimulated on a sensory level. The actual tone and melody reach our ears and register a sensation in our minds. We may associate an emotion with that sensation. It may bring out any emotion; happiness, sadness, or anger, depending on the types of sounds we hear.
And did you know that once we become familiar with a song, including the beat, the melody, and all of the different sounds in concert, this actually is processed by the logical side of our brains?
Music Activates Emotions
The most interesting thing about music is that although listening to it can affect our emotions, often deeply, the composition is based on pure logic. Musical notes are arranged in a linear (think piano and flute) or graph formation (guitar). The notes must be a certain distance away from each other in order to produce a particular sound, and resonate in a pleasing way.
Should I try to learn an Instrument?
If you have been told that you have a natural “ear” for music, or that you’re musically inclined, your brain may already be processing music in a logical way that will translate readily to learning an instrument. And it doesn’t matter your age – anyone can become good at music. Your mind is always ready to receive new stimulation and information, so why not let it be something you love – like being able to create a pleasing melody or harmony using a musical instrument, your voice, or both. Use our affiliate link for 40% off an annual subscription to SkillShare to try out their online music classes.
Whether you decide to make music or just listen to music as part of your self-care routine, the improvements in your emotional and mental health can be quick and long-lasting.
Here are some other ways that being exposed to music can enhance our mental function:
Mastering the basics of playing an instrument sharpens our memorization skills. With self-practice and daily immersion of our minds into the study of music, we can become skilled in memorizing how to play a specific instrument, read music, and other musical skills. That’s a lot for our minds to become good at, and once the brain has received its musical training, these new skills can translate to many other areas of learning.
Playing music often involves the simultaneous use of both the right and left sides of our brains. With the piano, in particular, we coordinate the left and right hands which are doing different things entirely. With enough practice, we are able to play music in this complex fashion but do it without thinking about it – our “muscle memory” takes over and we can play by rote.
Even if you don’t care to learn a musical instrument at this time, you can always indulge in a musical experience by stepping out for a concert now and then or listening to different types of music in the comfort of your own home.
The melody, the tone, the rhythm, the lyrics… all are being eagerly absorbed by your active, able mind!