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In the last few decades, neuroscientists have made enormous breakthroughs in understanding how our brains work by monitoring them. More than any other activity, playing an instrument is like a full-body workout for your brain. Inside a musician’s brain, there’s a party going on. Why is that?
While listening to music promotes brain activity, playing an instrument causes your brain to throw a party by utilizing every area of your brain. Disciplined, structured practice strengthens those brain functions and allows us to apply that strength to other activities.
Playing music incorporates both hemispheres of your brain (analytical and creative) and musicians often have higher levels of “executive functioning,” meaning they can approach a situation from every angle.
Neuroscientists have found that playing an instrument enraptures the brain more than any other activity studied, including other motor activities like sports or gaming. Taking up an instrument (pulling out that old, dusty one) might be just what your brain needs!