It’s no secret that learning to play, read, and write music is beneficial for the brain. In young minds, it has even more significant effects and a longer-lasting impact, as it can hone a wide variety of cognitive skills. Traditionally, students studied music in school or took private lessons – and nowadays, the option to learn music is even available online. Programs such as TakeLessons Tutoring are allowing students to learn in a non-traditional way, which is important in today’s busy life.
Unfortunately, public school music programs are dying out. In America especially, state budget cuts, decreased funding, and a general shift toward physical activity programs have pushed music programs to the side – or out completely. Not only does this alarming trend put the future of music in jeopardy, it robs children of a critical learning process that could significantly improve their academic progress – and future. Luckily, private tutors and lessons are still plentiful – and the best part is, if you can’t find a good local tutor you like, those online resources like are available.
Consider these three major ways music education benefits children’s learning and growth:
Research has shown that brain activity in music learners is different from non-music learners, especially in the areas of sound recognition, abstract reasoning, and fine motor skills. Studies done at institutions like Johns Hopkins University, Harvard Medical School, and Boston College demonstrate that the results of brain imaging show significant changes in the brain networks of students who receive music instruction regularly.
The Children’s Music Workshop claims that music education helps physically develop the part of the left side of the brain that is involved with processing language. As such, the brain circuits can be re-wired in new ways. In addition, studies show that rhythm recognition can be used as a memory aid.
Learn an instrument and it will help with learning a language? It sounds too good to be true! While learning another language definitely takes a lot of effort, it’s made easier when learning an instrument too. Stimulating the left side of the brain helps process a new language, just as it does when playing music and processing notes. When you really think about it, learning to play an instrument and read music is a lot like learning a new language, so it makes a lot of sense that those two go hand in hand.
Though scientists are quick to clarify that studying music doesn’t make one smarter, the result of its cognitive effects (including the ones listed above) naturally lead to a more developed brain overall – and as a result, can lead to slight increases in IQ scores.
There is an endless number of ways that learning music can benefit young minds, but these three are among the most critical to the argument for keeping it in children’s education. When given the statistical research and proven positive effects of music on a child’s progress, growth, and academic success, it should be a no-brainer.