8 Reasons Why Music Education Improves Your Life

Photo Credit: XiaoYi Huang

Don’t have the motivation this week to attend class? Here are 8 reasons why learning music improves your cognitive abilities in all other subjects.

Better reading and verbal skills

One study from the Northwestern University for instance theorized that there are five key skills that govern how well we learn a language: “phonological awareness, speech-in-noise perception, rhythm perception, auditory working memory and the ability to learn sound patterns.” 

In their study, they had a group of kids assigned to reading lessons, while some also received a random assignment of musical training, painting, and other visual arts. They found that the kids learning music outperformed all the others when it came to reading.


Why Every Child Must Learn To Play Music, Here Are 11 Ways It Makes You Better
Gwyn Mello – https://www.indiatimes.com/technology/science-and-future/why-every-child-must-learn-to-play-music-here-are-11-ways-it-makes-you-better-377820.html

Increase in IQ

Creative thinking is part of a musician’s expertise. When playing any instrument, you are required to use both hands. Remember at grade school when kids would try to pet their head at the same time as rubbing their bellies, and why some people aren’t used to the movement? That’s called bimanual interference, when the brain is controlling multiple movements. When learning music, you’re using both the right and left sides of the brain. Research showed an increase in IQ and SAT scores for those with musical training.

Math becomes easier

When you’re reading sheet music, it’s like putting together an equation.

One study mentions how when groups of first graders were given music instruction including skill development and musical games involving rhythm and pitch, they scored significantly better in math after just six months. Another from UCLA showed that while kids involved in the arts tended to develop faster academically than those not, and those involved in music saw the most gains, all the way up to Grade 12. “We have some pretty good data that music instruction does reliably improve spatial-temporal skills in children over time,” says Dr Kyle Pruett, a clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine. “These skills come into play in solving multistep problems one would encounter in architecture, engineering, math, art, gaming, and especially working with computers.”


Why Every Child Must Learn To Play Music, Here Are 11 Ways It Makes You Better
Gwyn Mello – https://www.indiatimes.com/technology/science-and-future/why-every-child-must-learn-to-play-music-here-are-11-ways-it-makes-you-better-377820.html

Don’t forget about languages

Multiple research papers have been done connecting language and music. There is a direct correlation between musical pitch and tonal language perception. Think about the ABC song or a memorable voice. We’re more likely to remember the way something sounds when there’s a tonal difference with the words. In addition, both language and music are ways to bring a community together.

Ward off hearing loss

We admit, if your nightly activity involves a loud rock concert, you will most likely experience hearing loss, but what we’re talking about here is peripheral hearing loss, which refers to the minute details in an auditory environment. For example, understanding what a person is saying in a noisy room. You know that situation when your grandma is constantly yelling “HUH?”, while you’re telling her about your position at work during a Christmas party? Well, when you’re learning music, you’re taught to hear more intently.

Improve Memory

Both your short term and long term memory will improve. Practicing your skills over time will help with cognitive recall, which will strengthen over time. Musicians also perform better in memory exercises.

Photo Credit: Elijah M Henderson

Stress Management

University of Vermont College of Medicine analyzed the brain scans of 232 children ages 6-18. They noticed that musical practice thickened the cortical areas that involved emotional processing. James Hudziak, the main professor involved in this study, said that playing the violin may help deal with anxiety better than medication.

Confidence Boost

3 years of piano performance is enough to build self-esteem. We have an immediate connection to songs, so when certain lyrics and beats can give you a confidence boost. Imagine being the person on stage playing the music.

Creativity

Do you ever feel like you’re in the zone when you’re simply listening to music? In one experiment, participants tried creative exercises either in complete silence or listening to classical music. Those who listened to music had higher scores in divergent thinking.