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Cognitive Benefits of Music Education

Among the many cognitive benefits of learning to play an instrument is the ability to improve verbal and auditory memory. The arts expose children to experiences that are unmatchable. These include music, art, and the arts in general. Learning an instrument improves executive function, memory, and attention. In addition, it helps prevent risky behaviors, such as teenage drug abuse, which often leads to institutionalization. Consequently, music education benefits not only mental health, but also physical health.

Learning to play a musical instrument improves auditory verbal memory

Research has shown that learning to play an instrumental helps with auditory verbal memory. It works by stimulating the left temporal lobe, which processes auditory input. Additionally, it promotes the development of the planum temporale, which is responsible for verbal memory. In fact, one 1995 MRI study showed that the planum temporale was bigger in musicians’ brains compared to the rest of the population. Verbal memory training occurs as a side effect of learning to play an instrument, not an intentional goal.

Brain scans of musicians have shown that they have more grey matter in various regions of their brains and more long-range connections among brain regions. This increased gray matter is believed to improve memory and other cognitive abilities. Music training improves the brain’s general auditory processing, emotion and memory. This requires efficient sound-to-meaning relationships, attention to sensory details, and thinking skills related to integrating sensory input.


Among the many benefits of a music education for children is that it promotes effective auditory memory strategies. Playing music involves continuous monitoring of meaningful chunks of information, which in turn combine to form meaningful melodic gestures. Musical chunks are formed by a sequence of notes, which are then combined into a unified pattern under Gestalt principles and syntactic rules common to Western tonal music. Some musical materials are longer than working memory, which helps students develop efficient auditory and visual memory strategies.

In one study, children enrolled in a music group experienced large effect sizes in verbal memory. The researchers compared the effects of music group participation on verbal memory to those of controls at three time points. Interestingly, they found no significant differences between the groups on visual memory measures, which indicated that the effect of music group participation was more than negligible. Memory benefits of music education for children may be due to the broader benefits of music learning for children.


A new study has examined the cognitive benefits of music education. Students who received top-notch music lessons increased their IQ scores by three points compared with those who did not. In addition, they improved their working memory and cognitive flexibility. These aren’t scientific studies yet, but they do point to potential benefits. Furthermore, studies show that children who participated in music programs had higher attendance rates than their peers. However, these findings still need further research.

The cognitive benefits of music education are numerous. For one thing, music helps children develop their natural abilities. In addition to improving their attention spans, children who are exposed to musical experiences have a distinct advantage when it comes to language development. These benefits can be reinforced at home as well as in formal music education. For these reasons, music education is a fantastic way to promote kids’ social and cognitive development. If you’re a music education advocate, it’s time to start talking about the many benefits of learning music.

Executive function

One recent study looked at the association between music education and executive functions, a set of cognitive skills human beings use to achieve goals. The study participants, who were 58% female and 86% African American, participated in an out-of-school program that involved individual training on orchestral instruments. Academic achievement was measured through academic records, while executive function skills were evaluated using a computerized battery of tasks that measure executive functioning. Music education, then, provides several benefits for the whole person.

Music training improves executive functions, but more research is needed to determine if this is a direct result of music education. In this study, children who were involved in an instrumental music program showed significantly higher executive function scores than those who had not participated in the program. The results were even more pronounced among those who were experts in music. Interestingly, non-musicians were out-performed by musical amateurs. Learning to play classical music demands high executive function skills, such as flexibility, priority-setting, and self-monitoring. Playing in an orchestra requires multi-sensory executive function workout.

Academic achievement

A recent study examined the association between music education and executive function, a set of cognitive processes that help humans achieve goals. Participants were 265 children in first through eighth grade, 58% female and 86% African American. They were randomly chosen for an out-of-school program offering individual training on orchestral instruments. Participants completed academic records, and executive function tests were conducted using computerized algorithms. Interestingly, the researchers observed significant correlations between students in high-quality music programs and those in schools with low-quality music programs.

The results of this study indicate that a music education program increases EFs in students while enhancing academic achievement. The results of the study are discussed in light of current educational policies and the need for further research to identify pathways connecting music education with EF. Those interested in pursuing this program should consider the time and expense involved. The benefits of music education are clear: it can boost academic performance, increase social skills, foster emotional maturity, and promote self-expression and emotional release.

Social skills

Regardless of whether you are an adult learning to play an instrument or a child just starting out, music lessons offer benefits far beyond the musical realm. In addition to fostering creativity, music lessons foster teamwork, compromise, and cooperation. These qualities are important for school and life, and will continue to benefit students for many years to come. Below are three reasons why music lessons are beneficial for your child. This is just the beginning of the benefits of music education for social skills.

Studies show that children with musical training have better spatial intelligence. They are able to discern speech sounds from background noise, which can improve their ability to concentrate in noisy settings. However, not all types of musical training have the same cognitive benefits. Learning to read music and play an instrument may have greater benefits. Children who learn to play an instrument may have an even greater benefit. It is unclear whether music education for social skills is effective for children with learning disabilities, but the benefits are clear.