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Strumming Success: Unveiling The Benefits of The Guitar

In this blog post, explore how the benefits of the guitar can unlock a world brimming with rhythm, melody and self-expression while improving overall mental well-being.

February 12, 2024

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Playing the guitar can enhance your life in many ways besides becoming proficient in frets and strings. Many studies and research have shared that participating in musical activities can boost cognitive abilities and relieve stress while promoting socialising with confidence.  

Whether you are just starting or rekindling your love for an old hobby, join us as we explore some captivating findings about the benefits of guitar playing.

1. Enhances Cognitive Abilities    

Playing the guitar is not just a leisure activity – not for your brain at least. Studies have shown that adult musicians and children trained in music displayed "enhanced performance on several aspects of executive functioning.”    

Learning the guitar requires complicated tasks like committing chords to memory, perceiving patterns and motor skills for harmonising hand movements. As you continue to practice, you give your brain a chance to exercise as it steers the intricacies of playing the guitar, resulting in cognitive functions getting a boost – surpassing the levels of music and going further into other aspects of cerebral abilities.  

In other words, you get to expand your mind as you strum away to your favourite song!  

 

2. Helps Reduce Stress and Promotes Mental Well-Being    

Life in Singapore can get pretty stressful. If Singaporeans are not stressing about extra-curricular activities, then exams. And if not exams, then work, adulthood, bills!    

Studies have shown that you can reduce stress and improve overall mental well-being by playing the guitar as a form of music therapy. As you are concentrating on the strumming and fingerpicking, it produces a sort of shield over your nervous system and calms it.

Playing the guitar or even just listening to it also contributed to a decrease in cortisol levels. Another study has found that there were “significant positive changes in cortisol” while engaging in musical activities before or during stressful events.  

Certain schools do not require you to learn exam material and encourage you to learn your favourite songs instead. So, give the guitar a shot! It could be your outlet to de-stress and relax.  

3. Develop Confidence and Socialising Skills    

The ability to play the guitar opens doors to developing socialising skills and building confidence. For example, participating in jam sessions helps foster teamwork and communication, nurturing socialising skills. You pick up on the synergy and learn to be in sync with the band to play harmoniously and seamlessly.  

It rings true for public performances as well. It is a precious commodity that boosts confidence levels. After all, standing in front of an audience and performing a guitar solo is no easy feat! You learn to identify with them by picking up their cues and reactions.    

With all this in mind, public speaking can feel less intimidating when you transfer the skills you have learnt from performing – like reading the room and connecting with the crowd – and use them to your advantage.  

 

4. Promotes Lifelong Learning and Creativity  

We see a lot of research about lifelong learning that encourages us to keep our minds active as we age. One such study shares findings that:    

“Focal musical activity can be a useful intervention in older adults to promote an enhancement in memory.”  

The adaptability of the guitar cultivates curiosity – with the endless exploration of the many genres and techniques. A research paper from Duke-NUS states that:  

“One participant pointed out that his goal had always been to master an entire song on the guitar, which he was unable to do when he was younger. Thus, taking a music course enabled him to fulfil his lifelong dreams.”  

So, learn a new skill and gain a lifelong companion to follow you on your musical journey when you pick up guitar.

 

Ready to get started?  

Learning to play the guitar is an evergreen and everlasting skill that offers a creative outlet while cultivating the mind and providing rest and relief from stress as you strum your worries away.    

If you believe you have a flair for playing the guitar, click that button at the bottom to book a free trial lesson with us and kickstart your guitar learning journey with Aureus Academy in Singapore!  

 

Sources:    

Does Playing a Musical Instrument Make You Smarter? | Psychology Today  

(PDF) Music and Cognitive Abilities (researchgate.net)  

S’poreans more stressed than global average; 16% say their stress is 'not manageable': Study - TODAY (todayonline.com)  

Music Therapy: Types & Benefits (clevelandclinic.org)  

healthhub.sg/programmes/mindsg/caring-for-yourself/coping-with-stress  

The Effect of Music on the Human Stress Response - PMC (nih.gov)  

Frontiers | Cognitive Benefits From a Musical Activity in Older Adults (frontiersin.org)  

the-pursuit-of-learning-among-older-singaporeans.pdf (duke-nus.edu.sg)