… And none of them are “It makes you smarter”!
1. Learning music is fun!
I never have so much fun in the week as during music lessons. Demonstrating techniques in singing often involves doing really silly things, and this means lots of laughter. Once you get going, you can also enjoy making experimental music, playing great games to learn music theory and even the very act of playing can be fun and joyful!
2. Learning music can be really satisfying
Especially as an adult, sometimes life can seem a bit flat. Music brings a gentle upwards trajectory of improvement that’s really satisfying once you’re away from school. For those still in education, it makes a really nice change from essay writing and maths, and doesn’t have the pressure of constant mandatory exams (although, exams are an option)
3. Music is a great stress reliever
Stressed out, but think yoga and meditation are for hippies? Learning a musical instrument can give you access to a space where you can let go of all your worries and focus on something else that’s calming. It’s quite similar to the effect of running (without the sweat, and the rain) or swimming (without the water and the chlorine), where your mind calms because you’re focussed. You don’t even have to have been playing more than a few weeks before this effect kicks in. Once you get better, playing your favourite angsty piece of music is also a great way to process painful feelings.
4. Music brings people together
There’s nothing like music to build relationships. Whether it’s playing Christmas carols for your family over the Festive Season (and yes, that is looming large for us musicians already!), forming a band with your friends, or joining a choir/orchestra, music is something that bonds human beings into community. Music is an active demonstration of how we should live together, everyone taking different parts, but those parts make beautiful harmony together.
5. Music makes you happy
Music is fun, it brings people together, it’s satisfying and it relieves stress – of course, it makes us happier. There are numerous studies which link music to faster recovery times from physical illness [sources: Lloyd, Wiley-Blackwell], and improved mental health [sources: Parker-Pope, Berger]. Anecdotal evidence from the many musicians I know corroborates this. I certainly find music makes me happier, and I always feel better for half an hour in my music studio playing the piano and/or singing.
And if this wasn’t enough, music does seem to correlate with better academic skills, and has side benefits such as developing creativity, concentration, focus, perseverance, non-verbal communication, problem solving, dedication and accountability.
If you want to discover how music can improve your life and are based in or near Edinburgh, why not book a trial singing lesson with me?