Growing up, your mom told you to practice the piano. When you asked why, she would either say, “Because it’s good for you!” or, “Because I said so!” Perhaps this led to you feeling frustrated and eventually giving up the instrument. It’s a common occurrence.

Now that you’re older, you know that playing an instrument might be fun, but you can’t come up with a compelling reason why it should take away time from other important things. Or maybe you want to get started but your significant other thinks it might be a waste of time.

Mom knew it was good, but she probably wasn’t aware of the details. Fortunately, today’s scientific research on the brain reveals many amazing and surprising benefits to learning music at any age.

Here are nine very good reasons to start playing an instrument, all related to your brain. Once you’ve read them, you’ll have to come up with reasons not to play an instrument.

1. Playing Music Increases Our Connection To Others