Music and your child's brain: the creative connection

November 3, 2015

The many brain-boosting benefits of listening to music are well known. But did you know that the act of playing a musical instrument has exponential advantages? Read on for five reasons why music lessons can change your child's life.

Music and your child's brain: the creative connection

1. Memory matters and more

Research indicates that playing a musical instrument stimulates multiple parts of the brain, including the region which processes memories.

One study concluded that kids who took music lessons actually had different brain development than kids who did not. Over the course of a year, they showed memory improvement which correlated with everything from literacy to mathematics and IQ benefits.

But it's not just memory skills that improve with music lessons. Instrument-playing kids also demonstrate enhanced cognitive performance across a full spectrum of reading and math skills.

2. Practice, practice, practice

Many of life's greatest challenges are only conquered through practice.

But this lesson doesn't come easily to children. In fact, most parents are familiar with managing kids who resist doing their homework or household tasks.

However, practising a musical instrument is a valuable tool in teaching kids that the time and effort put into a "chore" eventually pays off.

In life, few things happen the way we want them to the very first time. Playing an instrument teaches that perseverance and hard work eventually get results.

3. Coordination counts

The act of playing an instrument doesn't come naturally to most people — in fact, it takes a great deal of fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Breath and rhythm further complicate the process.

But, everything that goes into playing music makes doing so highly beneficial to your child's coordination. After all, the brain and the body must work together to read musical notes and translate them into motor behaviours.

And, the more your child plays a musical instrument the easier it is to coordinate all of the processes and tasks involved.

4. Relieve stress

We've all heard the expression, "music soothes the savage beast." While that might be pushing it as a description for your child, music does have known calming effects.

And kids today are busier than ever. Listening to music and playing an instrument can offer a peaceful retreat from everyday stresses.

5. Social success

Kids who participate in band, orchestra and chorus often develop close-knit relationships based around a shared love of music.

But there are also benefits outside the band room: playing an instrument comes with plenty of opportunities for performing, which can help eliminate stage fright. And the more comfortable kids are on stage, the more confident they become expressing themselves in everyday interactions.

A necessary (and beneficial) pleasure

Confucius philosophized: "music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without."

So, consider these five reasons to set your kids on the path for a more productive and pleasurable personal life.

Then, if you think your child could benefit from them, sign him or her up for music lessons.

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