The Benefits of Playing an Instrument

Courtesy of Portland Chamber

Courtesy of Portland Chamber

Erin Krska, Copy Editor

There’s a good chance that you or someone you know was ‘pushed’ to play an instrument when they were younger, that instrument usually being the piano. You may think that instruments are a complete waste of time, but there are actually so many benefits to playing an instrument or starting to play at a young age.  


Playing an instrument can be important during high school because it is considered to be one of the most stressful times of your life, and playing instruments are a great stress reliever especially if you play classical music. Most people wouldn’t say they’re a big fan of listening to classical music, but you should consider it.  


Engaging in an ensemble can greatly improve your teamwork skills, as you must work with other people to make pieces sound great. You can meet a lot of people that you would otherwise never have spoken to if you share a mutual love for music.  


Music greatly improves your patience. Unless you are a child prodigy, you can’t play anything perfectly the first time. It can be very slow going when you first start learning an instrument but rest assured that with dedication you improve quickly. You simply can’t cut corners in music, everyone starts somewhere. Don’t be embarrassed about starting out after you’re older, as this has the potential to discourage you. 


If you have a hard time paying attention in class and getting off task, playing an instrument makes you pay attention to the notes you’re reading, or else you play a wrong note. This can make your brain more used to focusing on details of what you’re learning at school. 


Instruments make you think more creatively. No matter how much a piece is annotated, unless you are being guided by the composer themselves, you can’t play a piece exactly as initially intended. This is where creativity comes in. You add or subtract certain elements so that it is played in the way you see fit. 


Finally, music can contribute to better cognitive skills. Being able to read music and process information differently are very useful qualities to possess. Whether you play an easy instrument like a ukulele or want to challenge yourself with an oboe, the effects of playing and practicing and instrument have benefits.


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