There is a plethora of research, articles and videos that explain all the different ways that listening to music and playing a musical instrument affect the brain. Here, I've simply collected some of the best videos, studies and research around the topic so that you can discover for yourself the benefits of playing a musical instrument.
The Cognitive, Emotional and Socials Benefits of Playing a Musical Instrument
1. TED-Ed: How Playing and Instrument Benefits Your Brain by Anita Collins
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0JKCYZ8hng As you would expect from TED-Ed, this video hits the music-ed nail square on the head! Ever wonder what's going on inside a musicians brain when they're jamming out? Fireworks!
I gobbled this book up one an airplane ride from NY to CA and it has been one of my go to references since then. This book does an excellent job of breaking down the science of music into easily understood pop-culture references so that anyone can pick it up and learn a lot about the human cultures obsession with music.
3. This is your Brain on Music
To be honest, I haven't read this one yet because someone once told me that it's essentially the same book as This Is Your Brain on Music. Still, I plan on reading it soon and based on it's national acclaim, it's more than worthy of making this list!
4. TED-Ed: Music as a Language by Victor Wooten
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yRMbH36HRE In this beautiful video featuring one of my all-time favorite musicians, Victor Wooten plays his signature version of Amazing Grace while his voice-over shows us how to understand music as a language. He also has a book called The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music and if you enjoy his creative approach to understanding music, this is definitely worth a read.
I love this article because it puts into words some of the less scientific benefits of playing music, stuff like learning perseverance, communicating from soul to soul, understanding a rich history, and discovering a road to mastery.