What’s more human than music? From the beginning of human history, our ancestors have been organizing sound into meaningful melodies and rhythms.
The lines between language and music are often blurred, as many of the same parts of our brain are used to process both phenomena. Even as babies, our cooing and babbling often have a rhythmic quality as we try to imitate our parents. On top of that, nothing soothes a restless child like a mother’s song!
The Benefits of Music Education for Kids
Music is not only fundamental to human culture, but it also can affect the way our brains develop and function. The benefits of music education have been well-studied for years, and the skills that children learn in music class go far beyond their instruments alone. Improved language, reading, and math skills have all been noted in musical kids.
Even if your child has no interest in becoming the next Mozart, encouraging them to study an instrument helps their brains stay sharp in the classroom. In addition, learning music can boost a child’s confidence and even improve social and emotional development. Playing music with others helps refine your child’s listening skills, which can contribute to healthy communication for the long term.
“Improved language, reading, and math skills have all been noted in musical kids.”
Is your child learning piano? Check out five kid-friendly piano songs!
The Health Benefits of Music as We Age
While the benefits of music education for children are clear, the truth is, people of all ages can improve their mental health with music. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, listening to and playing music is one of the best ways to keep our brains engaged as we age. Research has shown that older adults can experience memory, attention, and problem-solving improvements just by taking a few piano lessons. Emotional wellbeing and quality of life also see improvement through music.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a professional musician to enjoy the benefits of playing a musical instrument. Just studying the basics of the piano or any other instrument is enough to give your brain a boost. In fact, you don’t even need to learn an instrument to experience the health benefits of music. Just listening to your favorite songs can make a difference!
One of the most exciting applications of music therapy is with dementia patients. Playing someone’s favorite song from their youth can bring them back to their most memorable era and improve their mood. An upbeat tune can energize, while a relaxed and soft piece of music can have a soothing effect. Moreover, listening to music with a loved one is a great way to feel connected, even when verbal communication is limited.
“One of the most exciting applications of music therapy is with dementia patients.”
How Does Music Affect the Brain and Learning?
By using MRI scans, researchers have made fascinating discoveries about how music affects the brain. Listening to music can enhance the functioning of various parts of your brain, including the frontal lobe, temporal lobe, and hippocampus. These areas relate to thinking, hearing, and retrieving memories, respectively. When it comes down to it, virtually every part of the brain is affected by music in some way.
Studies have highlighted a substantial correlation between language and music skills in young children, too. Singing to your child and introducing them to music is a great way to stimulate their cognitive skills. Although there is a stereotype that classical music makes children smarter, it turns out that any type of music can have a positive effect on the brain. This is good news for those who prefer The Beatles over Beethoven!
The Power of Learning Music
As you can see, listening to and learning music can have a wide variety of positive effects on the brain. Even those with no musical background can enjoy the brain-boosting benefits by picking up a new instrument, taking a vocal lesson, or just clapping along with their favorite beat. Parents can even explore the benefits of music education at the same time as their kids by learning alongside them!
The best part about learning music is that the mental benefits are built up automatically. Just by challenging your skills and having fun playing, you’re strengthening valuable connections in your brain and body. This is why music can play such an important role at every stage of life, from age three to 103!
If you’re interested in learning music, there’s no substitute for working with a private teacher. Whether online or in-person, music lessons will ensure that you and your loved ones can experience the various health benefits of music.
Ready to get started? Search for your music teacher today!