Did you take music lessons as a kid? Do you take music lessons now, or want to put a child one day through music lessons?
Maybe you find practicing and weekly lessons boring – I know as a kid, music lessons were tedious, difficult, and sometimes not what I always wanted.
But, sometimes the most painful things actually bring about the best results. New studies actually show music lessons are one of the most beneficial activities for young, developing brains.
In a time where budgets get cut for arts programs in public K-12 schools, maybe we should reconsider the ramifications of cutting these mind-enhancing programs from schools.
So what exactly are these studies, and do what they say about growing our brains in music? Check out the results of these studies to see how music augments your brain – or the brain of your child – for the best.
At the end, over 71 studies & articles on the power of music lessons are cited.
10. Learning a Musical Instrument Is Associated with Greater Ambition
In a large-scale scientific study measuring the effect of music lessons on the brain, scientists discovered the following:
The present study shows that even after controlling for a large number of parental background differences, learning a musical instrument is associated with better cognitive skills and school grades as well as higher conscientiousness, openness, and ambition.
The good news is that, according to The Atlantic, more students are being taught music now than they were 20 years ago.
Considering the preponderance of evidence in the last decade telling us how important music lessons are for brain development, perhaps the government – once the pandemic is over – should be making an even greater contribution towards arts education programs throughout the country.
9. Music Education Enhances Executive Functioning
Executive functioning refers to a person’s ability to perform tasks such as planning and functional memory. A number of young people every year are diagnosed with executive function disorders.
In a recent Netherlands study, 147 children elementary school-aged went through a study to see if grades and executive functioning were improved after taking music lessons.
The results were clear: students taking regular music lessons scored better on tests evaluating inhibition, verbal intelligence, and planning than non-music groups. The final conclusion of the study was that music enhanced overall academic performance.
8. Music Lessons Raise Your IQ
One study published within the last decade and published by University of California press demonstrates something unbelievable: music lessons actually raise your IQ.
In the abstract of the study, researchers noted the results of the study as follows:
“(Musically) Trained participants scored higher than untrained participants on the IQ Composite score and on its Verbal and Nonverbal subtests.”
IQ tests measure spatial and mathematical reasoning. Yet music lessons require students to do nothing but listen to a teacher, practice, and perform their instrument, or so it seems.
Why is music so integral to spatial learning?
It’s hard to say why exactly. All we know is that even a meta-analysis of 15 studies as far back as two decades ago demonstrates, conclusively, students who take music lessons increased spatial reasoning, performed better in math tests, and more.
7. Not Just for Kids
Actually, music lessons don’t just help children learn – they help adults with special conditions as well. In one study published in 2020, music lessons helped patients with dementia.
The study itself explored the importance of music in relation to memory, wellbeing, and self-awareness in older patients.
Sure, music lessons are traditionally associated with children. But – what if music has a healing power for adults too?
It’s actually been proven. Perhaps you are familiar with the field of music therapy, where music is used as a healing mechanism.
One recent study demonstrated the benefit of music therapy during chemotherapy on adult subjects. The conclusion? Music therapy helps reduce anxiety in cancer patients.