Six Reasons Why Your Child Should Take Music Lessons


There are a lot of intriguing studies that show that music training  has a significant impact on the brain development of a child. New  findings on the benefits of learning how to play an instrument have been  presented by different scientists over the last five years. These  evidence may not be the final answer as to whether playing the violin or  any other instrument really contribute to a children's cognitive  abilities but nowadays, many parents are becoming more convinced that  music training is an effective way to stimulate their children's brain  development. Below are some of the most compelling reasons why your  child should start with his/her music training even at an early age.

1. Significant difference between a musicians brain and a non-musician's:
In  playing a certain instrument, a children's brain performs a lot of  complex physical and mental operations which enable him to visually  present the music symbols through finger coordination and recognition of  sounds. Scientists such as Schlaug and Gauser believe that this could  be the reason why the gray matter volume (a measure of density of brain  cells in a certain brain region) of a musicians brain is greater than  that of non-musician. They derived this conclusion from a study they  conducted, where in they compared the brain structure of professional  musicians, amateur musicians and non-musicians.

2. More developed Motor Skills and Brain Connections
Another  experiment was conducted by Winner and Schlaug, where they performed a  test on 59 children, ages 9-11. 41 of these children were given regular  music training for 15 months while the rest did not. The results showed  that the musically trained children showed better finger coordination  and faster recognition abilities (the so-called near transfer abilities)  than the non-musicians. He supported this finding using the brain scans  of the musically trained children which clearly showed more defined  brain connections than those who did not receive any music training in  the duration of the study.

3. Longer Attention Span and Better Self Control
A research  conducted by Michael Possner, a professor at the University of Oregon,  showed the positive effects of music training on attention, self control  and general intelligence. By using neuroimaging, he found that  attention-controlled tasks contribute to the development of a children's  attention network, which leads to an increase of fluid intelligence and  His research provides evidence that a child who is able to sustain  attention and control for longer periods than other children of his age,  has more developed language and reasoning abilities (so-called far  transfer abilities). He considered music training as an activity that  could have this effect on children.

4. More Developed Geometric Abilities
Elisabeth Spelke, a  professor at Harvard University showed in her research that children  with music training have better map-reading and geometry abilities. In  her study, she showed that infants as young as four months can associate  lengths of sounds to the length of visual objects. In this research,  she used tones of different lengths with corresponding cartoon worm  sizes. If an infant hears music, the melodic processing may lead to new  forms of visual processing, Spelke said. This may form the basis for the  relationship between math and music later on.

5. Better Overall Performance at School
The recent study of the  College Board, the institution that oversees the Scholastic Assessment  Test, or SAT, showed that students who are regularly taking music  lessons scored, on average, 51 points higher on the verbal portion of  the test and 39 points higher on the math portion than non-musician  students.

6. Strengthens the Mozart Effect in Children
Everyone has heard of  the Mozart effect. However, none of the scientists was able to prove  its long-term effects on children who are merely listening to Mozart's  compositions. However, if combined with regular music training, it has  been said that Mozart's music could have long term positive effects on  the cognitive development of a children's brain. For this reason, over  the past years, more parents are introducing classical music to their  children by teaching them how to play the violin or the piano. However,  due to its portability and current media exposure (violin being used by  the media in the remakes of old songs), the violin is gradually gaining  more popularity among the youth. Many educators have also noticed a  steady growth in the number of students interested in learning how to  play the violin than any other instrument.
We've heard it a lot of  times children's brains are like sponges. They have the ability to learn  a lot more than adults can. Why not start early and give your child a  head start in life? As a parent, we are being presented with a lot of  ways to educate our children. There are a lot of theories that are  subject of dispute among educators and scientists but there's one thing  everyone agrees on music lessons can only be beneficial to your  children. As of this date, there is no existing study that proves  otherwise.