Image via Pixabay

The magic of music: Why playing an instrument increases intelligence

Nearly everyone enjoys music, whether listening to it, singing, or playing an instrument.


Image via Pixabay

It is no secret that listening to music from birth, or even before, will create neuron pathways in the brain, making understanding the world around us a little easier and the excel of languages a bit faster.

Taking up a musical instrument like the piano, guitar, violin, or other solo instruments is important because it nurtures children in so many ways. With the right teacher, a child can blossom into a confident adult with skills that can carry over into many other areas in life.

Music and Math

Playing an instrument is not just a creative act, but there are many parallels to math. Music and math are highly intertwined and by understanding beat, rhythm, and scales, and helping to wire a child’s brain to help him better understand other areas of math.

Despite this almost universal interest, many schools in South Africa are having to do away with their music education programmes. This is unfortunate as schools lose not only an enjoyable subject but a subject that can enrich students’ lives and education.

Music is the fabric of our society, and music can shape abilities and character. The world-famous violinist and pedagogue, Shinichi Suzuki (1898-1998) once said:

“Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens. If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline, and endurance. They get a beautiful heart. It is in our power to educate all the children of the world to become a little better as people, a little happier.”

The German-American musicologist Alfred Einstein said life without playing music is inconceivable to him. As it turns out, Einstein was onto something: many studies show a correlation between musical training and academic success, in both children and adults.

It would be wise for parents to find a private music teacher and encourage their children to take up a musical instrument of their choice. Choosing the piano as an instrument will be a clever decision as it will establish a strong musical basis for further instrumental exploring at a later stage.

Some benefits of playing a musical instrument

  • Stimulates the brain
  • A mastery of memorisation
  • Academic discipline
  • Students learn to improve their work
  • Increased coordination
  • Develops a sense of achievement
  • Intellectual development and curiosity
  • Emotional development
  • Fine-tuned auditory skills
  • Development of spatial intelligence
  • Improves creative thinking

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