Not everyone is musically inclined nor does everyone have an interest in learning to read or write music. However, experts around the world tout the benefits that music can have in a person’s life.
Most people will say they enjoy listening to their favorite kinds of music and that doing so offers relaxation, a mood boost and other health benefits. For that reason, most people have CDs or a playlist they can listen to when they want a little musical therapy. The benefits of learning more about music are many and can benefit people of all ages. Here’s why you should add learning music to your to-do list.
1. Boosts Creativity
Study after study show that people who learn music are more creative, which benefits them at school and at work. Learning music engages people of all ages and gets their brain thinking in new and different ways.
This is beneficial to children who are still in school as well as professionals in the workforce. Music classes and curriculums can also benefit teachers and instructors in the field of music. Learning to read music activates the parts of the brain responsible for coming up with new ideas, so it’s a beneficial aspect of anyone’s education.
2. Language Development
Research shows that children exposed to music education between the ages of two and nine have a better grasp of language when compared to children who don’t learn music. Children are born with the ability to decode and reproduce language, but learning music seems to enhance those skills at a young age.
Studies on the brain have discovered that music exposure helps develop the left side of the brain where language is developed. Linking certain songs to learning can help a child imprint the information to be retrieved and used at a later date.
The benefits are seen through casual music exposure at home as well as through formal musical training in childhood.
3. Low-Income Advantages
It’s no secret that the arts, including music, are the first programs that get cut when budgets are strained in the school system. That’s a disservice to the students at that school for many reasons.
Experts say that low-income students who are exposed to the arts are more likely to go to college, get a lucrative job, vote in political races and volunteer and give back within their communities. Without exposure to music and the arts, these students may fall through the cracks and won’t have the same opportunities, which makes it clear that there’s a need for all students to learn music.
4. Life Skills And Personal Enrichment
Low-income students aren’t the only ones who can benefit from a music curriculum. Regular exposure to music and the arts increases the self-esteem of students, increases attentiveness and perseverance among students of all ages and allows children to have a higher level of enjoyment at school and other parts of their lives.
It’s also known that children exposed to the arts at school tend to have better study habits, which translates to a better performance and higher grades in other classes at all levels of education, from elementary school through college.
5. Increased IQ
IQ is a measure of intelligence that tends to be higher in people who study music. A study conducted at the University of Toronto discovered that children who received weekly piano and voice lessons had a slightly increased IQ when compared to children who did not receive the lessons. These results were not found with other arts programs, such as drama.
This indicates that learning music at a young age can increase intelligence and pave the way for many successful years in school. This further backs up the idea that music should be part of a child’s school curriculum starting right at the very beginning. Other benefits of learning music include better verbal skills, learning a second language and better working and long-term memory skills.
6. Academic Achievement
As mentioned above, music is a good way to enhance intelligence and help with school success. There are many specific ways that music helps. Research shows that learning music may help with listening ability, which is beneficial in any class at school. This is especially helpful for students with learning disorders that make it hard to block out surrounding noise.
Students who are exposed to a music curriculum also score higher in English and math when compared to students who don’t get a musical education. High school students who took music throughout their school years scored more than 100 points higher in their SAT tests than their non-musically trained counterparts.
Students who learned music also scored higher on science and writing, participated in more extracurricular activities, had higher GPAs and were more likely to go to college.
7. Makes The Brain Work Harder
You may be wondering how music can have these effects. According to research conducted at the Peabody Preparatory of The Johns Hopkins University, children trained in music enhance the neural development and activity in their brains, allowing their brains to work harder at all tasks.
Young children in musical training classes were discovered to have improved sound discrimination and fine motor tasks. This improved brain function translates to benefits in all stages of school and can help a student achieve a higher GPA and success in future endeavors.
8. Enhances Fine Motor Skills
Let’s look at fine motor skills a little more closely. This refers to use of fingers to do fine-tuned tasks, such as cutting and writing. Studies have found that learning music and playing an instrument can enhance a child’s fine motor skills. This makes it easier to learn to play instruments such as the guitar or the piano, but also translates to other areas of education.
In fact, learning music makes a positive difference in skills that include writing, use of a computer and many other aspects of interacting with the learning environment. This success starts in the preschool years and often continues throughout education.
Researchers will tell you that music itself won’t make a child smarter, but learning to read music, play an instrument or pick out melodies can enhance the skills necessary to enhance performance and understanding when it comes to learning other subjects at school.
In addition to boosting the chances of success at school, music makes people more interested and improves overall mood and mental health. The good news is that music doesn’t have to come in the form of a structured class, although these environments are extremely beneficial. Simply listening to and reproducing music at home has a positive impact on children.
Parents shouldn’t feel pressured to engage in extensive music classes, but should vote for and encourage schools to continue offering music classes and the other arts as part of the curriculum at all levels. When schools don’t offer music, parents can often find them at local churches or recreation centers or purchase curriculum materials online to be used at home.