Developmental Benefits

How Playing an Instrument Helps Develop Your Brain!

“ When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout. What’s going on? Anita Collins explains the fireworks that go off in musicians’ brains when they play, and examines some of the long-term positive effects of this mental workout. “

Anita Collins

How Vital Is Music Education for my Child?

American Scientist, Volume 108, 2020

“ The argument for teaching music in schools takes three general forms. The indirect argument posits that music boosts brain and cognitive function important for learning, which in turn facilitates success in school. The incentive argument directly ties the benefits of music training to educational outcomes, such as graduation rates. The intangible argument contends that the deepest benefits of music education, such as lasting friendships, are challenging to quantify. “

Nina Kraus and Travis White-Schwoch

Music Training Causes Long-Term Enhancement of Preschool Children’s Spatial-Temporal Reasoning

Neurological Research 19(1):2-8, March 1997

“ In a tightly controlled 6 month study, students who received instrumental classes increased their Spatial-Temporal IQ by 46% compared to those who had general music alone. This type of change is long-term, and enhances performance in both math and science. The magnitude of the spatial-temporal improvement was classified as long term as it represented an increase in time by a factor of over 100 compared to a previous study in which listening to a Mozart piano sonata primed spatial-temporal reasoning in college students. It was proposed that an improvement of the magnitude reported may enhance the learning of standard curricula, such as mathematics and science, that draw heavily upon spatial-temporal reasoning “. [Neurol Res 1997; 19: 2-8]

Frances H. Rauscher, Gordon L. Shaw, Linda l. Levine, Eric L. Wright, Wendy R. Dennis and Robert L. Newcomb

In-School Instrumental Education Music Training for the Development of Auditory Skills

Nature Reviews Neuroscience volume 11, pages599–605 (2010)

"The effects of music training in relation to brain plasticity have caused excitement, evident from the popularity of books on this topic among scientists and the general public. Neuroscience research has shown that music training leads to changes throughout the auditory system that prime musicians for listening challenges beyond music processing. This effect of music training suggests that, akin to physical exercise and its impact on body fitness, music is a resource that tones the brain for auditory fitness. Therefore, the role of music in shaping individual development deserves consideration."

Nina Kraus & Bharath Chandrasekaran

One Year of Musical Training Affects Development of Auditory Cortical-Evoked Fields in Young Children

Brain (2006), 129, 2593–2608

“ The findings show that not only do the brains of musically-trained children have improved memories. After one year the musically trained children performed better in a memory test that is correlated with general intelligence skills such as literacy, verbal memory, visiospatial processing, mathematics and IQ. The Canadian-based researchers reached these conclusions after measuring changes in brain responses to sounds in children aged between four and six. Over the period of a year they took four measurements in two groups of children—those taking Suzuki Method instrumental lessons and those taking no musical training outside general music in school—and found developmental changes over periods as short as four months. While previous studies have shown that children given instrumental music lessons had greater improvements in IQ scores than children given drama lessons, this is the first study to identify these effects in brain-based measurements in young children.”

Takako Fujioka, Bernhard Ross, Ryusuke Kakigi, Christo Pantev, and Laurel J. Trainor