How Music Helps  Your Child

How Music Helps Your Child

by Dr Shen-Li Lee

A child who studies music and learns how to play an instrument develops more than an appreciation for music and culture. There are many other benefits that children who learn a musical instrument can reap. Here are some of them:

  • Music and brain development – music enhances coordination, concentration and memory, and improves eyesight and hearing. The process of learning to play an instrument refines the development of the brain and the entire neurological system.
  • Early musical training helps develop brain areas involved in language and reasoning. Studies show that musical training develops the part of the brain responsible for processing language, and that it can wire the brain’s circuits in specific ways. Linking familiar songs to new information also helps to imprint information on a child’s mind.
  • 2 years of learning piano has shown an increase of 30-40% in Math and Spatial scores.
  • Music develops right brain creativity which helps children learn to think outside the box.
  • Children learning music perform better academically in school with higher grades and test scores.
  • Music improves communication skills and social interaction. Music lessons help children develop empathy and improve their ability to interpret facial expressions and body language.

In a study on children learning music versus children who did not attend music classes:

“children taking music lessons improved more over the year on general memory skills that are correlated with non-musical abilities such as literacy, verbal memory, visiospatial processing, mathematics and IQ than did the children not taking lessons.” – Science Daily.

Even if your child only studies music for a while then quits, there are still benefits to be gained from “a little music training“. A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience (22 August 2012) titled: “A Little Goes a Long Way: How the Adult Brain is Shaped by Musical Training in Childhood” showed that adults who had had as little as 1 to 5 years of music training as children were better listeners and learners compared to adults without any music training.

Additionally, it has been found that both music and language are processed by the same brain systems so perhaps music can be considered a second language and possibly providing the same benefits of learning a second language.

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