Maximize Your Brain Health by Learning to Play Music

In order to live a truly healthy lifestyle, we must incorporate exercising our brains into our daily routines to ensure we remain cognitively sharp throughout our lives. Physical exercise is important to good brain health as strenuous activity increases blood flow to the brain which helps encourage the building of new neural pathways, those places where our memories live.

Daily mental exercises are equally important to a healthy brain. Doing the crossword, working on puzzles, learning a new language, and even paying bills or taxes (minus a calculator) are all ways we can exercise our brains. If you are looking to give your brain the ultimate workout and have fun doing it, then consider learning how to play a musical instrument.

Playing music is considered to be the best workout for your brain as it exercises both the right and left sides of the brain simultaneously. In fact, playing music stimulates more parts of the brain than any other activity we can do. What makes learning how to play music even more appealing is that it is fun! Humans are naturally drawn to all kinds of music so when we learn how to play music it’s even more satisfying. Learning how to play music is a lot easier than you might think. It all begins with choosing the right instrument that will motivate you to practice daily.


The most versatile instrument that makes the top of most ‘Easy to Play Instruments’ lists is the guitar. Guitars come in as many shapes and sizes as the people who play them, which is why it is one of the most played instruments in the world. Guitars have just six strings which makes learning chords on them a breeze. In fact, you can easily teach yourself how to play. The internet is filled with articles, blogs, videos and apps that are all easy to follow.

Guitars are also easy to transport. Simply purchase a hard case for the guitar to protect it, then you can easily take your guitar with you everywhere you go. Whether flying, biking, or even hiking you can travel with your instrument with confidence. So you have no excuse not to practice daily and give your brain its ultimate workout.

Piano or Keyboard

The piano is also an easy instrument to learn and fun to play once mastered. Of course, not everyone can afford a piano or even have the space for one. But you have many other options to choose from. A digital piano is the closest to a real piano in sound. Its space requirements are less than what’s needed for an upright piano, but like any piano, it is not easily transportable.

A keyboard piano has weighted keys like a piano, and though it is portable, it is a bit cumbersome and not something easily transported wherever you go. That’s where an electronic keyboard comes in handy. Keyboards are affordable, easy to play, and like a guitar, easy to transport. You will also discover that many keyboards allow you to experiment with sound and rhythms which equate to more challenges for your brain! With a little practice, you could soon be sounding like you’ve started your own band!

Recorder or Harmonica

Buying a new instrument might be intimidating for those who are just starting their musical adventure and don’t know if they want to invest in something they are not sure about. Don’t worry! There are many affordable options to get you started. Learning how to play the recorder is the perfect solution. Recorders are extremely affordable with most beginner models priced well under twenty dollars. They are also easy to master. Many recorders come with basic fingering directions and songs to get you started. You will be playing your recorder with confidence in just a few days.

A harmonica is another option that will help you discover your inner blues, country, or jazz personality, plus, it is easy to master. Like the recorder, harmonicas are very affordable, and most come with chord instructions to help you get started right away. The internet has all sorts of videos to keep you going. Harmonicas are the easiest musical instrument to transport. All you need is a pocket! Take your harmonica wherever you go and practice any time you have a few minutes. That’s all it takes to exercise your brain.

Learning how to play a musical instrument doesn’t require a huge financial outlay, but it does require time and dedication. Every time you think about finger placements and chord changes you are multitasking and using all areas of your brain. Some days may frustrate you. Relax, it’s those frustrations that require your brain to work its hardest and propel you forward to the days when you feel like you’ve got this. Remind yourself that every minute you are learning how to play or find yourself practicing with your instrument, you are also giving your brain the ultimate workout it requires to be its
cognitive best.

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