I’ve written about the power music can have on emotions and mood in my blog but here I want to talk about the beneficial psychological effect of playing an instrument.

Many, many years ago my dearest hubby bought me a keyboard as I thought I would like to learn piano, needless to say within a few months my desire to learn had passed and so it lay unloved, gathering dust. Then Christmas 2016, I suddenly decided that I wanted to try and learn again, however, this time my determination stuck and for most of the following year I practiced and showed definite improvement. I also discovered that, although mentally challenging, I really enjoyed playing and could focus on it completely… playing piano distracted my mind from ruminating on depressive thoughts and helped steady my mood.¬† In learning and mastering each new piece I felt a huge sense of achievement which boosted my self-esteem and lifted my mood.

With guidance from my psychologist I learnt that I could use piano as a technique to stop intrusive thoughts, and to calm me in times of stress or distress. I began playing piano first thing in the morning to set my day up in a positive way and this helped ease my depression.

I imagine a similar benefit would be achieved from learning, or playing, any instrument and I’m sure there’s a whole load of evidence that singing would also accomplish this.