The National Institutes for Health have conducted a study about how music affects the brain. But not just any type of musical experience. The study looked at how playing a musical instrument actually affects the maturation of the brain.
It turns out that playing an instrument physically changes the architecture of the brain itself. The area that’s particularly affected by playing and making music is called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. It leads to more development of good matter in the brain.
So what’s the big deal about the prefrontal cortex? Well it controls executive planning, organization, working memory, emotional regulation and focus.
So putting your kids in band, or getting them to learn the piano will help them become better overall at life. No wonder so many successful people have a love for playing musical instruments.
The study looked at MRIs of over 200 youth, but what’s to say it can’t also help adults and aged individuals with brain function?
This new study makes it absolutely clear that the dreaded “arts” programs in schools are not extras but complete necessities in a well-rounded education. There’s no question that learning music in early years at school will have a lasting postive impact on students worldwide.
While most schools in the west have cut education in these areas, places like Venezuela have let arts programs – specifically music related ones – flourish.
I think it’s time we change the way we look at both public and private education. We’ve completely missed the mark in many areas, and it’s increasingly clear that music can have a huge impact on the brain.
If you’re in the unfortunate circumstance (like most of us in the West are) of not having any music programs at your childrens’ schools, don’t let that hinder your ability at providing them a truly full education.
Get them private lessons, or better yet, get them to learn with online music lessons.
There are ways to help save the arts, and the importance of art and creativity in intelligence, in your personal life. And then, maybe the idea will spread.
Now, go learn some music!