If you’re looking for an exercise that’s fun, interesting, and will work out your entire brain, grab an instrument and start playing.
When you play music, the entire brain lights up because you’re using almost every region of the brain. Specifically the regions dedicated to audio, visual, and motor functions. Naturally, those regions are strengthened as you practice and play your instrument more and more, and that leads to many benefits outside of music. These benefits include a better attention to detail, stronger planning and strategic skills, and a better memory.
Researchers at Northwestern University found that people who play a musical instrument generally have a greater memory, attention span, and ability to convey emotions. Such activity can also help develop enhanced speech and language skills. According to the researchers, the brain builds new neural connections (paths for information to travel through your brain) while learning to play music. This increases the brain’s ability to adapt and change.
The influence of music on society can be seen clearly from modern history. Thomas Jefferson played the violin for hours at a time while in the process of writing The Declaration of Independence to help him relax enough to write. Albert Einstein, recognized as one of the smartest men who has ever lived, was very fond of music as well and played the violin and piano. Not only was music relaxing to Einstein, but it also helped him with his work on his theories. He would go back and forth from working on a theory to playing a few chords on the piano, jotting something down and then returning to his study. In both cases, music has influenced these well-known people in history, specifically helping them to focus and relax when trying to perform a task.