Back in the nineteenth century, musical ability was seen as a sign of great intellect. Like mathematics and studying the classics, music was seen as one of the four essential skills that marked a true thinker apart from the general population. Over time, that view has changed, but science has discovered that there was a lot of wisdom in the attitudes of the nineteenth century. It turns out that learning to play a musical instrument really is good for your brain.
This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to encourage children to learn a musical instrument while they’re young. At that stage, their brain is still wiring itself up, making it the perfect time to get them interested in playing the drums, the flute, the piano or whatever else they might be interested in. Music is a universal language, like maths, and they’ll be able to use it in the future to connect with others and spread joy, no matter what their culture or background.
Most scientists agree that music is beneficial for child development. They’ve discovered many brain benefits of music. Here is just a sample of what they’ve discovered and why music helps make kids very intelligent.
It Boosts Brain Power
Music is all about pattern recognition, memory, and melody, and so it’s no surprise that it helps to boost brain power. It turns out that on a fundamental level, maths and music are actually rather similar. Both rely on a strict set of rules, accuracy, and rigor, although maths is arguably even stricter than music.
According to Meredith LeVande, a woman with a passion for helping children enjoy music over the internet, music is associated with higher academic achievement. Not only are there benefits from playing a musical instrument, but LeVande says that children who listen to music on a regular basis also do better in school.
Why this occurs is not entirely understood. However, it is believed that music stimulates the same brain regions as mathematics, reading and emotional development. The patterns contained in music help exercise those parts of the brain, developing them faster and earlier.
It Improves Social Skills
The direct benefits of learning to play a musical instrument are many, but there are also indirect benefits too. One of those is that it helps to develop children’s social skills by encouraging them to break out of their shell. If your child is quiet and isolated, then being a part of a choir or music ensemble can encourage them to do things in concert with other children, actively helping them feel part of a group.
The composer and conductor Maestro Eduardo Marturet from the Miami Symphony Orchestra says that being in an ensemble helps children relate better to others and teaches them the benefits of working in a tram. After all, if one person in the orchestra is playing out of tune, it can sound really bad. They’ll also get to experience the rewards of doing things together, which can be substantial. It’s an important life skill, Marturet says, because of the fact that so many jobs in today’s economy require close collaboration with others. Children who learn to be team players early on are more likely to have success in their careers down the road.
It Helps Build Confidence
One of the reasons why learning to play a musical instrument is so beneficial is that it is a way for children to learn how to master their world around them. As a child, the wider world can sometimes seem a little daunting, thanks to the fact that everything is so big and complicated. But playing a musical instrument gives children confidence that they’re able to master a particular object and bend it to their will.
According to music teachers, children gain self-worth when, after having worked hard, they’re able to play a new melody. What’s more, with experimentation and repeated practice, they find that they get better and better, prompting them to take more risks and feel more confident in their own abilities.
It Teaches Patience
Whether you opt for Skype piano lessons or lessons in person, learning to play the piano or any other musical instrument can be a time-consuming process. The average master musician spends more than 10,000 hours in practice sessions before they reach a professional level. The fact that it takes so long to master a musical instrument is actually a good thing, especially in a world dominated by instant gratification. These days, you don’t have to wait for much, and entertainment is always available through internet streaming services. But when learning to play a musical instrument, you have to be willing to put in the hours and wait a long time before you start getting good. It’s a long process.
Music Improves Memory
Learning music is a multifaceted process, one in which children have to master many cognitive tricks to produce pleasant music. One of those tricks is the good use of memory. When it comes to music, there’s a lot to remember, especially when you consider just how many pieces of music there are out there. Memory is essential for learning how to play and remembering particular melodies.
Experts like Marturet, say that every time a child learns a particular piece of music, they are forced to consign it to memory. This stimulates the memory-making parts of the brain and helps it to develop even more. After a couple of years learning to play a musical instrument, children have often learned dozens of pieces of music off by heart and playing them becomes second nature.
Music Helps Spur Creativity
Go out and ask any top employer what they’re looking for most in their workforce, and they’ll tell you it’s creativity. As machines do more and more written and mathematical tasks, creativity is becoming the new high-value skill employers are looking for. People with the ability to come up with something new from scratch are in high demand, mainly because it’s not something machines are able to do very well. When was the last time you watched a movie or listened to a piece of music composed by a machine?
Because of this, children should focus on doing things that improve their ability to be creative. Just like paint or clay, music is something that can be used to great artistic effect. Children don’t just have to play music written by somebody else – they can come up with their own melodies and try to create something truly original.
Practice Makes Perfect
Another reason why music is so beneficial is the fact that it teaches discipline. It turns out that the people who get the most out of their lives are not necessarily those who are most talented, but those who are willing to go out day after day to achieve their goals. In many ways, it’s persistence, not ability that is the true arbiter of success – though having both doesn’t hurt.
Mira Stulberg-Halper says that learning to play a musical instrument isn’t just about turning up to classes, it’s also about practicing religiously at home as well. As a result, playing a musical instrument helps to improve discipline in the whole family and forces both parents and children to dedicate themselves to practice sessions, even if it’s early on a Sunday morning.
Music Helps Children To Express Themselves
We usually think of writing, art, and poetry as means to express oneself, but for the musically talented, music is a great outlet. Music is what served as a creative vehicle for some of the world’s greatest composers in history, and it can be a great way for your child to express themselves too.
Music is, in many ways, unique. It’s able to say things which are simply impossible in words. And it’s able to convey emotion better than practically any other medium. Music reaches deep into the soul and allows you to pluck out whatever melody feels appropriate for your mood. In this way, it’s truly unique.
Music Is A Form Of Learning
One of the great things about music is that it is learning, but it doesn’t feel like it. The brain is working hard, but the conscious mind isn’t having to force that hard work for fear of failing an upcoming exam. In this way, music differs from regular learning in school. Whereas regular learning in school is driven by fear of failure and sheer willpower, musical education is driven by curiosity and a desire for mastery. Musical children often don’t need to be told that they must practice by their parents. Instead, they simply do it naturally of their own volition. This is the best way, as sustaining effort through fear or failure, rather than passion for the subject matter, is almost impossible over the long-term.
Music Helps Children Connect With The Real World
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that music is something that gets children away from screens and firmly back in the real world. It’s something which helps them to connect to the people around them and replaces things like aimlessly scrolling through Facebook.
Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you found this post interesting on how music makes your kids smart.
*This is a collaborative post