The Benefits of a Musical Education for Children and Adults
By John Park
You probably have heard that learning music can be beneficial for many reasons. When you search for “benefits of a musical education” online, you will find a wealth of articles on the topic. Many of those articles result from serious scientific study.
As a music teacher, I experience all those benefits with my students every day in my music studio. I’ve tried to put some of my favorite ones here to share with you.
If you are a music student or a student’s parent, this will give you even more meaning and motivation for you or your child to learn. If you are a person who has never learned to play music but are interested in learning to play, this article can inspire you to kickstart your musical journey.
Music Lessons Encourage Brain Development
When you learn to play a musical instrument, the process changes the anatomy and function of your brain. Do these changes remain, after your musical training stops?
A group of scientists explored this very question. In their research, they measured the auditory brain stem responses in a group of healthy young adults, some of whom had undergone various levels of musical training in the past.
The researchers discovered that those in the group who received formal music lessons when they were children had more robust responses to sound in the brain stem than those who hadn’t any musical training.
The intensity of the test subjects’ responses correlated with how recently their training stopped. In fact, the test results indicated that the brain changes that happened during childhood musical training stayed with the subjects even into adulthood.
Specific Cognitive Benefits of Musical Training
In other studies, researchers found that musical training has a direct correlation with improved language and mathematical abilities, as well as with higher IQs and greater overall academic achievement.
These studies have also shown—many times over—that children who learn to play a musical instrument improve memory, concentration, and social skills. As for adult learners, music study improves their memory, general cognitive function, and processing abilities.
Music is incredibly powerful for people—both in mind and body.
A Musical Education Brings You Enjoyment
Most people like to listen to music. The joy you feel from playing music, though, is a whole different story.
When you’re first learning to play, it’s exciting to hear the sounds you can coax out of the instrument. Once you grasp the basics, however, playing music gives you a different kind of joy.
But when you finally learn to play a song you like, it’s such an incredible sensation! It’s exhilarating—you want to go deeper inside the world of music to play even more beautiful tunes.
Yes, watching TV and playing games are fun. But the enjoyment you have from playing music is fun on a whole new level.
I see how excited my young students become when they start learning the Harry Potter theme. And as for my adult students, they say that playing music is a sanctuary from their busy lives.
Music Lessons Expand Your Self-Expression
Self-expression is a key ingredient in a healthy emotional life. It allows us to describe how we feel without even a word—especially when that self-expression is through music.
We need to feel like someone’s listening. Music does that.
Through the experience of playing and writing music, we can express our thoughts and feelings—and share them with others. Music can be a powerful tool that expresses your emotions. It goes beyond language and connects us at a deeper level.
In fact, musicians often find themselves playing music that aligns with their mood to release energy. By playing music you feel aligned with, it can give you tremendous emotional relief. That goes equally for both children and adults.
To get that kind of relief, you don’t have to be a conservatory-trained musician. It’s more about the process of doing.
Learning Music Helps Strengthen Your Social Skills
When you learn to play a musical instrument, you have a lot of opportunities to work with other people. Whether you play in a rock band or orchestra–or even as a duet–you or your child will learn how to communicate with other people through music and words.
When there is an ultimate mutual goal — beautiful sound — to achieve together, you will develop your social skills, no matter how shy you are at first.
Playing Music Benefits Your Health
For adult learners, there are clear health benefits for learning to play music. In reducing overall levels of stress, music also lowers blood pressure, which supports better health overall. These days, children, too, have a lot more stress and anxiety than ever before.
There also seems to be an increased number of children with ADHD and autism. Music lessons can help those children learn to relax during tense situations, a skill that will help them throughout their lives.
Music Lessons Build Confidence
One of the great things we’ve learned about music is this: everyone starts in the same place. At some point, everyone is a beginner. For both children and adults, seeing themselves progress from beginners to more advanced students will build confidence in their skills and abilities.
When we see that we’ve been able to learn something new in one area, it helps us be willing to try and learn something new in another area.
By learning to practice regularly and witnessing the improvement that comes from that practice, you see that hard work really does pay off. Through this process, you build the kind of confidence that you can apply in every area of life.
Hope you enjoyed this post and can enjoy its benefits even more through our own musical journey.
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What other students say about us
I’ve been always very enthusiastic about the benefits of learning a musical instrument.
As a mum of eleven and nine year old sons, I am so pleased that my children are both learning the piano at Melody Music Academy.
There are a lot of options out there, but I wanted my kids learn from experienced, skilful and patient piano teachers.
As professional musicians with a fantastic skill for interacting with young children, my two sons’ piano teachers at the Academy offer all that and more. They are really great working with both my boys who have totally different learning paces and interests. Their weekly progress with the piano is quite remarkable.
I’ve always had a passion to be able to play the piano but never expected I could really enjoy the process of learning so much.
Melody Music Academy was recommended to me by a friend whose daughters have been learning piano for last several years. The teaching method at the Academy is adaptable with all age groups and all those different styles of music were available to learn. Being a complete beginner 10 months ago, muddling through the notes, fingerings and simple songs, I am now much more confident while playing and reading music, something I thought I would never achieve.
My piano teacher at the Academy has made me recognise the real joy of music and how much fun it can be to learn and play.
I would have no hesitation in recommending this place whether you are a complete beginner wanting to do this for fun or if you are studying music more seriously and are aiming to achieve more advanced skills and knowledge.
My two girls have been studying violin and guitar at Melody Music Academy for about 5 years now.
We began when they were six and seven, and it has been a really great experience. From the very beginning the teachers at the Academy have been so wonderful with the girls who have learned so much from their lessons.
It has been such a joy to see them grow musically every week!
The teachers are great communicators and have been extremely dedicated for their teaching to help our girls develop their skills and knowledge. By sharing the music teachers’ professional experiences, they consistently challenged my kids to grow and have really become mentors and friends they don’t want to disappoint.
It’s great to see my two girls playing pieces together making beautiful duo at our house!
My daughter has been taking violin lessons at Melody Music Academy for nearly 4 years.
It has been great to watch her learn and blossom into a confident violinist under the instruction of the teacher of the Academy. My daughter loves playing violin and always looks forward to her lesson each week, challenging herself to be the best that she can be. My daughter’s violin teacher and the rest of the Academy staffs work hard to bring out the best in their student musicians.
And, after years of wishing I’d learned to play piano when I was younger, I’ve finally begun taking lessons as well! My piano teacher is such a patient and very knowledgeable instructor which makes the challenge of learning a new instrument turn into a joy.
We are very happy to be studying music with Melody Music Academy.