Make music to boost your brain and mental health: Scientific evidence of positive effects and a path to a better quality of life

Music is a powerful art form that has the ability to affect us deeply, both emotionally and physically. But did you know that making music can have positive effects on your mental health and strengthen your brain by improving your cognitive and emotional abilities and boosting your creativity?

Research has shown that music therapy, including playing an instrument or singing, can help reduce symptoms of stress, depression, anxiety, as well as improve memory and cognitive function in both young people and people with dementia?

Here are some of the emotional benefits of playing an instrument:

Increased happiness and positive emotions:
Making music can help increase dopamine release in the brain, which can contribute to a sense of reward and satisfaction when playing. Making music can also help to express feelings and thoughts thatmight otherwise be difficult to put into words.

Reducing stress and anxiety:
Making music can act as a form of meditation and can help reduce stress and anxiety. The researchers found that music therapy helped reduce stress levels in participants and improved their mood and self-esteem.

Improving self-esteem:
Developing your instrument or voice and noticing progress can increase your self-esteem and confidence.

Creative benefits:
Making music practices improvising and creating music, which can stimulate the brain and help open up new ideas and creative solutions.

Improving technical skills:
By regularly practicing an instrument or singing, you can improve your technical skills and develop a unique style and sound.

Increasing musical understanding:
Making music teaches about music theory, harmony and rhythm, which can help develop a deeper
understanding of music and its structure.

Cognitive benefits of playing an instrument:
One of the most well-known benefits of playing music is that it can improve higher cognitive functions such as verbal intelligence and executive function. A study published in Psychology of Music found that participants who played musical instruments for six months had significantly higher verbal intelligence and executive function compared to those who did not practice an instrument.

Making music can also improve brain structure by increasing gray matter in areas that are important for hearing, motor skills and cognitive functions. These structural changes in the brain can have positive effects on various cognitive functions, such as memory and learning.

Making music can also improve the ability to hear speech in noisy environments and to think in three dimensions. It can also increase communication between different parts of the brain, which can have positive effects on attention and problem solving.

Finally, music education can also help improve the ability to perceive time patterns, which is important for music making but also useful in many other contexts.

Making music can have many positive effects on your mental health, including increasing happiness and positive emotions, reducing stress and anxiety, and improving cognitive function. If you want to improve your mental health and strengthen your brain while having fun and challenging yourself, playing an instrument or practicing your singing can be a great way to do so.
Why not try playing a guitar, piano or any other instrument that interests you today?


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Gaser, C., & Schlaug, G. (2003). Gray matter differences between musicians and nonmusicians. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 999(1), 514-517.

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