Why music lessons?

Cognitive Development

In recent years, there has been a great amount of research done showing the correlation of music lessons and positive cerebral development in children and adults.  This article outlines four separate studies conducted on both adults and children on the effect of music lessons on the brain.  In nearly every scenario, the group that integrated music into their daily routine came out ahead.  It’s a quick and interesting read.

Music education has long been held as irrelevant to intellectual development.  But this study,  from psychologist Frances Rauscher, Ph.D. and neuroscientist Gordon Shaw, Ph.D., shows, how music lessons dramatically enhance one’s spatial intelligence.   Spatial intelligence accounts for the thinking process of engineers, architects, designers, sculptors and inventors and is important in learning and problem solving.   A quick summary of the study can be found here.

Emotional Development

Music also plays a crucial role in developing a child’s emotional intelligence!  Recently, there has been a lot of discussion going on in educational forums  about how social-emotional skills are a missing piece in formal education.  Music lessons provide a platform for children (and adults!) to express themselves in a way that is positive and constructive.  It develops the imagination and helps us explore and experience a range of different moods, and different ways to communicate those moods to others.  Discovering emotion in sound helps us develop sensitivity to emotional cues and an intuitive understanding of social contexts, giving us greater flexibility in dealing with human relationships.