Why Learn to Play an Instrument and Take Music Lessons?

Research shows that young people who take music lessons have significantly better developed brains then those who have never learned music. There a countless articles and discussions on the topic of children’s music lessons and the development of the brain.

As early as the 19th century, the visionary Dr. Maria Montessori included music and arts into her worldwide school curriculum to greatly enhance and accelerate learning.

The brain develops at a rapid rate between birth and three and is an essential window for the development of neurons. Therefore, encouraging musical exploration is an easy way to promote intellectual development.

It is important to note that while studies show positive influences in other academic areas, music and the Fine Arts are an academic discipline that are, as the other academics, an independent way of learning and knowing.

Dr. Patricia Powers states, “It is not unusual to see program cuts in the area of music and arts when economic issues surface. It is indeed unfortunate to lose support in this area especially since music and the art programs contribute to society in many positive ways.” What some school boards do not know is that cutting music might cause test scores to fall due to the positive effect on everything from academics to citizenship and ironically personal hygiene

According to the Florida Music Educators Association, “Music and the Fine Arts have been a significant portion of every culture’s educational system for more than 3,000 years. The human brain has been shown to be “hard-wired” for music; there is a biological basis for music being an important part of human experience. Music and the Arts surround daily life in our present day culture. Most present day artists, architects, and musicians acquired their interests during public school music classes… Education without the Fine Arts is fundamentally impoverished and subsequently leads to an impoverished society.

The incorporation of music training from preschool to post secondary education is common in most nations because involvement in music is considered a fundamental component of human culture and behavior.

Music Lessons and performance provide the following developmental skills in children. Adults have noticed significant changes in mental acuity when learning how to play an instrument.

1. The ability to read a map, put puzzles together, form mental images, transform and/or visualize things in space that unfold over time, and recognize relationships between objects. This skill is often associated with science and math.

2. The symbols used in music notation can help with math especially in the area of equations.

3. Learning Music helps people with their thinking skills and organization of ideas into logical structures.

4. Learning an instrument optimizes the brain neuron development.

5. Playing music helps develop motor coordination and eye – hand coordination also know as psycho-motor coordination.

6. Playing in a band or orchestra helps people with communication skills.

7. Playing in a band promotes cooperation, social harmony and teaches people discipline while working toward a common goal.

8. Music augments memory. The repetition of playing a tune in a predictable structure makes memorization easier.

9. Improves critical reading and writing.

10. Raises test scores. and teaches people how to manage stress during exams.

11. Boosts creative thinking.

12. Improvisation helps people think on their feet.

13. Helps children channel unexpressed and/or negative emotions in a positive way.