Adults and children can benefit insurmountably through learning the language of music and how to play an instrument. There have been studies done showing how certain regions of the brain are bigger in musicians – these findings were reinforced through longitudinal studies showing how 14 months of music training showed structural and functional brain changes compared to individuals who had not. Musicians have also outperformed non-musicians in verbal memory, spatial reasoning, and literacy skills. Music can also be a way to safeguard one’s mind from cognitive impairment later in life when a music instrument was learned and practiced early in life.
Parents.com has great information on why adding music lessons to your child’s schedule is beneficial to their development, as well as their future. Overall, music education improves academic skills, develops physical skills, fosters social skills, improves discipline and patience, enhances self-esteem, and can even introduce children to other cultures. Learning different types of instruments can show children how mathematic and scientific principles apply to their practice through understanding the beat, rhythm and notes within the music. Motor and coordination skills are improved when learning percussion instruments, and the development of ambidexterity is needed when learning instruments like violin and piano. No matter what learning an instrument requires a combination of discipline and patiences. The child will not be able to achieve immediate gratification and therefor will learn an important lesson that through practice and effort a greater sense of accomplishment can be achieved – which will also boost the child’s self-esteem and self-competence. In group classes students must learn how to work with other kids effectively how-to problem solve when issues arise. These are all important skills in building a foundation for children to do well through their academic career and beyond!
For all the adults out there, and even those approaching (or in) their golden years, it is not too late to gain powerful benefits from learning an instrument. Margaret Manning wrote a great article about this topic and many of the benefits she lists mirror those listed above. Learning music is a great way to make friends for adults too, and it can also be a way to boost one’s confidence. As we age our physical health can be at a greater risk for many different types of afflictions. For adults and seniors that have suffered from a stroke or other forms of brain damage studies have shown that musical education aids rehabilitation tremendously.
Our brains are the most important organ in our bodies and learning music has been shown to reach and strengthen parts of the brain that other things simply cannot do. So let’s take care of our brains while having fun at the same time!
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