Music and Brain Development: How Can Musical Training Optimize Brain Function?

Music is very important not only because of its relaxing effect to an individual but because of how it can optimize the brain. You will realize how important music is not only to adults but also to the children when you learn about the different effects it has for the mind. This is something that will certainly encourage you to let your kids and even yourself take music lessons.

The Impact of Music Training on the Mind

There have been a lot of studies proving that musicians have better brain functions as compared to the non-musicians. This is because of the music training that they regularly get. Listening to music has a different impact as compared to allowing yourself to play a musical instrument. Guitar lessons and other musical trainings are provided for everyone because of its benefits to the mind and the emotions. It is not a secret that most people who play musical instruments are also better in mathematics and in language.

Why does music training have such a strong influence on the brain?

The strong influence of music training to the brain is brought by the different activities that individual engages in while playing music. Since it is required that the person has to maintain hand and mind coordination, the enhancement starts there. To help you understand more about this, here are the 10 ways on how music training boosts brain power:

  • Babies Who Have Music Lessons Smile More and Communicate Better – Brain architecture takes place when a child starts playing a musical instrument at an early age. This helps them recognize sounds and actions. As a result, they will be able to communicate better.
  • Music Develops Listening, Reading and Writing Skills–There is a special connection between musical training and these three different activities. The brain develops better when the child is learning to play an instrument. As they read notes and play with their hands, they are also practicing these three skills.
  • Benefits Brain Plasticity Throughout a Lifespan – The brain has an amazing ability to change and reorganize as time passes by. This allows it to form new connections. This process happens as long as the person is alive but it can be improved when you play musical instruments or sing regularly.
  • Musicians Can Process Multiple Things at Once – Multitasking is one of the abilities that musicians have because they are already practicing this as they enjoy making music. Their eyes, hands and brains have to coordinate and to work together for them to make good music. With this, it is easier for them to do multiple things.
  • Sequence in Difficulty Boosts Math Scores – Reading notes can be a bit difficult especially if you are playing a complicated piece. But this is something that can also help you increase your ability to deal with numbers.
  • Increases Brain Volume and Connectivity – Playing music enhances the brain in different ways and it also improves connectivity. This is something that you can practice more if you are going to play with a band.
  • Increases Blood Flow in the Brain – The blood flow in the mind is dependent on the activities that are going on with the body. This connection will surely make you realize how important it is for you to be physically active. But this is also something that can be improved through music playing.
  • Thickens Gray Matter of the Cortex – A research has proven that musicians have thicker and better gray matter in their cerebral cortex as compared to non-musicians. This is one thing that made researchers conclude that people who play musical instruments have can improve their brains because music playing can help thicken the gray matter of the cortex.
  • Reduces Academic Achievement Gaps–With musical training’s benefits in improving brain activity and other skills like listening, reading and writing, it would not be a surprise that it can be a great factor that can improve academic achievement gaps. Aside from the skills that it can develop, it is also a great thing that improves an individual’s confidence.
  • Orchestrates Coordinated Neuroplasticity in the Aging Brain – Neuroplasticity is the activity that is allows the brain to regenerate cells and to heal injury. This happens better among younger individuals but it can be a bit difficult in the case of older adults. This is where the aid of musical trainings comes in. If you want to increase the coordination of neuroplasticity in your brain as you age, you should make sure that you are also enhancing your musical ability.

Do We Need More Music in Schools?

With the information provided on this article, it is really true that music offers different benefits for the brain and the whole wellbeing of a person. With the different researches backing up the improvement that people experience whenever they engage in music lessons, it is better for schools to include more music lessons in their curriculum. One example of research that can prove the great effect of music is the Mozart effect. In this study, the researchers were able to prove that listening to the music of Mozart for 10 minutes can improve the brain function of the individual.

If mere listening to music can have a great effect, what more if children are going to be taught to play a musical instrument or to sing. Children should be exposed to music even at their early age. This way, they will be able to improve their brain function and their other skills. With the help of schools and the encouragement from their parents, children will surely love to learn how to play musical instruments. It will also be better for them to start early because brain formation starts during the earlier ages. With enough supervision, children will surely learn about discipline in learning to play music. This will not only be an added skill. It is something that can help them for a lifetime in ways more than we can imagine.