Music has a powerful way of uniting us - it connects us to one another. Research shows that learning to play a musical instrument together is one way of developing strong and positive relationships.
It may be parent and child, grandparent and child, siblings, couples, friends, community groups - whomever you learn to play with, playing together is an easy, fun way to build great relationships.
As a family of 4 boys, we grew up learning to play instruments together. Some of our fondest memories involve sitting around as a family after dinner playing our guitars together. Of course there was always a bit of healthy competition but the bond we had as brothers was and continues to be strong - so strong in fact that we took it forward into later life and made a business of it!
So why does playing together bring us closer?
There’s little question that humans are wired for music. Researchers recently discovered that we have a dedicated part of our brain for processing music, supporting the theory that it has a special, important function in our lives.
Studies have shown that we feel closer and more connected through the shared experience of music. This would account for why we love to watch live music, come together at festivals and attend our favourite bands gigs.
Playing together is also important in our sense of belonging and group affiliation.According to researchers, when we try to synch with others musically we tend to feel positive social feelings towards those with whom we’re synchronizing. Though it’s unclear exactly why that happens, coordinating movement with another person is linked to the release of pleasure chemicals (endorphins) in the brain, which may explain why we get those positive, warm feelings when we make music together.
Playing together also makes the learning processes easier - you can encourage, motivate and achieve much more together when you join forces and experience the joy of playing together.