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The #1 New Skill You Should Learn

Date:03-09-2013 06:51:54 read:1
Category:Life Style-->Entertainment

Strum your way to happiness.

It’s never too late to strap on an axe. Learning to play an instrument later in life can improve your mental and physical health, says a new study from the U.K.’s Royal College of Music.

After older adults spent 10 weeks taking music lessons, their well-being scores on a mental health exam increased by an average of 7 percent. The new musicians also spent more time breaking a sweat and meeting with friends or acquaintances.

Research has found that general learning boosts happiness and energy levels later in adulthood. Picking up an instrument not only ups your short-term sense of pleasure, but also bolsters longer-term feelings of personal satisfaction and progress as you get the hang of it—things that tend to wane as you age, the researchers say.

To reap the benefits, choose an instrument that interests you. If you’ve always thought it would be cool to play piano or drums, you’ll experience more satisfaction and benefits from working toward that goal than you would from picking up dad’s old guitar, the research shows.

The best news: There are apps to help for every instrument. For example, aspiring pianists will benefit from Learn Piano HD ($1.99, iOS), which guides you through the basics. And no matter what you choose, Mobile Metronome (Free, Android) helps you keep the beat.

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