18 Benefits of Playing a Musical Instrument

The Chinese philosopher Confucius said long ago that “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” Playing a musical instrument has many benefits and can bring joy to you and to everyone around you.  This article will provide you with 18 benefits of playing an instrument (in no particular order) and will hopefully give you a better sense of appreciation and pride for music.

http://pykmax.com/wp-json/oembed/1.0/embed?url=http://pykmax.com/videos/ 1.  Increases the capacity of your memory.
Research has shown that both listening to music and playing a musical instrument stimulate your brain and can increase your memory.  A study was done in which 22 children from age 3 to 4 and a half years old were given either singing lessons or keyboard lessons.  A control group of 15 children received no music lessons at all. Both groups participated in the same preschool activities.  The results showed that preschoolers who had weekly keyboard lessons improved their spatial-temporal skills 34 percent more than the other children.  Not only that, but researchers said that the effect lasted long-term.  (Source:  http://brainconnection.positscience.com/topics/?main=fa/music-education2#A1)

According to an article from The Telegraph online magazine, “New research suggests that regularly playing an instrument changes the shape and power of the brain and may be used in therapy to improve cognitive skills.”  There is continually more evidence that musicians have organizationally and functionally different brains compared to non-musicians, especially in the areas of the brain used in processing and playing music.  If you learn how to play an instrument, the parts of your brain that control motor skills (ex: using your hands, running, swimming, balancing, etc.), hearing, storing audio information, and memory actually grow and become more active.  Other results show that playing an instrument can help your IQ increase by seven points.   (Source:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/6447588/Playing-a-musical-instrument-makes-you-brainier.html)

http://azteenmagazine.com/nail-care.php?article=314 2.  Refines your time management and organizational skills.
Learning how to play an instrument requires you to really learn how to be organized and to manage your time wisely.  A good musician knows that the quality of practice time is more valuable than the quantity.  In order for a musician to progress quicker, he/she will learn how to organize his/her practice time and plan different challenges to work on, making efficient use of time.

go site 3.  Boosts your team skills.
Team skills are a very important aspect of being successful in life.  Playing an instrument requires you to work with others to make music.  In band and orchestra settings you must learn how to cooperate with the people around you.  Also, in order for a group to make beautiful music, each player and section must learn how to listen to each other and play together.

4.  Teaches you perseverance.
Learning to play an instrument takes time and effort, which really teaches you patience and perseverance.  Most people can’t play every piece of music perfectly the first time.  In fact, the majority of musicians have to work difficult sections of music multiple times in a row before they can play it correctly.

5.  Enhances your coordination.
The art of playing an instrument requires a lot of hand-eye coordination.  By reading musical notes on a page, your brain subconsciously must convert that note into specific motor patterns while also adding breathing and rhythm to the mix.

6.  Betters your mathematical ability.
Reading music requires counting notes and rhythms and can help your math skills.  Also, learning music theory includes many mathematical aspects.  Studies have shown that students who play instruments or study the arts are often better in math and achieve higher grades in school than students who don’t.  (Source: Friedman, B. (1959) An evaluation of the achievement in reading and arithmetic of pupils in elementary schools instrumental classes. Dissertation Abstracts International, 20, pp.s 3662-3663.)

7.  Improves your reading and comprehension skills.
According to a study published in the journal Psychology of Music, “Children exposed to a multi-year program of music tuition involving training in increasingly complex rhythmic, tonal, and practical skills display superior cognitive performance in reading skills compared with their non-musically trained peers.”  (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090316075843.htm)

It’s not surprising to hear results like that because music involves constant reading and comprehension.  When you see black and white notes on a page, you have to recognize what the note name is and translate it to a finger/slide position.  At the same time, you also have to read what rhythms the notes are arranged in and force your tongue to produce the correct pattern.


8.  Increases your responsibility.
Playing an instrument comes with its responsibilities.  Maintenance and care are very important in keeping an instrument in working condition.  Each instrument has different procedures to keep in functioning properly, but most instruments need cleaning and some form of oiling/greasing.  In addition to maintenance responsibilities, there are other aspects such as remembering music events (like rehearsals and performances) and making time to practice.

9.  Exposes you to cultural history.
Oftentimes music reflects the environment and times of its creation.  Therefore, you learn a variety of music types such as classical traditions, folk music, medieval, and other genres.  Music itself is history, and each piece usually has its own background and storyline that can further your appreciation of other cultures.

10.  Sharpens your concentration.
Playing music by yourself requires you to concentrate on things like pitch, rhythm, tempo, note duration, and quality of sound.  Playing music in a group involves even more concentration because you must learn to not only hear yourself, but you must listen to all the other sections and play in harmony with the rest of the group.

11.  Fosters your self-expression and relieves stress.
It’s your instrument, so you can play whatever you want on it!  The more advanced you become on an instrument, the greater you’ll be able to play what you want and how you want.  Music is an art–just like an artist can paint his/her emotions onto a canvas, so can a musician play a piece with emotion.  This has proven to relieve stress and can be a great form of therapy.  In fact, music therapy has been useful in treating children and teens with autism, depression, and other disorders.

12.  Creates a sense of achievement.
Overcoming musical challenges that you thought you’d never quite master can give you a great sense of pride about yourself.  When you first start learning how to play an instrument, it seems like just holding out a note for a couple beats or hitting a high pitch is an amazing accomplishment.  As you practice and become a more experienced musician, making beautiful sounding music pleasing not only to your ear, but others as well is a very rewarding experience.

13.  Promotes your social skills.
Playing an instrument can be a great way to enhance your social skills.  Some of the best people join bands and orchestras, and many times the friends you make here become like family.  It’s very common for people to gain lifelong friendships through musical activities like these.

14.  Boosts your listening skills.
Although it’s pretty obvious, playing an instrument requires you to listen very carefully to things.  You have to learn how to hear when you’re playing a wrong note in order to correct yourself.  Tuning your instrument means hearing if the pitch you’re playing is high (sharp) or low (flat).  When playing in an ensemble, you have to listen for the melody and play softer if you’re the supporting part (accompaniment).  There are too many examples to list every possibility here, but by playing an instrument you are guaranteed to improve your listening skills.

15.  Teaches you discipline.
As previously mentioned, playing an instrument can be very challenging.  One of the qualities that musicians learn is discipline.  Practicing often and working on the hard parts of music and not just the easy and fun stuff requires discipline.  The best musicians in the world are masters of discipline which is why they are so successful on their instrument.

16.  Elevates your performance skills and reduces stage fright.
One of the goals of practicing so much on your instrument is so that you can perform for others.  The more you get up in front of people and perform, the more you’ll reduce any stage fright.  Playing on stage in a band or orchestra helps with stage fright because you’re not alone.  Also, being prepared and really knowing how to play your part makes it much easier to get up and play for a crowd.

17.  Enhances your respiratory system.
If you have a good music director/tutor, you should hear them tell you quite often to “use more air!”  Air is one of the key components in making wonderful-sounding music.  In order to play any piece of music correctly when playing an instrument, you’ll need to take huge breaths and learn how to expel the air properly to make the desired sound.  Breathing exercises are highly recommended for musicians, and they can really strengthen your respiratory system.

18.  Promotes happiness in your life and those around you.
Playing a musical instrument can be very fun and exciting.  Not only is it fun to play music that you enjoy, but it feels wonderful to hear an audience applaud you for giving a great performance.  It can also be very honorable and gratifying to voluntarily play in your local community and see the happiness on people’s faces because they enjoy watching you play.

As you can see, playing a musical instrument has many benefits and hopefully that will motivate you to keep on practicing and always hold music in high esteem.  Whenever you come across challenges as a musician, think about the end results and always remind yourself of all the great reasons you love to play.  I’ll leave you with an inspiring quote by jazz saxophonist and composer Charlie Parker who once said, “Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom.  If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.”

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Black-Owned Restaurant in Dallas Reserves Mondays to Serve the Homeless

Paulette Johnson, founder of Trucker’s Café in Dallas, TX

Aside from her love for cooking, Paulette Johnson, an entrepreneur and the owner of Trucker’s Café, also loves helping people. Her café has been known not only for its “biggest mother truckin’ burger” but mostly because it closes its doors every Monday to serve the homeless.
Mondays are usually a busy day for restaurants with lots of customers coming in and out. But Paulette Johnson shuts down her restaurant every Monday to serve a different clientele — and they will not have to pay.

Truckers Café, located at 1910 Martin Luther King Blvd. in South Dallas, Texas is closed once a week to accommodate the homeless and those in need of a hot meal. Besides that, Johnson also provides them clean clothes, shoes, and toiletries.

“I just feel blessed that somebody is out here to care, people like us,” Barbara Jameson smilingly said despite the hardships that led her to Johnson’s Monday lunch.

Having grown up in a battered woman’s shelter, Johnson understands what it’s like to go without.

“My heart just flooded, there’s no word, I just feel good,” Johnson said. “I been aching all day in the morning, feet everything, dealing with my health, but once I see these guys, all that goes away.”

“I just thank God for waking me up, do what I do today. Because I know people out here struggling every day,” Johnson continued, through tears. “It’s still hard for me, but I’m just worried about everybody that I could help. It’s just me, and if I can help and put smiles on people’s face, that’s all I need.”

Running a restaurant on her own is not an easy task, Johnson said. But she only spends for herself and her family’s essential necessities so she has enough money to give back to people in need.

Every Monday, Trucker’s Café is filled with hope. Everyone is welcomed heartily, given a number, and seated. Once their number is called, they will be served with a home-cooked hot meal. No one gets turned aside.

Johnson invited singer Capt. Jack Watson, who travels with a band but also used to be homeless, to perform for everyone who dines on Mondays.

“Just hug them and inspire them and let them know, somebody up there still cares, still loves,” Watson said. “Never look down on anybody because you never know, the next day that person might be up, and I’m a living example.”

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Heather Morris and the cast of GLEE put their own stamp on the Dr. Dre classic NUTHIN’ BUT A ‘G’ THANG.



Drake Takes Aim at Kanye West and Pusha-T on New Track “Duppy Freestyle”

One of the most talked-about tracks on Pusha-T’s newly released DAYTONA album was, without a doubt, “Infrared.” The Kanye West-produced record generated buzz even before it was officially released, as it was rumored to include a not-so-subliminal Drake reference.

These rumors were quickly confirmed after snippets of “Infrared” surfaced on social media. In several videos, you can hear Pusha rap: “It was written like Nas but it came from Quentin”—an obvious reference to Drake’s alleged ghostwriter Quentin Miller.

Well, less than 24 hours after DAYTONA dropped, Drizzy fired back at Push with his “Duppy Freestyle,” a scathing track that also seems to take aim at ‘Ye.

Here a few of the standout lines:

“So if you rebuke me for working with someone else on a couple of Vs/What do you really think of the n*gga that’s making your beats?/I’ve done things for him I thought that he never would need/Father had to stretch his hands out and get it from me/I pop style for 30 hours, then let him repeat.” Drake and Kanye collaborated on the 2016 track “Pop Style.”

“Don’t push me when I’m in album mode/You’re not even top 5 as far as your label talent goes/You send shots, well, I got to challenge those.”


“It’s gonna be a cruel summer for you/I told Weezy and Baby ‘I’ma done him for you’/Tell ‘Ye we gotta invoice coming to you/ Considering that we just sold another 20 for you.” Pusha responded to this line via Twitter:

“I could never have a Virgil in my circle and hold him back ’cause he makes me nervous/I wanna see my brothers flourish to their higher purpose/You niggas leeches and serpents.” Virgil Abloh was one of Kanye’s most recognizable creative collaborators. After Abloh was appointed the men’s artistic director at Louis Vuitton, many people suspected ‘Ye had started to resent his former team member.

Listen to the track below. 

Shortly before DAYTONA‘s release, Pusha spoke about the Drake reference in “Infrared,” stating it was his response to Drake’s “Two Birds, One Stone.” Drizzy rapped: “But really it’s you with all the drug dealer stories that’s gotta stop though/You made a couple chops and now you think you Chapo.”

Pusha explained on Ebro in the Morning: “I feel like the Drake thing, more recently, was about the ‘Two Birds One Stone’ record. A lot of talk about the record, or whatever the case may be […] I guess, just speaking his truth, questioning my validity to the streets and so on and so forth within that verse. It’s fine. That’s what it was. But if we’re gonna question things … it’s my turn to question.” 

50 Cent Ft. Chris Brown – I'm The Man @50cent @chrisbrown @SonnyDigital

Though he would later struggle with the nature of his fame as well as market expectations, 50 Cent endured substantial obstacles throughout his young yet remarkably dramatic life before becoming the most discussed figure in rap, if not pop music in general, circa 2003. Following an unsuccessful late-’90s run at mainstream success (foiled by an attempt on his life in 2000) and a successful run on the New York mixtape circuit (driven by his early-2000s bout with Ja Rule), Eminem signed 50 Cent to a seven-figure contract in 2002 and helmed his quick rise toward crossover success in 2003… ~ Jason Birchmeier

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Dooley KP – Walk So Nasty @TheRealDooleyKP

Dooley KP is an artist who loves music. He is from the small town of Valdosta, GA. He was introduced to rapping by his brother and his brother’s best friend. Ever since he rapped in front of the entire school at a Christmas program while in the first grade, he dreamed of being a rap star. Inspired by many of the great rappers of all time, Tupac, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Jay-Z, Outkast, Eightball and MJG, Pastor Troy, T.I. Luke, and his brother Bamboozle along with Absolute inspires him the most.

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