The Mental Health Benefits of Playing Music

Music and emotion have always been closely linked, one being an expression of the other. Almost every song written is the result of an feeling, whether it be love, heartbreak, hurt or happiness. The act of hearing a certain song can even have the power to change the way we feel inside.

Additionally, the act of actually playing music or even singing has been proven to have significant benefits for mental health and emotional wellbeing. Take a look at our list below and see how learning to play or sing can help you achieve a healthier mind:

Writing music can act as a therapy session

Almost all the greatest songs in history have been the result of a strong emotion and it’s no coincidence; often the most creative ideas flow from the more emotional periods in our lives. The act of writing music or lyrics can help to process your feelings by getting them out in a tangible form. It can also act as a distraction from negative feelings- a good bout of singing or playing requires concentration which can help you to focus on something positive. Playing music has also been known to help ease stress, insomnia and even depression.

It provides you with a feeling of accomplishment

We’ve spoken about this before, but it simply can’t be overstated. The feeling of mastering a song you’ve always wanted to learn and achieve a dream you have always wanted is probably one of the most uplifting feelings in the world!

It can help you to meet new people

There are many ways in which music can help you connect with others around you. You may decide to find other like-minded musicians to play with you in a band or orchestra, which can help you to form bonds and friendships. It’s also a great subject to drop into conversation when meeting new people- you’ll always have something to talk about! Try websites for musicians such as Bandmix and Join My Band to find other like minded people searching for other musicians to play with, either professionally or just for fun!

Make Your Practice Sessions Count

It can be daunting learning a new talent from scratch. Often, it can feel like your goals are incredibly far away and it’s easy to get disheartened when progress isn’t a speedy as you’d like it to be.

Getting in the habit of practice will help you to stay focused and see learning as less of a chore. With a solid practice schedule, progress will be steady and you will able to track clearly you improvements day by day, week by week and month by month!

Check out our tips below for how to get the most out of your practice sessions:

* Create a good environment for study

Just as with studying any other subject, in order to get the most out of learning an instrument outside of your lessons, your environment is important. It doesn’t have to be fancy; many people are happy to practice in their bedroom or another private area. It is important however that it’ll be a place that you will not be easily distracted, whether that be by other people, your laptop or your phone! This can also have an extra benefit of being quite relaxing and giving you an excuse to switch off from the rest of the world.

*Have a goal or objective for each session

If you have a goal in mind for your practice time, this will help you to feel more accomplished rather than feeling like you are making little progress. It can be adjusted for the time window you have available. This could be learning a specific song, nailing a specific technique or playing through a piece without any mistakes.

*Allocate time to warm up

Don’t forget your warm ups! although it may seem tedious in the beginning, warm ups will help you get in the correct mainframe for your session and engage your muscles. This will help you get the most out of your session.

*It’s not the length of time, it’s how you use it

Decide what daily practice works best for you. Some people practice for a hour a day, some longer before an event and some shorter. If you find yourself practicing for hours and making little progress, it may be time to shorten your practice time and concentrate on the content rather than the time length, Fatigue is not conductive to a sharp mind! Use your time wisely.

*Record your sessions

Recording your sessions (and even lessons) is a great way to track your progress and to be able to clearly see (or hear) your progress as a musician. It can be very easy to get disheartened when you feel your progress isn’t a swift as you’d like, but comparing recordings can clearly show where you have improved.

Stay focused, stay on track and remember that practice makes perfect!