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Dec 20 2017
by Nikki Melamed

7 Benefits of Playing an Instrument in College

By Nikki Melamed - Dec 20 2017
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Playing an instrument in college doesn’t have to be only for people who played instruments in high school; it’s for everyone, and it’s never too late to pick up an instrument and start playing! Here are seven benefits of playing an instrument in college.

1. You’ll get to meet new people with the same interests as you.

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Because you’ll be in an orchestra, band or some sort of ensemble, you’ll inevitably meet other people who are interested in music. This guarantees that you both already have something in common, and this will help you make friends that can last a lifetime, or at least the rest of college! Even if you don’t make any friends in your classes, you’ll at least have a friend group based on your love of music or your instrument.

2. You'll have an extracurricular that you enjoy.

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Your brain will thank you for a class you actually enjoy, in between all the academic classes and homework you’ll have to deal with. Music uses a different part of your brain, and if you enjoy playing your instrument, it’s a nice break from complicated equations and lengthy essays.

3. You get to develop a talent that sets you apart from other people.

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You get to spend time every day doing something that makes you happy while developing your talent at the same time. Playing a musical instrument is a cool skill, and what better way to hone your talent by doing something you love?

4. It exposes you to a variety of musical genres.

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If you end up playing in an ensemble or even working with a teacher, you get to listen and learn about a wide variety of music, most of which you probably don’t know. Learning about new music makes you a better musician and it makes you more cultured, too.

5. Studies show that playing a musical instrument makes you smarter.

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Playing a musical instrument can already benefit your social life by giving you the opportunity to meet more people, as we previously mentioned. But did you know that it can make you smarter too? Studies show that playing a musical instrument can help you retain and process information quicker, make better choices, solve problems and even regulate your mood.

6. It teaches you life-skills.

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Because you’ll most likely be playing in an ensemble group, you’ll have to learn how to collaborate and work well with others, especially in large groups, and that requires good communication and listening skills. It also helps you become a “team player” and receptive to criticism and information. As a musician, you also have a lot of discipline from practicing your instrument for hours on end and perfecting your songs.

7. It’s cheaper than other activities on campus.

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Renting a musical instrument can be relatively inexpensive, and some schools will let you borrow theirs for little to no cost. Greek life or club dues can cost an upwards of $5,000 a semester depending on where you go to school, and club dues often rack up tons of bills. In the long run, playing a musical instrument ends up being much cheaper, and the other benefits far outweigh any costs.

Ultimately, playing a musical instrument in college can not only improve your college experience, but change your life for the better. It will not only make the transition into college easier, but it'll give you the kinds of friends and skills that you can carry with you throughout your life. And who knows, you may even learn more about yourself than ever before.

Lead Image Credit: Unsplash

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Nikki Melamed - Pennsylvania State University

Nikki Melamed is currently attending Penn State University, majoring in Communications and minoring in Sociology. She loves naps, books, dogs and writing, although she doesn't like writing about herself in the third person.

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