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How Does Playing a Musical Instrument Change Your Brain? February 13, 2020

Brighton, Monroe
How Does Playing a Musical Instrument Change Your Brain?, Brighton, New York

Whether you are part of a community orchestra or like to play solo, learning a musical instrument is a fun and fulfilling hobby. But did you know that it also has a unique effect on your brain? Researchers have found that playing music affects the mind in many beneficial ways. Find out more below.

Music’s Impact on the Brain

Thanks to advances in medicine and technology, neuroscientists can use cutting-edge instruments like PET scanners to track cerebral activity in real time. When researchers monitored brain function in people engaging in activities like reading or math, areas of the brain corresponding to the skills needed to do those tasks light up. When researchers had participants listen to music, many parts lit up at once.

musical instrumentTaking the research a step further, scientists examined subjects’ brains while they played instruments. The results show that this activity engages many parts of the brain simultaneously, including areas regulating vision, hearing, and motor skills. Playing music essentially means you are giving your brain an all-around workout as these various parts process interconnected information simultaneously.

Mental Health Benefits of Playing a Musical Instrument

The mental exercise of playing music can have lasting health benefits for your mind. For example, young people who play music appear to have more advanced reading and math skills. In both children and adults, playing music enhances so-called executive functioning—meaning skills like focusing, switching between tasks, and problem-solving. 

Seniors can also benefit from mastering a musical instrument. Keeping the brain active is known to stave off age-related mental health issues like dementia. Scientists have tested this theory and results suggest that playing music can slow dementia progress.


If you're interested in tapping into the benefits of playing a musical instrument, head to The String House of Rochester, NY. With over 50 years in the business, they have a reputation for providing top-quality products and attentive customer care. They offer instruments for sale, rent, and trade—and uphold a 100% trade-in policy, allowing you to exchange your musical instrument for one that's of equal or greater value. They have a full range of stringed instruments and supplies, from violins to cello bows. Learn more about their offerings online. If you have questions, give them a call at (585) 442-9272. 

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