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Playing an Instrument

Playing an Instrument

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Description

Playing an instrument is a habit that has been scientifically proven to help you become smarter, more relaxed, and extra creative.

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How to Do It

  1. Find an instrument you like. The four major categories are woodwinds, brass, percussion, and string. Consult a local music store and try out a few different instruments and utilize the staff’s knowledge to pick out something you like. They may also have recommendations for instructors
  2. Rent or buy the instrument.
  3. Find an instructor or use an online resource to provide you with instructions
  4. Practice!
  5. Youtube has some great instructional videos. 

Here’s a quick rundown of the learning process:

  1. Learn proper posture and how to hold your instrument correctly
  2. Make random sounds to get comfortable with the instrument
  3. Learn and practice scales to increase muscle memory
  4. Learn to read music
  5. Learn music you enjoy
  6. Learn more difficult music
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Benefits

  • Increases self-confidence and feelings of achievement 
  • May improve patience
  • May improve memory
  • Boosts reading scores
  • Builds listening and comprehension skills
  • Increases hand-eye coordination
  • Keeps hearing in tip-top shape during the golden years
  • May improve dyslexia
  • Improves focus 
  • Improves creativity
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Time Commitment

Minimum 30 minutes per day.

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Why it works

Music stimulates the brain and causes it to change. There is a better connection between the left and right half of the brain and an increase in grey matter. This results in better control of your muscles, stronger decision-making skills, emotional control, and better memory and visual learning.

Playing an instrument also increases your ability to use multiple senses simultaneously.

These differences are visible in MRI scans between people who play instruments and those that do not.

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Suggested Frequency

3-5x a week

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Side Effects

Dizziness, hearing loss, skin irritation, dermatitis, infection, cramps, dry mouth, temporomandibular joint dysfunction

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Required Equipment

Instrument

Sheet music

Music stand

Tuner

Access to a local teacher or online resources

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Gurus/Celebrities/Doing it

Ryan Gosling

Tina Fey

Halle Berry

Samuel L Jackson

Steven Spielberg

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Rating

Fun Self-Growth Skill

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Suggested Time of Day

Anytime

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Notes

  • Practice with yourself and others. This might mean seeking out a local orchestra, band, or musical organization.
  • Musical instruments should be regularly maintained, so research costs and processes specific to your choice.
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Category

 Mood  Stress  Productivity  Focus  Creativity  Memory  Sharpness
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