There are a number of reasons why people learn a musical instrument.
Take a look at this article I wrote called “Eleven Reasons Why You Should Learn A Musical Instrument”.
I will go over point 11 in more detail. Here it is written out again.
Learning a Musical Instrument and hence playing music teaches you many things including:
~ the use of many parts of the brain
~ improved performance in all areas of the curriculum
~ skills in listening, memory, communication, coordination, concentration, critical thinking, team and social settings
~ imagination and creativity e.g. improvisation and composition
~ cooperation and commitment e.g. in lessons and group playing
~ the development of self esteem and confidence
So learning a musical instrument stimulates and benefits the brain in many ways.
Take a look at this you tube video.
Wow, amazing information
It was intriging to find out that when you listen to music fireworks happen and multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active.
And it was more intriguing to find out that when you PLAY a musical instrument fireworks happen in your brain with a full body workout!!
So whenever I play one of my instruments it is good to know that I am stimulating the brain with an explosive workout. Now when I play flute in the Big Band can you imagine it…the whole room on Fire!!!
Let’s Look Further At The Brain
The brain consists of two hemispheres- the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere.
The left side has the following characteristics:
verbal, logical, structured, neat, analytical, good at languages, imaginative, more organised and systematic
The right side has the following characteristics:
Creative, intuitive, visual, outspoken, artistic, impulsive, daydreamers, disorganised
We use each side of the brain depending on what task we are doing. And it is believed that we draw on one side of the brain more than the other and you may have heard of people being right brained or left brained.
I found it intriguing to do several online right brain-left brain quizzes which are free to do. Realising your right and left brain tendency can help you interact and understand others- something useful for a music teacher.
Anyway Here is a video quiz
I took 3 more visual ones.
I found some of the questions in the tests difficult to answer because I could have picked 2 of the answers equally or an answer which was not given in the choices somewhere inbetween the given ones.
The answers were very interesting.
The video quiz told me I was more right brained.
My next quiz told me I was more left brained.
The 3rd quiz said I was more even ….very slightly more right brained
The last test gave a completely even result.
Music research says that a musician engages both sides of the brain using the analytical characteristic of the left side with the creative aspect of the right side. The left side of the brain processes information in a sequential step by step manner and hence in music the understanding of musical structure and motor skills. The right side of the brain focuses on visual imagery and hence in music the melody.
I am a musician and feel I possess a good mixture of characteristics on both sides including the ones mentioned in the previous paragraph so maybe the last two brain tests were more accurate
It is interesting to note that any activity that stimulates the brain increases its own functionality. Music is one of the few activities that stimulates the brain on both sides.
When you listen to music half the brain processes the lyrics of the song and the other half brain processes the music. So activities like walking and martial arts combined with listening to music with a steady beat will also aid the brain bilaterally.
When you play a musical instrument it requires and strengthens coordination between the hands on the instrument and visual ( reading music ) and auditory ( listening ) stimuli.
Children Learning Music
It is beneficial to brain development if a child starts learning music before the age of 7. Preschoolers can listen to music and feel the beat by singing and dancing and moving around. When a child listens and plays games to music this helps them use various parts of the brain simultaneously. It also stimulates their frontal lobes which are important in language and motor development. When children are ready to learn a musical instrument they will continue to stimulate the brain and benefit.
Would You Believe… This?
Do you think Nora’s brain benefits from piano playing?
Do you play a musical instrument?
To Sum It Up
…listening to music stimulates and benefits multiple areas of the brain but learning a musical instrument gives your brain a full body workout and has many benefits.
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