Learning a New Instrument Improve Your Mental Health. Here’s How

Ellen Diamond, (2021, September 2). Learning a New Instrument Improve Your Mental Health. Here’s How. Psychreg on Positive Psychology. https://www.psychreg.org/learning-new-instrument-improve-mental-health/

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In elementary school, many children learn musical instruments. That early introduction sparks a passion for many, and some carry it into their adolescent and adult years. It’s a hobby for some, a life calling for others.

Beyond providing you with a new and exciting hobby, learning to play a musical instrument can bring you a whole host of health benefits. One of these benefits is improved mental health. The world can feel pretty overwhelming at times. Having a hobby to lose yourself in can provide a huge source of relaxation.

Interested in what these benefits could look like and the science behind them? Then read on! We have compiled some key health benefits of learning a new instrument and why you should start your new hobby today.

Stress relief

Let’s face it: what could be a better way to rid yourself of stress than going wild on the drums? You don’t need to be the next up-and-coming rock star to make the most of this instrument. The best drum set for you could be one you use when you’re feeling a little overwhelmed! 

Sometimes, we all feel like we could smash something, but that isn’t recommended behavior. Taking it out on your drum set, however—that’s a whole different story. Why not try it for yourself?

Mood enhancement

There is little better for your self-esteem than gradually improving at something. This elevated mood is what learning a new instrument can offer you, right from the comfort of your own home. 

Each day you can learn more and more of your favourite song or overcome an area you used to find tricky. These little victories build up over time, and feeling like you have accomplished something is an immediate pick-me-up. 

Broadened social horizons

Numerous people play instruments. It is a great way to start a conversation or bond with someone, especially if you both play. 

If you want to expand your social circle, join a group in your local area or connect with other enthusiasts through social media. These connections can do wonders for your mental state. Humans are social creatures, so it is only natural to enjoy connecting with others, especially over something we mutually enjoy.

Improved concentration

Did you know that learning to play an instrument can alter the way your brain functions? By engaging with pieces of music and learning about composition, you open up new neurological pathways. In simple terms: your brain starts to process information in brand-new ways.

One of the benefits of this is improved concentration. As your brain learns to process more information in a more detailed way, you will find that you can pay attention more acutely elsewhere. The effect is why learning to play an instrument can be so beneficial for ADHD in particular. 

Takeaway

With all the potential benefits right at your fingertips, why not try to learn a new instrument? Remember, nobody was good at anything the first time they tried it out. It takes practice, and that’s OK. Don’t get frustrated or try to be perfect right away. It isn’t about impressing anyone; it’s about enjoying yourself and reaping some positive benefits. Try it.


Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She is interested in mental health and well-being.


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