Mid-January, everybody’s favourite time of the year! It’s dreary, it’s drizzly, and you’ve probably already kissed goodbye to your New Years’ resolution which was, of course, to do more practise on your instrument. At this time of the year, it helps to remind ourselves of all the fabulous benefits which come along with learning an instrument; here are seven, one for each day of the week… motivate yo’selves!

1) Training up your thinker!
Copious research has shown an undeniable connection between increased intellectual capacity and a musical education. Practising a musical instrument on a regular basis has also been linked with improved memory, as the coordination required stimulates both sides of the brain.

2) Confidence!
Many find that having musical skills helps improve their feeling of self- worth and ability. The feeling of accomplishment when practise makes perfect can really boost self- esteem.

3) ♫ Throw some perm on yo’ attitude…. you gotta relax ♫
Research does indeed show that picking up a musical instrument on a regular basis can help bring down levels of stress, also lowering heart rate, blood pressure and the stress hormone, cortisol. Interesting stuff!

4) You had me at cello
Music expands your social circle! Learning a musical instrument can often be a very sociable experience, not only does it allow you to bond with other musicians through a common interest, but music allows you to become involved in an array of groups- orchestras, bands and choirs.

5) ♫ Have a little patience ♫
Though it often seems that we live in an instant world, music doesn’t let you cut any corners! The regularity and discipline required to become really proficient in an instrument teaches patience.

6) We ain’t no squares
Engagement with music on a regular basis has been shown to vastly improve creativity and our ability to think outside of the box, as it stimulates areas of the brain not typically flexed in everyday life. It’s no coincidence that some of the most creative people in history had one finger in the musical pie- Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, is known to have played the piano, Charles Dickens the accordian, and Albert Einstein, piano and violin!

7) ♫ Good clean fun ♫
There are so many reasons to get involved in music- smarts, confidence, creativity, discipline, relaxation and socialization. But, when it comes down to it, nothing beats settling down with your favourite album, bashing out your favourite piece or singing in the shower. As Jean Paul once said, “Music is moonlight in the gloomy night of life.”
Have a lovely week everyone, and keep practising!