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The Purple Tide

The student news site of Chantilly High School (Chantilly, VA)

The Purple Tide

The student news site of Chantilly High School (Chantilly, VA)

The Purple Tide

Musical instruments combat stress, enhance mind

Musical+instruments+combat+stress%2C+enhance+mind
Tyler Ellison

From biology tests to English essays to AP exams, students constantly have something to be worrying about during their time in school. As such, it is a good idea for students to find a way to cope with the stress they may be feeling. Everyone already knows about the usual strategies: make a planner, exercise, read, all of those things. One helpful method that is often overlooked by students is exploring music.

Quickly putting in earbuds to listen to a playlist is often the extent to which most people will engage with music. While simply listening to music can help, actively playing has proven to be a much more comprehensive way of dealing with stress while also expanding creativity and social understanding.

It is well-known that simply listening to music helps us relax and feel satisfaction by releasing dopamine. The act of playing an instrument not only comes with this dopamine release, but many other educational benefits as well. 

Regularly practicing an instrument has proven to help increase memory and processing by activating neural connections in the brain. As a result, students who play an instrument tend to score higher in science, English and math tests compared to their peers.

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Similarly, playing a musical instrument also increases emotional intelligence, a key part to combat everyday stress. Music enhances the brain’s ability to comprehend day-to-day emotions, thereby allowing everyone to better process moments that may cause stress. 

Another way that engaging in music helps boost mental health is by opening many avenues of creativity. Self-expression is a fundamental way to cope with anxiety by releasing emotional tension and satisfying the brain with a sense of accomplishment. On top of that, there are many different options available for anyone looking to try out an instrument. Hundreds of distinct instruments and genres help provide a way for anyone to find their own place in the musical world.

The major issue people may find with trying to pick up an instrument is the price. New brass, woodwind and string instruments are often expensive, potentially reaching hundreds of dollars in cost. Many piano and percussion instruments often share a very similar story.

However, one doesn’t need a cathedral organ to learn how to play the piano. Cheap electric keyboards that often run for $20 to $40, do not require much set up and are easy to transport. Similarly, a drum pad could fit in a backpack and is a much more affordable–and more importantly, quiet–alternative to a snare drum. Many woodwinds, brass and strings instruments can also be rented, which alleviates the price of having to fully buy a new instrument if someone just wants to try one out.

Playing a musical instrument is an effective way to help deal with the stress of school while also improving many other aspects of the brain. The hardest part about playing an instrument is the start; reading music, learning technique and finding the right instrument certainly takes time. With regular practice, however, anyone can become proficient in an instrument and will immediately have access to a way to help escape the stress school may impose on them.

Tyler Ellison

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About the Contributor
Tyler Ellison, Opinions Editor
Tyler is a senior in his second year with The Purple Tide. He's a part of the CHS Marching Band, school and community theater and Food for Neighbors. He also enjoys piano and photography. Finally, Tyler believes that ABBA is the best band in existence and won't be taking any other opinions (he is probably wrong).
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