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Learning An Instrument Can Give Your Brain A Boost

Learning a musical instrument is not only fun, relaxing, and aesthetically saisfying – it can also provide a boost to your (or your child’s) brain! Studies performed in the field of neuroscience on the effects of musical training on the brain demonstrate that learning a musical instrument can greatly improve one’s mental ability. Musicians’ brains tend to be larger and more well connected than their non-musician counterparts. These structural differences give the musician an edge when it comes to “verbal memory, spatial reasoning, and literacy skills”. 

Musical training for children in particular can lead to long term cognitive gains. One study by White-Schwoch et al. showed that older adults who took part in as little as three years of musical training as children were able to process speech better than adults who never had any formal musical training. Another study conducted by the German Institute For Economic Research shows that children who have musical training “have better cognitive skills and school grades and are more conscientious, open and ambitious.” 

While musical training can provide a big boost to the adult and child’s brain, it takes more than just listening to music to achieve that effect! The so-called “Mozart effect” - the theory that merely listening to classical music can make you smarter – has been debunked. The brain boosting effects of music can only be had through the challenging but pleasant process that is learning an instrument.


Costandi, Mo. "Want to 'train Your Brain'? Forget Apps, Learn a Musical Instrument." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 24 Oct. 2016. Web. Hille, Adrian, and Jjrgen Schupp. "How Learning a Musical Instrument Affects the Development of  Skills." SSRN Electronic Journal (2013): n. pag. Web. Locker, Melissa. "Music Can Alter Your Child's Brain." Time. Time, 16 Dec. 2014. Web.

Quick Facts

      Children Who Study a Musical Instrument:

  • Focus better and are more likely to excel in all of their studies

  • Have larger vocabularies

  • Work well in teams

  • Have better emotional recognition within speech

  • Become more self-confident

Music Education:

  • Develops memory

  • Improves motor skills

  • Advances math achievement

  • Boosts reading and English Language arts skills

  • Improves recall and retention of verbal information

  • Helps relieve stress

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