Stress is detrimental to both our physical and mental health. When we’re busy with work or school, stress can build up and have a negative impact on our quality of life. We need to ensure we set time aside to relieve our stress, and sitting down to play an instrument is an effective and immensely enjoyable option.
Health Benefits of Playing an Instrument
Suzanne Hanser, chair to the music therapy department at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, understands the healing potential of music.
She notes that research has shown links between adults who play an instrument, and lower blood pressure, lower stress levels, decreased heart rate, and a reduction in anxiety and depression. “There is also increasing evidence that making music enhances the immunological response, which enables us to fight viruses,” Hanser adds.
As well as these fantastic health benefits, music helps keep the mind sharp, particularly when it comes to memory capacity and the ability to problem solve. Read more about the incredible effect music has on the brain here.
The stress-relieving qualities of playing and listening to music, as well as its overall positive impact on our well-being, has not gone unnoticed by therapists. In fact, therapists use music to enhance memory function, and to promote a sense of self in patients suffering from depression and dementia.
“Music has a close relationship with unconscious emotions, which are activated by musical movement,” says Finnish clinical music therapist Kimmo Lehtonen. “These feelings are so strong, they’re meaningful even if patients cannot remember who they are.”
How Playing an Instrument can Relieve Stress
You don’t need to attend a music therapy session to reap the benefits that playing music can have on your health. Playing music at home or at a music lesson can help with stress management, and here are a few reasons why:
- Playing music helps you practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the state of being fully aware of the current moment, without being distracted by past events or future worries. Meditation is a common way to exercise mindfulness, but practicing your scales or learning a song works well, too.
- Playing an instrument forces you to take time away from the screen. With work, school, and socialising becoming increasingly reliant on technology, it seems we never take a step back and do an activity in the real world. Working with your hands, away from your phone or computer, is a perfect way to unwind.
- Playing music can be social, and socialising can reduce stress levels. Music is a fantastic way to connect with like-minded individuals, share ideas, and work together to produce something excellent.
Learn to Play an Instrument Today
Experience the stress-relieving benefits of playing an instrument at the Liverpool Academy of Music. Give us a call on 02 9602 9774 or fill out the form on this page to find out more about the wide range of instruments we teach or to book a lesson. We will have you playing music right from your very first lesson.