Playing an instrument, is not about showing off your ability to play a pop song. It’s about the satisfaction gained from when your practice makes perfection or the excitement when you understand the language of music. Having been a piano and violin player myself, for almost 9 years, I can say that music has given me so much fulfillment and there are so many benefits.

Firstly, it’s a way to express your feelings. Through music, you can unleash your inner emotions without words. For example, if you are feeling down, you can convey this through playing a slow, quiet song while happiness can be portrayed through a lively piece. In fact, music can get rid of problems and be a great stress reliever since it brings all your energy and focus to something positive. It can be a distraction and take you away from your normal life.

Playing an instrument, also, teaches you patience. To master something, you have to go over it several times even if it may be tedious. To get a piece to perfection, takes more than an hour, more than two but over 10 hours of not just repeating the piece but of concentrated practice paying attention to the different nuances. Therefore, in some ways, playing an instrument, taught me to be dedicated and not to give up.

Studies have suggested that it also refines your hearing skills as it isolates the sounds as they occur. Often, musicians are able to pick out specific sounds and noises in a noisy environment. Moreover, being a musician, helps you to understand music. Listening to music, I find myself enjoying listening to the melodies and enjoying how they go together. es. Dr Bernhard Ross, a senior scientist at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute said that ‘learning the fine movement needed to reproduce a sound on an instrument changes the brain perception to sound in a way that is not seen when listening to music’.

Being a musician also allows you to connect with people. For example, joining groups such as a choir, band or orchestra. And playing with other people is really enjoyable, as everyone is united in one purpose of producing music and so it is like everyone is communicating through the music to one another.

Music has changed my life and shaped me to be the person I am. So many hours of my life, I have devoted on practicing. But yet, I wouldn’t call them hours that I have lost because they are hours I have enjoyed. Hours where I have lost myself in music and forgotten about the world around me.

By Gulcin Erten, Newstead Wood School