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!

Learning A Musical Instrument- Getting Motivated!

Learning a musical instrument can seem daunting and often the fantasy of playing on stage or creating your own music from wrath can seem a world away. But with focus, determination and a great teacher, those dreams may not be as far away as they seem.

Aside from the benefits of gaining a new talent, learning an instrument can have a huge impact on mental wellbeing, general health and even in your professional life. Being dedicated to learning an instrument takes time and can provide a sense of self worth as well as giving the brain a workout. Having a talent like proficiency in a musical instrument takes dedication and time, and this can resonate positively with potential employers. Studies have shown that in children, regular music lessons can improve reasoning skills, focus and self esteem.

 

Of course, one of the most important factors in finding joy in learning a new skill is the right teacher. A great music teacher should provide support, structure and plan realistic goals for their student to work towards in order to inspire them and keep them motivated. At the Soho Music School, we tailor our lessons to each individual rather than taking a ‘one size fits all’ approach. It is important to recognise that not every student will learn in the same way, and a great teacher will recognise this and adjust and adapt lessons to fit their student’s abilities and preferences.

With tenacity and focus, anybody can become proficient at the instrument of their choice!

Here are a few ways to stay on track:

*Find inspiration by watching other musicians you respect and admire. Read their stories. This will help you plan your route for success yourself and may inspire you further.

*Plan your practice time and allocate a little bit of time each day if you can, even if it’s only 15 minutes! The more you stick to a schedule, the more it will become a habit.

*Remember, even the greatest musicians were beginners once upon a time, just like you! DOn’t get disheartened because you’re not brilliant right away, it takes time and dedication to become proficient.

*Set realistic goals for yourself- maybe learning to play a particular song? This will give you a sense of accomplishment and drive you to keep improving.

*Don’t give up! Remember, you only fail when you quit!

 

One Of Our Artists – JULIA ZELG – 223k Views!

The Soho Music School is very proud to have popular YouTuber and Instagram star Julia Zelg as one of our regular students and recording artists. Check out one of her music videos below!

Julia has worked with The Soho Music School for many years and we are always delighted to see her growing success. You can follow Julia on Instagram at @juliazelg.

If you’d like to book a lesson with us, or a recording session, take a look at our links above for information.