What Benefits Are Derived From Music Lessons?
by Darwins Money on 25 May 2011
While the much-maligned Tiger Mom proponents may seem over the top in banning their children from sports, social interactions, and "fun" to focus solely on schooling and hours of music practice per day, they may be on to something with the music benefits. This recent study lends further credence to the impact on the brain of those who play music. My son's already learning fractions, a new language (reading music is not intuitive and very different than reading a book), and discipline — how to practice, budget time, overcome stage fright, and more. These are all skills that he wouldn't be learning in front of the Wii, and to some degree, things he wouldn't be learning in school either.
I used to play guitar as a kid, and I definitely see the corollaries with math. As I was trying to nail 16th and 32nd notes to master a Metallica solo, I was training my brain to interpret and become comfortable with complex, fast calculations. I didn't have a particular affinity for math as a young child, but right around the 8th grade when I got into guitar, I started excelling at math in school and ultimately prospered through a Chemical Engineering degree in college. I'm not sure there's a causal relationship, and my case may be more anecdotal than anything, but in retrospect, I always had a sense that intense practice and musical performance "awakened" my math potential in some way. More recently, the study above demonstrated there's the science to prove it.
Can You Measure the Value of Music Lessons?
It's tough to put a financial value on such a quantitative topic. So are there any guarantees that my kids will do any better in school because they took piano lessons? Are they guaranteed to get into a better college or get a scholarship? Of course not. But for the equivalent of just a single year of private school that so many parents spend their money on, I can give each kid 10 years of music lessons. Aside from an appreciation for music later in life and being able to "relate" to other instruments and musicians, they'll be more well-rounded and, perhaps like our current piano teacher, they'll have an extra way to earn money on the side as an adult!
Here's another interesting article (Not a relation I might add)
By the time we reach adulthood,
signing up for music lessons can seem like a frivolous expense. Many adults
might also be intimidated by the prospect of trying something completely new.
Instead of simply giving it a go, people just find excuses not to sign up at the
local music school.
However, scientific studies have shown that engaging in music lessons comes with myriad positive effects. Here are three reasons why every adult should start learning to play an instrument today.