Music and the Brain

Music and the Brain

The benefits of music education.

Over the years, music has become the leader for programs to be cancelled in many schools.  But this comes at great cost of necessary child development that is often overlooked.  Here we will dive into the three areas that music lessons and education can improve: Brain Development, Academic Achievement, and Personal Enrichment.

Brain Development

Musical training is a workout for the brain.  It exercises at a neural level and creates what scientists call a more symmetrical central sulcus.  Or rather, since we are using both our right and left hands our brains do not have a more dominant side versus the other.  They become more well rounded, spreading this evenness to other areas of brain function as well.  This is why we encourage young musicians to begin at the age of two and a half or three years old!  Might as well give your child a chance for their brain to develop more symmetrically starting in the early stages.

90% of preschool children showed increase in verbal intelligence after just 20 days of musical training.  And did you know that all music is written in Italian?  Therefore, they are also getting international and lingual exposure!  This type of brain development also aids in sensory and motor function.  You may gain muscles and agility with sports, but instruments will give you precise and accurate motor skills tied to creativity and memory.

Finally, playing piano and learning music is helpful in listening skills. Both in attentiveness and in finding pitch, listening to music helps children to pinpoint specific sounds instead of being distracted by background noise.  This has been proven to be particularly helpful with children who have learning disorders.

Academic Achievement

Learning music prepares children to think abstractly about math and art. All of music is broken down to mathematical symmetry and equations.  Each measure has to come out to the same number.  This prepares children for math and to find math in all areas of life without boring them.  Music is all patterns and rhythms: math hidden inside sound.  Therefore, they get some sort of a math lesson without them even knowing it.

This type of brain development teaches the student to turn off stereotypical triggers and instead find a creative voice within.  Piano players have been proven to succeed more in writing, science, extracurricular activities, and attend a 4 year university.  Not to mention how impressive playing the piano looks on a college resume!

Personal Enrichment

How many times have you heard an adult complain, “I stopped lessons when I was younger, but wish I had continued playing.” This is because playing an instrument is a gift that one can carry for a lifetime!  Knowing how to read and play music gives one an outlet in which they can express their creativity or anger or sadness or happiness!  The old saying goes, “Where words cease, music lives.”

Playing can also boost ones confidence!  We strive to provide annual recitals because of the joy our students experience after getting onstage and performing their songs.  Sure, before recitals the jitters can take over.  But after a child faces his or her fears and receives the supporting applaud from the audience, there is a confidence grown that can never be taken back.

Finally, learning music is a discipline that I believe is foundational for success in life.  It demands perseverance, attentiveness, and overall better study habits.  Starting a child in music lessons and playing an instrument is setting them up for success in life.  They benefit in so many areas seen and unseen.  But the most applaudable benefit being that they are set up for a more enriched life.

 

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