There has been research that supports that being a musician can have certain non-musical benefits; and these benefits last a lifetime. A study in the journal Social Science Quarterly found that music also had positive effects on reading and math. Studies conducted by cognitive neuroscientists correlated music training with improved cognition, motivation, attention, memory and other developmental benefits.
Humans are wired for music. Until recently, scientists did not know how music affected the brain. With the advancement of technology, scientists can actually see the brain activity via PET scans and MRIs. Most activities only cause a portion of the brain to “light up” with activity; thus the saying right-brain/left-brain. But music makes all of the areas “light up” and create new neural pathways as a person is learning and playing an instrument. These neural pathways remain intact and can be used for other learning experiences besides music.
These benefits can pay off for decades, even for those who no longer play instruments. Research has shown that musical activity throughout life may serve as a challenging cognitive exercise, making one’s brain fitter and more capable of accommodating the challenges of aging. Since studying an instrument requires years of practice and learning, it may create alternate connections in the brain that could compensate for cognitive declines as we grow older. When tested, seniors who were musicians performed better on tasks of both verbal and visual memory than non-musicians. They also discovered that life-long musicians have less age-related hearing problems. The researchers attributed this to a “use it or lose it” type of phenomenon, as musicians are regularly required to use their auditory skills.
Apart from scientific research, there is also evidence that music programs help develop internal strengths in children, like initiative, creativity, resiliency and a belief in self. To learn music and musical performance children must overcome many obstacles. Orchestral music presents the kinds of challenges that develop initiative, including the opportunity to choose one’s instrument, participation in an environment that contains rules and complexities, and long-term practice and repetition.
Music keeps the mind sharp, serving as a challenging cognitive exercise; it feeds the soul, develops character and boosts creativity. It engages children in an activity that increases their capacity to thrive as adults. What a great investment!
When you feel your child is ready for formal lessons, don’t forget Back to Basics. We offer 1 on 1 lessons in piano, flute, tenor sax, clarinet, guitar, trumpet and more! Call us at 302-594-0754.
For 27 years, Back to Basics Learning Dynamics Inc. has been recognized as the undisputed leader in one-on-one tutoring in Delaware. In addition, the company offers a unique Department of Education-approved Private School for grades K-12 and a Private Business and Trade School for ages 16 and older. Back to Basics is the 2010 Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics.