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Learning an instrument can improve brain function

A cello, one of the more common string instruments | Photo courtesy of Creative commons

A cello, one of the more common string instruments | Photo courtesy of Creative commons

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Music is one of the most popular and oldest form of entertainment. Humans have been making music since the dawn of civilization. Music has become so ingrained in our daily lives that most of us could barely get by without it. Other than providing entertainment and stress relief, music can also can improve higher brain functioning.

 

Learning how to play an instrument is a challenging task. There is a lot of theory that goes into music and the techniques used are often completely new to the beginning music student. Right off the bat, you begin learning things that you have no prior concept of, such as fifths and musical geometry. this teaches students how to learn and discover things by themselves.

 

The current theory is that when someone learns an instrument, it develops new synapses in the brain. The University of Zurich found that when  an instrument is learned, the musician expands the part of the brain that is associated with hearing, memory, motor skills, and audio information: the corpus callosum. This can increase their IQ by as much as seven points. In another study conducted by the Journal of Advances in Child Psychology, out of 194 students, those who played an instrument exhibited higher IQ scores. Additionally, their scores were noticeably higher on verbal and written tests.

 

The benefits from learning music translate into other subjects as well.

 

“Ever since I started playing violin, I’ve found that I can concentrate much better in my other classes. My grades have improved greatly,” said senior Noah Bijesse, a violinist who participates in A.C. Reynolds’ strings class.

 

Music teaches math skills, as counting and subdividing are essential in keeping time. Also, you learn foreign languages, since nearly all music directions are written in either French or Italian. Concentration is also improved because you have to watch the sheet music and play your instrument at the same time while doing two different motions with your hands.


The benefits are clear. Music can improve student’s intelligence and schoolwork. consider getting your kids interested in playing an instrument. It is something that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

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The student news site of A. C. Reynolds High School.
Learning an instrument can improve brain function