3 Little-Known Reasons for Learning Music

3 Little-Known Reasons for Learning Music

Listening to music has the power to improve human life. It can help us sleep deeper, lower our stress, manage our depression, curb our anxiety, and make us happier. Listening to beautiful music can instantly put us in a good mood.

Imagine, then, what music can do for you or your child if you decide to attend a good music school. There are many excellent schools throughout the country. One school in Columbus, Ohio, Powell Academy of Music, is so successful that it has taught over 2,500 students since it opened its doors in 2006.

Acquiring an education in music can be taken at any time. Some people are made to take them when they are young, while others might decide to take up an instrument when they are older.  

Why People Take Music Lessons  

Parents who encourage their children to take music lessons do so because the benefits of learning music stretch far beyond the joy of learning music. A musical education has been shown to also improve language and reasoning skills, academic skills, test scores, and emotional development.

Those who take up an instrument when they are adults, do so for different reasons. They may decide to learn how to play a musical instrument because it relieves stress and teaches discipline–and, also, because it’s just plain fun.

Here are 3 other good reasons for taking up a musical education:

  1. A musical education gives you a deeper appreciation for music.

When you listen to music, it lifts you—but you seldom know how it works its magic. Learning how to play an instrument will not only teach you how to create something exquisite on demand, but it will also help you to appreciate how other musicians create beautiful music. You’ll develop an appreciation for the beat, meter, and tempo of rhythm; an appreciation for the crescendo, decrescendo, and forte of dynamics; an appreciation for the pitch, range,  and theme of melody; and an appreciation for the chord, progression, and key of melody. In fact, once you begin to get good,  you might, like many people who play an instrument well, begin talking about the color and texture of a musical composition.

  1. A musical education teaches you how to learn anything better and faster.

Learning anything well requires you to do two things: first, appreciate the fundamentals; and second, push yourself to learn complexity. When learning music, you’ll keep returning to fundamentals like timing and basic chords. You’ll also want to build upon this foundation by learning more complex skills. You can go far when you have a grounding in the fundamentals. Jimi Hendrix, for example, used simple rhythm guitar to inform his style, then layered complexity on top of this simplicity. His playing wove rhythm and lead. This appreciation for mastering foundational skills and then reaching for higher-level skills is intrinsic to learning anything.

Another thing a musical education will teach you is how to be well-rounded. Many self-taught musicians tend to stick to a single theme. They may identify themselves as a singer-songwriter or someone who only plays fast guitar. A formal education will force you to move beyond your comfort zone so you won’t be a narrow-minded, boring musician. Creativity arises from the wellspring of curiosity, and since you’ll be exposed to so many styles, instruments, and musical elements, you’ll learn how to cross-pollinate what you learn in one modality into another. By remaining curious about the music, you’ll learn how to develop strikingly original music.  

  1. A musical education helps you develop a sense of humor.

You can learn music in an easy and fun way if you go about it the right way. But before you can touch on divine things, you need to be humble, accepting the highs and lows of your journey with humility. By not taking yourself too seriously, you’ll be able to take all your setbacks with a smile. A sense of humor will help you avoid letting a successful performance go to your head and it will teach you to appreciate any streaks of undeserved good luck. When you learn how to laugh at yourself, you’ll quit getting frustrated when things aren’t going your way.  

A Quest for Mastery  

We live in a time when hacks, or shortcuts, are gaining increasing popularity. There is something enticing about finding a shorter, quicker way to do something. While there is some merit to working smarter, not harder, this is not the path to excellence. The way to be excellent in anything is the difficult path of mastery. Mastering something is all about doing the deep work, learning the intricate details, and devoting the time necessary to make progressive improvements. When you learn how to play one or more musical instruments, you’ll develop a profound appreciation for the nuances involved in any quest for mastery.