Learning a musical instrument...is it a no-brainer?
Aside from the simple joy of making music, there are very good reasons as to why learning a musical instrument is advantageous in the education of children, teens and even older (!) people.
Bigger Better Brains, founded by Dr Anita Collins, provides resources for music educators as well as being a treasure trove of informative videos. The TED Education video presented on the BBB website “How playing an instrument benefits your brain” released in 2014 went viral and you can watch it below.
The video shows how the anecdotal evidence of the benefits of playing music is supported by neurological studies.
Listening to music engages many more areas of the brain than working out a maths problem, however playing music gives the brain a "full body workout" and engages practically every area at once.
By strengthening both sides of the brain and the links between them (not just one side as in listening to music), musicians develop stronger skills in problem solving not only academically, but also socially. Musicians also can develop stronger executive functions such as planning, strategising, attention to detail, and memory.
According to recent studies, other activities such as sports and painting do not have the same impact on the brain.
Visit the BBB website for more information.
This article in The Guardiantalks about music students and their high employability due to skills developed from playing music: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/oct/11/music-students-employability
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