Learning the guitar can be more than the love for playing music. It is also a way to escape from worries and stress in daily life, and build those skills required for the work place!
In this article, I am going to show you several ways in which playing the guitar is beneficial to your mental well-being, some of which may be surprising to you.
1. Learning The Guitar Reduces Anxiety
Whenever there is something stressing you out, try playing a little music! A recent study from “McGill University – The Neuro” found that the “anticipation of pleasurable music”, and “cognitive reward” leads to your brain producing dopamine. Dopamine is also known as the “happiness hormone”, which creates a genuine feeling of pleasure in your mind. Whereby the production of dopamine is correlated to your brain finding a reward in something.
Rewards are found everywhere in your guitar playing as we find rewards in learning new skills. The skill learning process when playing guitar is endless and there are not enough hours in the days to learn everything the guitar has to offer.
The team at “The Neuro” measured dopamine release in response to music that elicited “chills”, changes in skin conductance, heart rate, breathing, and temperature that were correlated with pleasurability ratings of the music. You will be surprised by how quickly playing the guitar affects your overall emotions. In fact, by being engrossed in playing your instrument, your mind is temporarily taken away from all the problems that are bothering you at that time.
Pubmed.org have studies on their website that also demonstrate how dopamine mediates anxiety. If you suffer from anxiety, it can be one solution to calm you down and bring you to a peaceful state of mind. This distraction will relieve your mind of worry, and you will be full of energy to cope better with life.
2. Learning the Guitar Enhances Your Brain Activity
It is suggested that if you play the guitar, you are more able to sharpen your brain functions and activity. According to apa.org numerous brain scan studies figured out that playing guitar not only boosts grey matter in various regions of the brain, but it also strengthens the connections between them.
This would be particularly beneficial to fight against mental degenerations in your later years. In addition, sight reading musical scores and playing musical instrument activate regions in all four of the cortex’s lobes, as this requires you to constantly process the visual symbols on the page, instantly translate them into knowledge, then execute the notes exactly within seconds. Which in total can lead to enhancing your brain activity.
3. Learning The Guitar Makes You Smarter!
However surprising it may sound, playing guitar can actually benefit your intelligence and lead to improved IQ scores.
According to the results from a number of studies, including the NCBI Institute show that those who play musical instruments perform better on spatial reasoning IQ tests, which proves the idea that playing musical instruments can have a beneficial effect on non-musical cognitive functions.
Other studies also point out that young people who are involved in playing a musical instrument in their teenage years score higher in some particular tests (for example, SAT) than those who don’t play music.
4. Learning The Guitar Boosts Your Self-esteem
As music is one of the ways to express yourself, being good at playing guitar can improve your self-confidence. As discussed, playing the guitar gives you a sense of accomplishment; it will in turn make you feel more positive about yourself.
In addition, if you ever venture into playing live sessions in front of a crowd of people, these skills are transferable to the classroom or work place. It is a common conception that speaking in public rate under “people’s biggest fears”. By performing in front of people doing something your passionate about will provide you with the confidence to better perform in front of many people at work or at school.
5. Learning The Guitar Improves Patience
Good things come to those that wait. Learning to play a musical instrument requires a lot of hard work and discipline. You only get good after prolonged period of time of being consistent.
Not being able to play well at first can be a frustrating experience, but you can improve your skills by regularly practicing, and most importantly, by never giving up.
This tough process teaches you to be patient through repeatedly practicing and improving technique until you are finally skilled. Being able to keep this attitude will help you overcome hardships in life better and succeed in many aspects other than music, too!
6. Learning The Guitar Improves Your Problem Solving Skills
Last but not least. While you are playing guitar, you will have to continuously read guitar tabs, understand scales and create chord shapes and figure the best way to play any song.
Overall, these attributes leads you to being able to memorize many songs and improvise, and it requires upmost concentration and creativity to these things, which is the recipe for solving problems.
Like other instruments, learning the guitar can be a valuable experience that can have long-lasting positive effects on your mind and the work place. It requires building many skills and thinking ability that is transferable into other aspects of your life.
Learning to play guitar may be tough at first, but trust me, if you keep playing it, you will gradually feel its transformational power.