Music has always been one of the main components in the development of the human race. It is one of the purest forms of story-telling; reflecting an in-depth cultural representation of a single or collection of moments in time.
Throughout human history, music has played a core role in our emotional and intellectual development. In Southern Germany in 2012, bird bone flutes were discovered and have since been estimated to be up to 43,000 years old, which make them the oldest currently in existence. Which just goes to show that music has touched our lives for centuries.
Both playing and listening to different kinds of music is beneficial for your career and in this blog I’ve summed up the different ways this can improve your career and your life as a whole.
Playing a Musical Instrument Improves Your IQ
Countless studies display a direct link between high achievement and musical proficiency. Studying a musical instrument arouses and stimulates specific sensory locations in the brain.
Music is understood to enhance reasoning skills, which are crucial to understanding subjects like maths and science. It also improves motor skills such as hand and arm movements and has also been linked to an increase in emotional intelligence, which in the modern world is a crucial skill in the workplace.
Prominent historical figures such Alexander Graham Bell (piano), Louis Braille (organ), Charles Dickens, (accordion) Albert Einstein (piano and violin) and many more all played instruments, which is as good a link between intelligence and musical mastery as any.
Reduces Stress & Combats Mental Health Concerns
A study by Forth With Life concludes that 85% of their research focus group was suffering from stress and that work and money were the top two reasons for this.
Stress directly interferes with ones coping mechanisms, which in turn can lead to depression and other health concerns. Even the most career-focused individual needs time to cool off and decompress; playing an instrument is a fantastic way to reduce stress and learn a new skill.
Playing music increases your responsiveness and sense of pride and accomplishment, which gives you a nice endorphin kick which helps to contribute to physical and mental well-being.
Increased Social Opportunities
When you begin to play an instrument, you are introducing yourself to a new world of social opportunity where you share the same interest – your instrument.
Whether you choose to take this opportunity or not, is a different matter, of course, but assuming you do, you’re opening yourself up to things like orchestras, musical events, music workshops and simply just jamming with other musicians.
This increased social circle keeps you on your toes; you learn to interact with new kinds of people which makes you an even better asset to your company.
The sense that you’re becoming good at something new, learning a song that’s always been close to your heart or the fact that you’ve made some sounds and strung them together to create something people find pleasing to the ear, is always a good boost.
As you gain more trust in your new-found skills, it’s natural to cast your net a little wider – relatives, friends and colleagues might be your first port-of-call when you’re looking to show off your inner Mozart.
Receiving praise for something you’ve mastered on your own terms is a huge confidence builder, and bringing that version of yourself to the table in a work arena can improve your fortunes and that of those around you.
Develop Your Creative Flow
Studying an instrument stimulates the creative sectors of your brain and opens your mind to new realms of possibility.
This also contributes to your emotional intelligence and gives you another avenue for self-expression, which – particularly if you’re a naturally reserved person – gives you a release in the form of ideas and can offer you a different way of approaching problems and solving them.
Listening to music improves your response to the small details, which will give you a different dimension than your colleagues who don’t have that same learned ear.
You will begin to recognise delicate chord structures, tonal frequencies, pitch, scales and minute details that will improve your listening skills and your abilities to judge and study different situations in the workplace.
Learning to play an instrument improves your mental agility and sharpness. It increases concentration levels, and occasionally you may be required to learn a piece by heart. This helps to keep your mind highly tuned and can help you to improve your visual and physical memory association techniques.
Discipline & Responsibility
When you begin to learn an instrument, you know immediately that it isn’t a fast process. Many musicians study for their whole lives to hone their craft, and you’ll learn pretty quickly that you get back what you put in. Mastering any skill takes time and effort. Consistently practising at an allotted period teaches you the art of discipline.
You’ll also learn that an instrument that isn’t looked after will not look or sound as good, so it becomes your responsibility to ensure your chosen equipment sounds like it was designed to. Discipline and responsibility are the two cornerstones of your working life; working harder to round off these skills can only help to achieve further success.
How to Choose Your Instrument…
The top 3 most popular instruments to learn are:
While they are popular, they also rank amongst the most difficult to learn, so it’s imperative you get the right gear from the get-go.
There are lots of different facets to choosing a piano for example. Size, colour, budget and piano type are all chief concerns, so it’s always worth taking a little extra time to decide which instrument is for you, whatever it might be.
Sure, music can help your career and your daily life, but if you don’t enjoy doing it, it could mean one of two things, either you need to look for another instrument, or maybe it just isn’t for you; mainly if you see it as a chore.
But if you enjoy it, then keep it up, not only is it challenging but it is also rewarding and fun too. So many people are envious of those who finally jump in at the deep end and just do it, so why not have a go for yourself?