Learning to play the piano doesn’t only take practice but it also requires the complex coordination of many different parts of your brain. These are the regions that are responsible for your coordination, hearing, sight, and movement. This ultimately influences your brain’s structure and function.
What Research Demonstrates in This Regard
Over the past two decades, several researchers have conducted studies of musicians vs. nonmusicians. One study was conducted by the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California. In their 5 year study that started in 2012 they reported differences in musicians’ brains in comparison to nonmusicians. Musicians have better language and mathematical skills, a higher IQ, and overall better academic achievement. There are also differences in musicians’ brains related to their hearing and movement.
How Being a Musician Impacts Children’s Development
In the research that’s compared children musicians to nonmusicians researchers have discovered that being a musician positively impacts a child in several ways, including:
- Musicians can more accurately detect changes in pitch but both the musicians and nonmusicians could tell when the melodies were different. To researchers this indicated that musicians are more attentive.
- Musicians’ brain pathways developed faster. This is the part of the brain that’s responsible for encoding and processing sound.
- Even just two years of instrumental training can accelerate a child’s brain development and sound processing. This is beneficial when it comes to language acquisition because language and reading skills engage these same brain areas. Researchers say this is especially beneficial for at-risk children who live in neighborhoods that have low socioeconomic status – areas where children are shown to experience more difficulties with language development.
What These Studies Mean for you and Your Children
There are a lot of benefits for children who are raised as musicians. Clearly this is because musical training has both social and psychological merits. This is especially true when the child is being raised in an underserved community, but it obviously works for all children just the same. This is because the “auditory pathway” that connects your ear to your brain is used to process sound. When you hear something, your eardrums receive it in the form of vibrations of air molecules. These are then converted into a brain signal through a series of elegant mechanisms that go on in your inner ear. That signal is eventually sent to the hearing area of your brain, which is known as the “auditory cortex.” This is located near the sides of your brain. From there your child’s brain is equally impacted on both sides, helping it develop better through even a minimal amount of practice.
Now that you understand how music training can help your child’s brain develop, it’s time to get them started playing the right instrument today. At Dave’s Piano Showroom we can help you select the right one that would be best suited for your home. Stop by and let us help you get your child started down the right path towards music “fluency” today.
Image Credit: nightowl