Health Benefits of Playing Music

Music Man © Pxhere, CC0 1.0 My passion for music began at a young age when I started playing piano. This lasted for many years until I decided that I wanted to learn guitar; so in grade 7 I learned my second instrument. Two years later I began playing drums, which has so far been my greatest musical passion. I am happy to be able to play all these 3 instruments; each one brings joy in its own unique way. It is factual that playing music improves mental health, but I was wondering if playing an instrument has physical health benefits beyond the joy that it brings. Creating your own music has been proven to enhance our body’s immunological response, which helps us to fight viruses more effectively. This may be because the brain pathways that are used to create music help to exercise the brain pathways that fight viruses. Playing music also lowers blood pressure, decreases heart rate, and reduces stress levels, which dramatically decreases the risk of heart problems. People who play music have more acute hearing. They are more sensitive to picking out specific sounds from unimportant noise. This helps with preventing hearing loss because of aging. Certain instruments, such as wind instruments, exercise the respiratory system and lungs. These instruments require you to breathe deeply for an extended period of time. A study was done that proves that playing the harmonica can help with pulmonary disease (difficulty breathing). Playing certain instruments can also be a form of exercise. The arm and back muscles are engaged in holding up the instrument (whether it’s a guitar, bass, trombone), and playing the drums, for example, requires high fitness and cardio levels, and engages the arm, back, and leg muscles in strenuous exercise. I know from personal experience that I feel the burn after playing the drums for 20 minutes. Posture can also be improved by playing instruments as it is an important factor in playing the instrument well. The habit of having good posture while playing instruments can carry out into daily life and help to prevent back and neck pain. It’s good to know that all these years of playing instruments has hopefully paid off with improvements to my health. This is great incentive for anyone to pick up an instrument. What are you waiting for?

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