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Learning an instrument has long lasting, positive effects on your brain

Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about how to encourage brain development in children as well as fight the decline in mental sharpness that occurs as we age. Interestingly, rather than spending time working on “brain training” apps or crossword puzzles, learning to play an instrument has the biggest impact on the brain.

The benefits of learning an instrument are actually greater than any other brain enhancing activities. Although the biggest gains are achieved if you learn at a young age, playing music can improve the brain at any stage of life. Brain scans reveal a distinct difference between the brain of a musician and that of a non-musician.

The corpus callosum, a bundle of nerves that connects the two sides of the brain, is larger in musicians, the volume of grey matter in various regions of the brain is greater, and the long-range connections between different areas are strengthened. Additional research indicates that musical training can also improve spatial reasoning, literacy and verbal memory.

robot looking at sheet music

What musicians are better at than others

Musical training improves executive functioning in the brain. This part of your brain is responsible for processing information and committing it to memory, decision making, controlling behavior and problem solving. Playing an instrument also strengthens multitasking skills, because it requires the musician to focus on numerous things at once. And it increases blood flow to the left hemisphere of the brain, resulting in a burst of energy. And it’s not only helpful to physical and brain health, music is good for the soul.

Whether you play an instrument or not, you’ve likely experienced a positive lift in your mood when hearing your favorite song. Listening to music has been associated with improved mental health by decreasing levels of anxiety and depression.

Where to start

Regardless of your age, learning an instrument benefits your cognitive, physical, and mental health. And it’s never too late to take music lessons and reap the rewards of having a musical mind! Johnson String Instrument makes it easy by providing a simple way to rent an instrument online, and we can help you find a teacher in your area.

The sound of music has the amazing ability to strike at the heart of our emotions and evoke memories of special moments in our lives. Playing music has an even greater impact on the brain, body and soul. Tap into all of those potential benefits by calling or clicking on the JSI website today.

Additional Resources

Carriage House Violins

Located in Newton, Massachusetts, Carriage House Violins is the instrument sales division of Johnson String Instrument.

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Whether searching for a job, learning about the "Mozart Effect," looking for a summer music camp, or choosing the right instrument string, you need look no further.

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Johnson String Project

A charitable foundation whose goal is to provide high-quality instruments to children who live in under-served communities and who are participating in El-Sistema-inspired programs in Massachusetts.

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JSI Blog

Information and helpful articles about the music and instruments we love.

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Helpful "how to" videos and useful information about JSI and the products and services we offer.

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