Contributed by Mallory Livingston, Instructor of Piano & Voice
Art is an intricate part of humanity that is essential to mental, emotional and developmental
welfare, and when absent, devalues and destroys the pieces that collectively brings us together as
mankind. This is visible by studying neuroscience, biology, sociology, psychology, and human interaction,
as well as a plethora of other subjects. A particular art form known to us as Music, has such an
extraordinary effect upon the brain that by restoring the importance of Music in our culture, the effects
would be astonishing; unlocking a perspective on reality yet to be conceptualized in its full extent with
improved cognitive ability, memory, amity, and collaboration, and it would be evident immediately as
well as continuously progressing.
When one learns to play musical instruments some other benefits include an increase in
memory capacity, a refining of time management and organizational skills, enhanced coordination, an
increase in mathematical ability, stress relief, and a healthy fostering of self-expression. It has been
shown that learning a musical instrument can assist in an increased IQ by an average of seven points
with larger strengths in parts of the brain that control hearing, memory and coordination, as well as
keeping many other areas of the bran active (Davis, Lauren). A group of adults, with an age range of 65-
80 were tested, and those with musical backgrounds consisting of at least an hour a day for the majority
of their life were shown to have better scores on word recall, non-verbal memory, and cognitive
flexibility. Thus showing that the positive benefits of musical training can further enhance to the quality
of life even at a more elderly age; consequently shedding light on the importance of adequate study.
Music has also been shown to contribute to the learning of foreign languages as well as
perceiving and understanding the emotions to others. According to Davis, this is due to “the fact that
learning an instrument requires you to learn about tones and scores which increases your ability to store
audio information. Therefore it becomes easier to pick up other languages and have a better verbal
memory in your own language.” Davis goes on to explain that “parts of your brain that control motor
skills actually grow and become more active. By reading musical notes on a page, your brain must
convert that note into specific motor patterns while also controlling breathing and rhythm as well. Also
for most instruments, you have to be able to have your fingers and/or limbs each performing different
tasks simultaneously.” Instrumental training requires remarkable dedication and intellect. One cannot
simply play, but must go through the process of learning, in turn, strengthening both physical and
mental stimulation. There have been many studies on music’s effect on school work, social interactions,
and behavior (La Voie JC) showing the many positive outcomes. While Brown’s study was being
conducted, one finding found that children as young as 15 months showed significant signs of
improvement when they were involved in music programs. On average, children’s IQ increased by three
points more than non-musically trained children after one year of study, and students in elementary
schools with well-rounded, superior music programs scored on average 22% higher on English test
scores and 20% higher on math test scores, regardless of the school district. Children with musical
training show “music instruction has improved sound discrimination and fine motor tasks,” as well as
these musical skills coming into handy when “solving multistep problems one would encounter in
architecture, engineering, math, art, gaming, and especially working with computers” (Brown, Laura).
Music is also good for general health. Music can act as a form of therapy, reducing blood
pressure, assisting in Attention Deficit Disorder, insomnia and depression. Not to mention the physical
exercise. For example, 90 minutes of drumming can burn up to 500 calories (Davis). Music also requires
discipline, responsibility and perseverance as well as patience and focus. Children learn many skills and
principals that can carry over to other subjects and in general better there life. Preparing children and
adolescence with musical training better prepares them for the future to come in almost all aspects of
Hence, with all of the obvious benefits of music study and practice, what is holding you back
from bettering your life as well? Who is to say that you are, or are not, a musician. You are a human,
therefore, you should Music.
Brown, Laura Lewis. “The Benefits of Music Education.” PBS.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2014.
Cole, Diane. “Your Aging Brain Will Be in Better Shape If You’ve Taken Music Lessons.” National
Geographic. N.p., 3 Jan. 2014. Web. 22 Nov. 2014.
Davis, Lauren. “10 Good Reasons To Learn A Musical Instrument (It’s Not Too Late!).” WXRT. N.p., 5 Nov.
2013. Web. 23 Nov. 2014.
George Hicks. “CommonHealth.” CommonHealth RSS. George Hicks, 17 July 2014. Web. 23 Nov. 2014.
La Voie JC, Collins BR. Effect of youth culture music on high school students’ academic performance. J
Youth Adolesc.1975;4 (1):57– 65, Accessed December 4, 2014.