Playing an Instrument Can Make You Happy and….Smarter
Music can make us happy, help us to enjoy movement and dance, it invigorates, is a reminder of special memories and helps us to stay relaxed and focused. Music is a powerful tool for personal expression as well as for setting a backdrop for important events. In the past, singing and playing instruments were integral to family life. According to a study published by the American Psychological Association, playing an instrument keeps the mind sharper. Research has also shown that all kinds of intelligence can be improved by music instruction, and that just listening to music brings about the same benefits as does music-making.
Music requires not only creativity and a certain level of maturity; but it also involves working with mathematics skills. Music requires counting beats and measures, along with sub-dividing those beats. Within the ability to sub-divide beats, musicians also gain the skill to work with them as if they are fractions. A musician must multitask between reading and playing the music with looking at the conductor. It is all a complex process that stimulates different parts of the brain simultaneously. The ability to master these skills provides children with the opportunity to reach their full mental potential.
Playing a musical instrument or developing an appreciation of music has many benefits and can bring joy to you and to everyone around you.
Increased Language Proficiency
Verbal proficiency is the result of the development of the cortical auditory processing in people who study musical instruments when they were young. Learning about tone and scores is essential when playing a musical instrument. With this knowledge comes the ability to store audio information. Not only does this make it easier to learn other languages and have a better verbal memory in your own language, but it has been noted that musicians are able to pick out exactly what others are feeling just by the tone of their voices. Musical instrument players have distinctly different brains; science has confirmed this. Multiple studies that used brain scans found that those who are musically inclined display superior brain volume and more grey matter than nonmusicians. In one study conducted by Skoe and Kraus in 2012, people who played musical instruments as children showed stronger brainstem response to sound than non-musicians. Music students who were tested for verbal memory showed a superior recall for words as compared to non-music students (Ho et al., 1998; 2003).
Many studies have been conducted on the effects of music to the brain. Scientists say that children who are exposed to music, or those who play an instrument, are better students than those who don’t. Recent research suggests that exposure to music may benefit a child’s reading age, IQ and the development of certain parts of the brain. Adults can also benefit from learning to play an instrument because it trains the mind to become alert and remain active and also helps to sharpen the memory. Lutz Jancke, a psychologist at the University of Zurich, stated: “Learning to play a musical instrument has definite benefits and can increase IQ by seven points, in both children and adults.” An analysis of 10 years of SAT data revealed that students who took four years of arts courses in high school earned the highest scores on both the verbal and math SAT, but overall; students taking any arts courses scored considerably higher than students who didn’t take arts courses (Vaughn et al., 2000). Of these students, those who took music courses earned the highest math and the second highest verbal SAT scores (College Board, 2010). Scores up to 52 points higher on the verbal SAT and 37 points higher on the math section are routinely achieved by college-bound high school seniors with musical training compared to peers without any musical training.
Better Math Skills
Research has found a link between music and spatial intelligence. Inother words, it has been proven that understanding music can help children when visualizing various elements that should go together, similarly to what they would do when solving a math problem. Counting beats helps children develop their understanding of whole numbers. Music notation helps them identify shapes and spatial relationships which forms the basis of geometry. Analyzing music pitch and pace develops their ability to measure and compare. Numerous research studies have been conducted to highlight the relationship between music education and brain development. These studies provide fascinating evidence that music significantly increases a child’s cognitive ability. Students who study music outperform their non-music peers in assessments of math, and the advantage that music provides increases over time. One study found that children who played instruments achieved significantly higher math test scores than children who didn’t benefit from music education. These findings are apparent regardless of socio-economic status and race/ethnicity (Baker, 2011: Catterall, 1998).
A Musical Lifestyle
The ability to play an instrument can improve your child’s abilities in learning and other life skills. While parents may hope that registering their child in a music program will make their child smarter, the primary reasons to provide your child with a musical education should be to help enhance their musical talents, to appreciate all aspects of music, and to respect the process of learning an instrument. All of which are invaluable lifelong skills. Engagement, persistence and creativity are components of higher-level thinking and complex problem solving (Costa & Kallick, 2000). Music education nurtures these habits of mind that are essential for success in today’s global, knowledge-based economy in the following ways: by sharpening student attentiveness, strengthening perseverance, equipping students to be creative and supporting better study habits and self-esteem. A study by Lichtenberg, Woock, & Wright, 2008 determined that employers identify creativity as one of the top five skills important for success in the workforce.
Take the first step with Music & Arts
At Music & Arts you can take advantage of our hassle-free rental process in-store, in school or online. Choose from our large selection of clarinets, keyboards, guitars, violins, trumpets, drums and more. If you later decided to purchase the instrument, all of your rental payment can be applied toward your purchase. We also offer a convenient repair and maintenance plan from our expert technicians. <LEARN MORE>
Private lessons are available for every type of instrument. Our music teachers are dedicated to learning about your personal musical goals, and helping you to achieve them. With experienced professionals for electric guitar, acoustic guitar, voice, drum set, and electric bass and more, we have the right teacher to meet your needs. In addition to their teaching credentials, all instructors undergo thorough background and reference checks to ensure student safety. And with lessons available every day of the week, we can accommodate almost any student. Contact us today to begin following your musical dreams. <LEARN MORE>
To learn more about lessons or rentals at one of Music & Arts’ 135+ locations, find your nearest neighborhood store.