Improved literacy, increased neural processing, and having a biological effect on children’s developing nervous system. Sounds like a drug, or special milk formula? Well, you can’t be further from the truth – as what Nina Kraus, a scientist and director of Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, describes in the article: learning to play a musical instrument is good for developing brains, especially for children, and this improves their academic results through aiding literacy.
How does this work? By participating actively in the creation of music in a music class, children begin to hear and process sounds that they couldn’t otherwise hear. This cognitive stimulation effectively rewires the brain into improving neural processing through active generation and manipulation of sound, and hence encouraging children to be more on-task during usual academic lessons.
Unconvinced? Harmony Project, a non-profit community music program which serves low-income children in Los Angeles, reports that 93 per cent of its seniors going on to college despite their neighbourhood having a 50 per cent dropout rate. Now that’s a pretty big deal. If learning, and practising a musical instrument has such proven benefits for developing children, and at the community level, what are some closer-to-home perks for someone who’s playing music at a casual level? Here are some pretty nifty ones:
Sharpening concentration and teaching perseverance.
Learning and perfecting a piece on any instrument is never an easy feat, but it’s nevertheless high-effort, high-reward. The bigger price from being able to impress others would be the cultivation of perseverance during those practice sessions, and it goes a long way in character development.
It helps you to pick up non-verbal communication and coordination even better.
When you play in a band or group, there’s a limit to how much information speech and words can convey. Non-verbal cues, such as the nuanced coordination between each member of a musical group coming together to put up a perfect performance, require astute observation such as subtleties in body language and a heightened sensitivity towards changes in rhythm so that you are able to react quickly at the right moment. This applies to daily conversation and interaction with other people as well.
It fosters creativity.
After understanding the basics of music, you might be thinking of creating a new piece or modifying parts of a song to come up with an original piece of work – go for it! Even minute things, like altering the tempo of certain passages in a piece counts as well. Being content with the way a musical piece is played doesn’t always sit well with musicians, so let your creativity speak for itself!
Developing confidence and maintaining composure in front of many people.
Stage fright- especially when you’re performing to a group of people – is part and parcel of musical life. The invaluable skill of dealing with it through such repeated exposures go a long way into overcoming shyness in any social context!
It opens up a creative social network to you.
The best form of a kindred soul to a musician, is of course, another fellow musician! Interacting with other like-minded creative people passionate about music not only encourages you to hone your skill in the instrument, but also creates opportunities for you to meet more people in the network! You need not be a career musician to experience this; any musical folks out there definitely bond better over playing some good music together as opposed to standard social engagements.
It’s lots of fun, and you stand to impress others as well!
What can be better than impressing your friends while having fun at the same time? Other than opening up your social circle to fellow musicians, you stand to attract many other people who appreciate music as well! Online magazines such as Elite Daily also puts up a list of must-learn songs to impress girls, and this is certainly one powerful dating tool you wouldn’t want to pass up.;)