Benefit Violin

18 Benefits of Playing Violin You Might Be Surprised to Hear

18 Benefits of Playing Violin You Might Be Surprised to HearThe violin is one of the most widely recognized musical instruments among children and adults of all ages. It’s a beautiful instrument, both to look at and to listen to. If you’re thinking about taking violin lessons, be prepared to find benefits in several surprising ways! The benefits of playing violin go far beyond just gaining the ability to play beautiful music on a new instrument. Take a look at what else the violin can do for you:

Physical Benefits

  • Increased arm strength: You may find yourself tiring quickly after playing the violin when you first start out. This is completely normal. As your arm muscles and upper body become stronger, this problem soon dissipates. The result? Stronger arms without making a single trip to the gym. Sign us up!

  • Improved finger dexterity: As you learn more difficult songs on the violin, you’ll feel the fingers on your left hand strain to reach certain strings. The fingers on your right hand must learn to control the bow, which takes precision as well. Over time, the strain disappears as your fingers become more flexible. This makes it possible to play exciting new techniques later down the road.

  • Improved posture: Another one of the benefits of playing violin is that it requires you to sit up straight and tall. Before you know it, you’ll find your back and shoulders becoming stronger and able to support your upper body with better posture.

  • Better coordination and motor skills: When you’re playing the violin, you need to coordinate both your fingers and your arms simultaneously. Pressing a string with your left hand must match up with the movement of the bow in your right in order to play correctly. In this way, learning the violin increases your coordination and motor skills.

Mental Benefits

  • Expanded reading skills: A 2011 study at the Institute for Music and the Mind at McMaster University found a correlation between a child’s musical training and their word decoding skills, a fundamental part of learning to pronounce specific words. According to the study, this occurs because music lessons train the auditory abilities necessary for correct word pronunciation.

  • Improved concentration: It takes effort to learn how to read violin music and translate the notes on a piece of paper into beautiful sounds. You must remain focused while practicing the violin to benefit from it, so playing the instrument inherently improves your concentration and attention span.

  • Greater perseverance: Expect to complete long practice hours in order to improve. This expectation is actually one of the major benefits of playing violin, because it helps you learn perseverance! After all those hours of practice, you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor in the form of beautiful music that you create yourself. Little else in life is as rewarding as that!

  • Sharpened memory: Your muscle memory will improve as you become more proficient at playing violin. It also gives you the opportunity to memorize songs and play without sheet music, which sharpens your memory even more.

  • Enhanced self-discipline: The only way you can expect to improve is by practicing. It’s not a task you can hand off to someone else. This knowledge makes you more dedicated to learning the violin, since it’s your responsibility alone. It’s also your job to tune, clean, and replace the strings on your violin so your instrument lasts for many years.

  • Lower stress levels: On a stressful day, playing the violin is a healthy way to let off some steam. The sound of the music itself can be calming, and playing a song you know well can provide relaxation through the familiarity of the piece. After practicing, you may feel as though you just finished an effective therapy session!

  • Boosted academic skills: According to a study review presented by the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, school-age children who play the violin often see a boost in academic achievement compared to their non-musical peers. Various studies cited in the review explain that there’s a commonality of skills associated with playing the violin and excelling in school. These skills include focused attention, critical thinking, problem solving, and familiarity with teacher-student mentorship.

  • Stronger verbal ability and visual pattern completion: These skills are not normally associated with music lessons, but a Harvard-based study published in 2008 found that children who take three years or more of violin lessons outperform their non-musical peers on vocabulary IQ tests and Raven’s Progressive Matrices.

Social Benefits

  • Opportunities to invite others to events: Whether you play in an orchestra or you take one-on-one lessons, you’re bound to have concerts and recitals you can invite your friends and family to. This may even open the door to other social and musical opportunities, like finding other musicians to “jam” with.

  • Greater confidence: Playing in front of a group of people at a concert or recital is nerve-wracking. However, putting yourself out there and trying something outside your comfort zone can give you better self-confidence in other areas of your life, such as giving speeches in class.

  • Stronger collaboration skills: This is another one of the benefits of playing violin if you’re an orchestra member. Since each person needs to plays their individual parts just right, you learn to hold up your end by practicing and mastering even the trickiest spots in the song.

  • Higher standards for yourself: When you get up in front of people to play your instrument, you undoubtedly want to execute the piece perfectly. This high self-standard can translate to other areas of your life and make you a better person in a way you never would you have expected.

  • Greater sense of community: Playing the violin automatically gives you something to talk about with others who also play the instrument or are simply musically inclined. You’ll feel part of something important, which can bring great fulfillment to your life.

  • Increased feelings of accomplishment: When you dedicate yourself to learning the violin, it can feel like an awesome accomplishment. You may realize you can do difficult things and achieve the goals you set for yourself. It’s OK to feel proud for doing well at a performance or triumphing over a particularly difficult piece. In fact, it’s this feeling of accomplishment that may help you stick with it!

Music is a universal language. Try playing a recognizable violin piece with someone else who speaks a different language and you’ll be stunned to discover you just had a deep conversation. It’s an amazing feeling – and one that you won’t want to miss out on!

 

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 Photo by Tim Regan

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