We have known intuitively for many generations that music benefits even the youngest members of our communities. Now-a-days, thanks to research; we have evidence that music does make a difference.

  • Music brings a lifetime appreciation of the arts
  • Music helps to understand people in different cultural contexts
  • Music establishes patterns of brain development
  • Music has a powerful impact on both the affective and cognitive development of the child
  • Music is crucial to language development. The elements of music: tonal pitch, timbre, intensity and rhythm, are elements used in any spoken language
  • Music equips the ear, body and brain to listen to, integrate and produce language sounds
  • Music provides tools for problem solving and plays an important role in developing higher level reasoning skills
  • Music fosters emotional bonding and self-esteem
  • Musical experiences and musical learning provides opportunities for children to gain confidence
  • Music strengthens memory and learning
  • Music trains every field of the brain as music processing is done throughout the whole brain

The following illustrations provide some insight as to the effect of music education on the brain

A view of the brain from the side
A view of the brain from the side
A view from the inside of the brain
A view from the inside of the brain

(Illustrations by Mark Tramo , from the book This is your brain on music by Daniel Levitin)

Music has a definite effect on the brain. This effect is especially noticeable when children learn to play an instrument. Learning to play music in an orchestra or group setting has countless other additional benefits. Imagine the long term effect on society if all children could play an instrument!

It has been proven that making music has a positive effect on visual, auditory, touch, motor planning, symbol recognition and interpretation to only name a few. Watch the following video to see how playing an instrument develops the brain:

Resources:

Campbell, 1997, The Mozart effect
Oliver Sacks, 2007, Musicophilia
Levitan, 2006, This is your brain on music