The cello is an extraordinary instrument, creating full, lustrous sounds that are truly sublime and very similar to the range of the human voice. And although it requires a bit of an investment, learning to play the cello is an extremely rewarding activity, generating benefits that last a lifetime. Not only will you develop the aptitude to produce music that comforts, excites, or moves someone, the actual learning process builds skills for the future and develops cognitive advantages in any age cello student.
Music education, especially one that involves learning a string instrument like the cello, is an excellent example of comprehensive learning. By combining mental and physical exercises in a structured way, music training stimulates and strengthens both your physical body and specific areas of the brain, such as memory, reading and math comprehension. Moreover, it also develops marketable skills that will serve you well into the future.
If you’ve recently decided to learn to play the cello or you’re still on the bubble about whether or not to take the plunge, this list of benefits can help you solidify your decision.
Enhanced Scholastic Performances
As briefly mentioned, learning to play an instrument like the cello is a comprehensive process. It incorporates visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles, making it easy for students to focus on their individual preference. As you practice and hear the results, your brain forges new connections that translate into other areas of your learning. Particularly regarding math and comprehension skills. A number of scientific studies have proven the validity of music training’s impact on cognitive process. By building the ability to process sensory information, categorize information, and coordinate actions cello students develop pathways that improve scholastic performance.
Lifelong Memory Enrichment
In addition to educational enhancements, playing the cello helps develop the areas of your brain concerned with memory recall. Findings were reported at the 2013 Neuroscience Conference in San Diego, and detailed how the brain responds to music training, particularly when music education is started before the age of seven. This doesn’t mean that adult learners can’t benefit, it just states that the maximum advantages are achieved when training begins before age seven.
Three different studies confirmed the heightened sensory perception musicians have, as opposed to individuals who have never trained. In a second study, a group of adults, age 19-21 who had at least one year of early music training were tested. The results found that the regions of the brain relating to hearing and self-awareness were larger in those adults. But perhaps the most promising, researchers discovered that a music education helped stimulate and create connections across the right and left hemispheres, building a lifelong infrastructure that remains throughout adulthood.
Develop Marketable Skills
Playing an instrument like the cello involves developing a keen sense of timing, as well as working together with others. For music to sound harmonious, each member of the ensemble or group must perform their specific piece at exactly the correct time. Otherwise, confusing raucous noise results.
When you learn to play music on the cello, those skills translate into desirable job-market skills. Employers look for individuals who have the ability to work well within a team. Specifically, those employees who can perform their assigned tasks with excellence, creating an outcome that meets targeted objectives.
Moreover, playing the cello helps develop other, intangible strengths that are hard to measure but aid future career advancement. Performing in a group or during solo recitals helps students build self-confidence in their ability; and becoming proficient on any instrument involves the self-discipline to practice. This kind of capacity is severely lacking in today’s marketplace. Self-motivators who can take the initiative are worth their weight in gold to many of the top employers in the country.
Build Physical Strength
Lastly, learning to play the cello provides physical benefits. Although the cello is played while sitting, the muscle movements required to properly support the instrument and execute bowing techniques help increase upper body strength and promote good posture. Like any artistic endeavor or learning to play a sport, there is a specific form to master. By copying a system that has been forged through centuries of musicians, new cello students start out right. Whether or not you develop your own unique holds later doesn’t diminish the benefits achieved through the (often awkward) initial demands of learning the correct way to hold and play the cello.
Playing the cello provides lifelong benefits. Students not only learn an effective way to reduce stress, express their feelings, or gain an artistic outlet, cellists develop mental and physical benefits that help them succeed in future endeavors.