Music has been a big part of my life since I was very small. I remember sitting on the piano bench next to my mom, singing my heart out and loving every minute of it. I remember starting piano lessons at the age of six and clarinet lessons at the age of eight and finally, voice lessons at the age of thirteen. During grade school, I also studied recorder and saxophone, and during high school, I studied the snare and tympani drums. My favorite, of course, was voice. I loved, and still love, to sing and act. I remember as a child dreaming of singing the part of Maria in “The Sound of Music” and as a teenager, wanting so badly to sing the part of Christine in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera” (although the part of Madam Giry was in my vocal range as a mezzo-soprano). Beside the “fun” element, the benefits of musical study are numerous. Today, research has established these benefits in the areas of academics, creativity, brain development and mental longevity. Research has now established that among people who studied a musical instrument for 10 consecutive years, fewer cases of Alzheimer’s disease develop. With so many research studies available, we could devote pages and pages to the benefits of musical study, but today, we want to share just five of those benefits with you.
1. Early musical training helps develop brain areas involved in language and reasoning. Research indicates that musical study physically develops the part of the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language and can actually wire the brain’s circuits in specific ways. (1)
2. Students who study music can process the sounds of speech faster then those who did not study music. (2)
3. Children who study music tend to have larger vocabularies and more advanced reading skills then their peers who do not participate in music lessons. (3)
4. Studying music primes the brain, as physical exercise does the human body. Music tones the brain for auditory fitness and allows it to decipher between tones and pitch. (3)
5. Music study enhances teamwork skills and discipline. In order for a band or orchestra to sound good, all the players must work together harmoniously towards a single goal, the performance. In order to do that, they must commit to learning music, attending rehearsals and practicing. (1)
If you want to know more about the benefits of musical study, please like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/desertsoundsofwellness and follow us on this blog, as we will be visiting other music related topics in the future. If you are interested in studying music, please visit our website at www.desertsoundsofwellness and read about the music instruction opportunities that we offer to students in the Phoenix Metro area.