The famous musician and singer, John Mayer, says, “Playing music to me is as close to having superpowers as you can have”; this statement might seem biased considering the fact that he is a renowned musician. However, the essence of this statement was also asserted by the world-renowned theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein when he said that life without playing music seemed inconceivable.
Many great and famous people have had a similar notion about playing music. Clearly, there is more to playing music than just making a melodious sound. Many parents and teachers encourage their children to develop an interest in playing a musical instrument, whichever one they feel like, even if the kids don’t aspire to become musicians in the future. Playing music or learning to play music has shown a correlation with improved executive function among children as well as adults.
Cognitive process is important for most beings as it helps in gaining knowledge from things that are learned and experienced. Executive functions are considered to be high-level cognitive processes where people gain and retain information such that they are able to regulate their behavior, solve problems, and are able to make good decisions. To further understand the impact of music on the brain, neuroscientists studied brain imaging with the help of MRI and found a biological link between musical training and enhanced executive functioning.
When a person starts any form of musical training, there are certain changes noticed in their brain’s functioning that have some benefits. A few of these benefits have been mentioned below.
– Musical training helps build an enhanced ability to integrate all sensory information they get from touch, sound, and sight.
– When kids begin their musical training before 7 years of age, the growth of their brain is far more significant than kids who don’t go through any musical training during that age.
– The circuits in the brain that are involved in musical improvisation are molded through a systematic training process that leads to more reliance on the connectivity with the brain and less reliance on working memory.
Confucius, the Chinese philosopher, once said: “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” There are many reasons, apart from the ones mentioned above, why you must play a musical instrument.
Playing a musical instrument stimulates the brain which results in an increase in the capacity of the memory. Many studies have supported the fact that playing or learning music or a musical instrument increases the power of the memory. Some studies have also proved that learning music leads to improved spatial-temporal skills by approximately 34% in children and the effects of this last long term.
When a person plays an instrument regularly, a change is noticed in the power and shape of their brain. This change can be used in therapy to improve the cognitive skills of the person. Musicians are hence known to have functionally different brains as compared to non-musicians. When someone learns how to play a musical instrument, the part of their brain that controls motor skills becomes more active. Motor skills are responsible for movements of the hands and for walking, balancing, and more. Parts of the brain that control hearing, memory, and storing information also improve and become more active when a person learns how to play a musical instrument.
Playing music or a musical instrument regularly also helps in boosting team skills among several other important skills. This is essential because playing music often involves working with other musicians. This example can be seen in band and orchestra performances.
Parents who want their kids to have enhanced mathematical skills can introduce them to music and encourage them to take up learning any musical instrument. There are many mathematical aspects that are involved in learning music theory. Students who play a musical instrument are often better in mathematics and perform well in academics as compared to students who are not involved in it.
Learning to play a musical instrument requires a great amount of concentration. If one wishes to learn an instrument thoroughly, utmost attention, dedication, and discipline is required. As it requires a higher amount of concentration, this skill will get polished as well.
Music can help people express themselves in one of the most beautiful ways. Playing an instrument makes people feel the power and freedom to express whatever they want. This also helps them in relieving stress.
Playing any musical instrument has plenty of benefits. So, this World Music Day, invest in learning a new musical instrument.