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The Relationship Between Music Education and Brain Development [Infographic]

How the brain responds to and benefits from music education.

Even if you don't consider yourself "musical," you should still enroll your child in music performance classes. Why? Because, according to research, music bestows plenty of non-musical brain development benefits. In fact, it can make your child's brain physically larger and enhance brain function. The links between music education and brain development are so numerous that playing an instrument can be considered a great brain workout.

The links between music education and brain development are extensive and beneficial, especially during childhood and adolescence.

The Brain’s Response

Music education is especially important during childhood and adolescence when your child's brain is most susceptible to development through musical influences. The brain areas that respond to music education include:

  • Auditory cortex, which processes and differentiates between sounds 
  • Cerebellum, especially parts that handle coordinated movements, such as keeping rhythm
  • Cerebrum, which memorizes and recalls music

The Brain’s Benefits

Some of the brain benefits from music education include:

  • Improved auditory skills can help your child focus in class and at home
  • Increased spatial intelligence makes it easier to learn math, science, and reasoning skills
  • Auditory differentiation can improve language learning, both now and later in life
  • Improved motor skills can make your child more dexterous and graceful
  • Increased memory can lead to better grades

These benefits can vary among individuals and, in some instances, between instruments. For example, some require different motor skills so your child may show more visible improvement in some areas than others.

Music doesn't just help while your child is taking music classes or lessons. Instead, the results of childhood music education last well into adulthood. College students can carry a slight IQ advantage from early music learning, and even senior adults who played music during childhood can retain better language processing abilities.

As you can see, band and orchestra classes can do much more than just ensure a well-rounded high school transcript! The relationship between brain development and music education is astonishing. If your child is already in a musical class, give yourself a pat on the back. If not, visit our Fitchburg instrument showroom or call 608.661.8600 to learn more about enrolling your child in a school-supported music education program or private music lessons that will give your child the advantage in life that he or she deserves.