The benefits of musical instruments

Many studies are now discovering that learning a musical instrument is something positive in itself – a discipline that helps a person to acquire skills of co-ordination. concentration, and perseverance. It shares these with sport, of course, but there is more. What makes playing a musical instrument worthy of special attention is that its physical and mental complexities are a springboard to something beyond the tangible or measurable. Unlike sport, music is not about winning, or keeping fit, or promoting your town or your school; it’s about celebrating, to a level approaching ecstasy, the deepest human longings. At moments of acute joy or sorrow, men and women throughout history have sung or reached for musical instruments to express the inexpressible. When minds are taut with emotion, there seems to be an inner compulsive instinct to release and harness this tension through the measured vibrations in the air that we call music.

Stephen Hough (2019) Rough Ideas: Reflections on Music and More. London: Faber & Faber, pp. 25-26.