5 Benefits of Playing a Musical Instrument in High School

personal growth

July 14, 2022

Music creates movement. It is the greatest force of our time and has been for years and years. It brings people together, creates connections, and sets the tone for your surroundings. There's nothing it can't do!

As teens, we are obsessed with music, but not all of us have thought about creating it ourselves. Teens have a lot of free time on their hands. Many spend countless hours scrolling on their phones or watching movies, which is good every once and a while.

But while you have endless hours to do nothing at home, playing an instrument can fill you with a passion you would never have imagined. If you are a busy person, you can still pick up an instrument and find the time to do so.

As a teen who plays multiple instruments (piano, flute, trumpet, ukulele, trombone), I can assure you of the benefits of playing an instrument in high school so that you know what you are getting yourself into, and let me say, you are getting yourself into something great!

Personal Growth

When you're trying something new, getting out of your comfort zone is vital. This is the beginning of a new journey loaded with personal growth. When you play an instrument, you are most likely performing in front of people, which can take years of getting used to.

This is what builds confidence! The more skilled you are at playing your instrument, the more confidence you are able to express in your performances, attracting positive attention and compliments about your talent. It doesn't just make you feel confident in your playing, though. It can also make you feel confident in yourself as a whole.

During the learning process, you will make loads of mistakes. Your confidence will grow by learning from these mistakes and taking them as lessons as opposed to failures. As a young musician, I have made millions of playing mistakes, but being mindful of them is how you improve, so it's actually a good thing!

Playing an instrument as a teen helps you learn to accept and fix your mistakes instead of dwelling on them. This is an important skill that can be applied to real-life situations.

As you are practicing and making mistakes, you will notice that there are certain things you must do in order to make a good sound and stay focused. Whether it's repeating a measure a thousand times to get it right, or sitting up straight with excellent posture so your sound sounds just as good as you look, these small actions and habits are a form of self-discipline. You must take your playing seriously and be determined in order to improve.

Hopefully, if you love the instrument that you are playing, you will develop a passion for it. Having a passion for what you are doing will help you achieve the tremendous results you are looking for in your playing. If you love what you do, you will stick with it.

However, you may not love what you are doing right away. It can be tricky to love something you aren't good at yet. Once you are better at playing your instrument, you will hopefully develop a passion for it, which is a huge stepping stone in your musical growth.

Passion is what connects you to others who relate to that same passion. It is something to talk about and playing an instrument is something people do together. It builds a community.

Finding that others share a passion with you is an easy way to connect with them and find more people just like you. These people who share these similarities will most likely be friends you keep for a long time or even the rest of your life!

Boredom Cure

Other than being on your phone all the time, pick up your instrument and make some music! Practicing is a good way to cure the boredom of a long day when you can't think of anything to do.

Maybe you don't have work that day and you want to stay home, but you're not sure what to do. Playing an instrument is a great way to cure this boredom. Once you've picked your instrument up (or sit down at your instrument) and play some notes, your boredom will disappear.

Getting involved in your school's band is another thing you can do to solve a boredom problem. This will make you commit to your instrument and not get lazy with it. It will force you to practice and will give you music to practice that will fit your skill level.

Doing so will also help you improve a lot because you'll be playing your instrument often instead of at home playing whenever you want, which may be once a week.

In school, you can join concert band, jazz band, marching band, pep band, or orchestra. Depending on which school you go to, you may have a choice, or you may have to do all of the above if you don't play a string instrument. You get to go to lots of football games to perform the half-time show and play in the pep band. You get to participate in marching or concert band contests.

You can play in honor bands if you really get good, where you can make a bunch of new friends from different schools. If your school goes on trips with the band, then you can travel and also audition for other honor bands where you get to travel to as well. There are so many opportunities that will challenge your musical skills and help you have fun.

Musical Spark

A passion for music can easily spark a career. Maybe you've always wanted to compose your own music or transpose other songs to fit the instrument you play. Playing an instrument in high school can lead you down a new path you never thought you'd follow.

The passion you can pick up from playing an instrument is irresistible and that is something that will stick with you for the rest of your life, so why not do something more with that skill?

Brainy Benefits

While playing an instrument, you will most likely be made to memorize music. This means repeating phrases over and over and over again. It can be tedious, but it won't be long until you realize you remember how to play certain songs because you've played them repeatedly. Playing an instrument increases the capacity of your memory, making it easier for you to remember other things as well.

Playing an instrument promotes the growth of the parts of your brain that control motor skills. These skills are physical skills like using your fingers to play your instrument.

It boosts your focus, enabling you to concentrate for longer periods of time while playing with others in a band or orchestra. Some studies even say that playing an instrument increases your IQ by seven points!

Another great benefit to playing an instrument is that it refines your time management and organizational skills. This is important for knowing when and how long to practice as well as sorting music.

An increase in grades is also another benefit that can occur when playing an instrument. Studies show that students who play instruments tend to achieve higher grades in school.


Bonding with others over music and making friends is a guarantee when you join band or orchestra. You have to talk with your section as well as other sections to discuss music, ask questions, and put on a great show. It is important to communicate with each other to fix what is needed and cheer each other on.

Being in band or orchestra is like being on a sports team. If you don't communicate, nothing will be accomplished. So it's important to chat among your band/orchestra mates during rehearsal.

Making friends is one of the most fun parts about playing an instrument. You find people just like you who share an interest in making music. It is a good time to be social and to make lasting connections.

If you play in a band or orchestra as opposed to playing by yourself at home, it is good to practice with everyone as a whole or your section or a friend that you made who is in band or orchestra. This is a great way to bond with others and not have to practice alone all the time. It is a lot of fun practicing with others and hearing how the sounds flow together.

Websites For Sheet Music & Beginners

Here are some websites you can find music that suits your skill level and other materials for beginners down below.

Musescore: https://musescore.com/

J.W. Pepper Sheet Music: https://www.jwpepper.com/sheet-music/welcome.jsp

Sheet Music Plus: https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/

Music Notes: https://www.musicnotes.com/

Tuner: https://tuner.ninja/

You can look up a metronome on Google and it will give you a virtual one. I suggest looking up scales as well to help with practicing notes and what the scales are exactly.

To know the notes of the scales, you'll need a fingering chart, or if you don't have an instrument that requires that, some sort of chart for strings or percussion.

What's On Your Musical Horizon?

Playing an instrument isn't just playing an instrument. It is all of these things together that allow a great experience while making music.

This hobby or profession supports personal growth, benefits for the brain, and improves mental health by relieving stress and adding to your social circle.

There are no cons to this list. If you already play an instrument, now you have a better understanding of why it is so good for you, and if you don't, now is the time to pick one up and start living out these benefits.

Morgan Lahm
5,000+ pageviews

Writer since Jun, 2022 · 6 published articles

Morgan is a high school senior from Nebraska with an undeniable love for writing and mostly writes poetry, short stories, and articles. While she is not writing, she plays the trumpet, works out, runs, and reads. She hopes to help open minds and aspires to impact people with her writing and change the lives of all that need it.