Music Lessons Help Your Brain for Life

The value of music lessons continues to pay off for your whole life – even if you decide to put down the instrument later on. Study after study seems to back this up; the latest evidence comes via a CBC report about how music lessons in children can help stave off dementia when they become seniors:

In November, they published their findings that four to 14 years of music training early in life was associated with faster processing, 40 years after the music training stopped. None of the subjects reported practising an instrument, performing or instruction after age 25.

A similar study back in 2011 showed music lessons could help keep an aging brain young.

Of course, you don’t have to wait until you’re retirement age to see a boost in your gray matter. I often see among our music students at Resound that their learning gets better overall once they take up the study of musical instruments. I don’t know if it’s something intrinsic to music or whether the discipline of good study habits simply crosses over from dedicating yourself to practicing every day. I suspect it’s a little of both.

In any case, as this infographic shows, it sure seems like music and higher brain function go together – for instance, in 24 studies with half a million participating high school students, researchers found a high correlation between music instruction and better reading test scores.

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As we’ve noted before, music education can boost your brain in all kinds of ways. It’s not just about putting kids and adults on a fast track to certified genius status – I think one of the biggest benefits I see in our music students is in their empathy for others. When you’ve had a challenging time mastering a chord for your guitar lessons, for instance, you tend to be more patient with others when they’re having trouble getting on the same page as you in a conversation – because you know that with time and effort, they’ll get there. Kids who play as part of a band understand intuitively how effective teamwork helps everyone – and they’re less likely to adopt a cynical, dog-eat-dog attitude. I notice those kinds of benefits all the time.

Music lessons don’t just churn out good musicians; they can help students become great people – and that applies to students of any age.

Do you have a story about how music helped someone you know to become a better learner – or a better person? Leave a comment and tell us your story.

Phil Barrow

Phil Barrow

Phil discovered his passion for music in his early teens when he began learning to play the guitar. He attended the VCC School of Music where he studied jazz and contemporary guitar performance. Phil joined Resound as a guitar teacher in 2013 and has been the school’s Director since 2014.

1 thought on “Music Lessons Help Your Brain for Life”

  1. My favorite part of your blog is when you pointed out that kids can learn the benefits of teamwork when they play as part of a band. This makes me think of finding a private online music lesson where I can enroll my 6-year-old daughter who has been showing her love for musical instruments. My goal is to help boost her creativity and at the same time enhance her social and intrapersonal skills, so your tips are truly helpful.


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Resound School of Music was started in 2009 with a vision of providing the finest music instruction available from the comfort of your home. But don’t be mistaken; we’re not your typical, stuffy music conservatory, nor do we want to be. Instead, we are the music school that was designed with you in mind.

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