Learning to read music allows you to play your chosen instrument more effortlessly. It also gives you the confidence to take risks and become more creative with your music. As a result, you’re able to inject more passion into your performances, always rewarding yourself and your audience.
Of course, the benefits don’t stop there! Reading music also impacts other aspects of your life, such as mental and physical health. It’s also known to be one of the most effective cognitive exercises out there.
What else does this skill have to offer? Read on to find out.
Why Should You Learn to Read Music?
By improving your connection with music beyond just listening to it, you’re able to open the doors to many of its amazing benefits, namely:
1. Get a Better Understanding of Music
Unless you think a particular kind of music is pleasing to the ear, you probably won’t care much for it. Knowing how to read music can change your perception of this. It can make you gain an appreciation for music you used to think was “weird” or “strange”, or look at something you used to consider “noise” as a unique kind of music.
Take clapping music, for instance. More often than not, someone who doesn’t know how to read music will simply consider it as one-dimensional clapping; nothing more, nothing less.
On the other hand, someone who knows how to read music knows there’s more to the musical score than just clapping sounds. They will see how sections of the piece overlap with each other, resulting in complex rhythms that eventually blend seamlessly.
Having this kind of knowledge means you’re able to understand the elements that compose a musical piece and have a full grasp of the whole composition.
Learning about musical clefs is an important first step for gaining a holistic understanding of music. These musical symbols indicate the pitch of the notes written in a composition.
2. Connect With People
Anyone who has a deep connection with music is rarely ever at a loss for what to do during their free time. Your options are practically limitless when you know how to read music. There’s a host of musically productive activities to occupy your time with, from joining the school band or orchestra during the weekdays to participating in the church choir during weekends and holidays.
All these scenarios can make for some fun, genuine times with people who share the same interest and passion for music as you do. You can cultivate friendships and gain musical knowledge beyond what you’re able to learn on your own.
3. Improve Musical Education
Even if your music knowledge isn’t that extensive, learning how to write and read melodies can actually make studying the art less daunting. Having this comprehensive knowledge of the basics offers you a solid foundation for more advanced musical learning. It also helps you progress through the levels of music education more seamlessly.
4. Understand Culture and History
Music shaped so much of what we are now. Music education doesn’t just teach you about music, but it also takes you on a journey through history and opens the doors to different aspects of cultures you never thought to examine.
Music from the classical period, for instance, with its perfect structure and symmetry, reflects the architectural style of that time. Then, we have music from the romantic period, which, with its boldness and loudness, demonstrates that era’s love for over-the-top structures and buildings, like palaces.
Knowing how to read music not only makes learning the art more fascinating, but it also helps you discover what type of music truly holds your passion.
5. Boost Self-Esteem
Anyone who has mastered a musical instrument will tell you how confidence boosting such a skill is. More than that, though, the road to reading, writing, and playing music with your instrument of choice ingrains essential life skills, like self-discipline, perseverance, and hard work.
While you don’t necessarily need to learn how to read music to be able to perform, having that kind of skill helps you gain an appreciation for your art even more. With it, you can inject your unique creativity into your music for a performance that’s equally satisfying for you and your audience.
Let’s also not forget that reading music allows you to practice completely new music whenever you want. In that way, if you feel like playing to relieve stress, nothing should be able to hold you back.
The benefits of music are far too extensive to be covered by a single article. However, the advantages discussed above should be more than enough to convince anyone not just to limit themselves to “playing it by ear” and to really get into the technical side of music for a consistent immersive experience. To understand music on a holistic level, you have to be able to pick apart the elements of its musical score, study them, and take them to heart.