Besides being fun, playing an instrument has its benefits, especially for young people.
Studies show that musicians are more adept in noticing and correcting their mistakes, due to the fact that musicians are skilled in detecting errors in musical compositions.
The fact that musicians’ brains are structured differently is attributed to the fact that musicians have increased brain function and better cognitive skills.
The parts of the brain that control hearing, motor skills and memory become more active and engaged with the study of music.
Audio storage and interpretation are also improved with the development of acute hearing skills. This can increase the ability to learn new languages as well as interpret people’s moods through their tone of voice.
In addition to improved brain function, learning an instrument can develop essential skills in children.
Lutz Jäncke, a psychologist at the University of Zurich, said, via the The Telegraph, “For children especially, we found that learning to play the piano, for instance, teaches them to be more self-disciplined, more attentive and better at planning. All of these things are very important for academic performance, so can therefore make a child brighter.”
According to health.usnews.com, an experiment was conducted to compare musicians’ brains with those of non-musicians.
The tests showed that “musicians scored higher on tests of mental acuity, visual-spatial judgment, verbal memory and recall, and motor dexterity.”
According to the Public Broadcasting Service, certain instruments are better suited to children at different ages.
Learning the violin is better for younger children because finger dexterity is not crucial in creating music with this instrument. This makes it easier for the child to focus solely on the sound of the music.
Another simple, introductory instrument that most people have learned to play in their lifetime is the piano.
Playing the piano is beneficial in learning “important perceptual and musical skills” as it encourages musicians to focus simultaneously on the melody and the harmony as well as give them the musical background needed to learn other instruments.
Playing the piano also increases finger dexterity, memory and hearing.
As children get older, they may express an interest in other instruments, such as woodwind, brass or string instruments.
Freshman Lauren Chung, who has been practicing the piano for nine years and percussion for two, believes that her musical background has been useful in her academics.
“I listen to classical music when I study and it really helps me focus. In seventh grade, when we were learning about fractions, it was easier for me to understand because the time signature in music also uses fractions,” said Chung.
In addition to being a relaxing, leisure exercise, learning an instrument provides various skills which are beneficial to student performance in the classroom.