Do you know that every year, almost 100% of public school students in America begin an instrument if a school music program exists in their school? Yet over 50% of students simply quit a few years later.
Even though parents encourage their children to take up a musical instrument, they never really treat music as important as other subjects. The benefits of learning maths and languages have always been greater than music in parents’ eyes, or even in children’s eyes as they grow up. So grown-ups just quit playing music.
An even more common phenomenon is that, as people grow up, they put off playing music as it doesn’t serve any concrete purpose in their hectic life in which work, vacation, friends and family times are of higher priority.
If you quit playing music because of one of the above reasons, you can’t miss the following findings explained by music educator, Anita Collins. She explained in a TED Ed video how playing instruments benefits our brains and what she says will change the way you look at music:
Music stimulates multiple areas in our brains and strengthens our problem solving skills
Neuroscientists try to understand how our brains work by monitoring them in real time. Different tasks like painting and reading have corresponding areas of the brain where activity can be observed.
When participants are listening to music while being observed, researchers see that multiple brain areas are being stimulated at once. Our brains process the sound elements like melody and rhythm and put everything together to let us feel the musical experience in just a split second.
Researchers also try to observe the brains of people who play music.
While multiple areas of their brains also light up like music listeners’, playing music engages every area of the brain at once, especially the visual, auditory, and motor cortices.
Playing music combines the brain areas which involve our linguistic and mathematical skills and creativity, utilizing both hemispheres of our brains.
Therefore, playing music is said to increase the volume and activity in the brain’s corpus callosum. And the enhanced brains allow musicians to apply their strength to other activities including more effectively and creatively solving problems in different settings.
People who play music have great memory as they’re used to interlinking messages and emotions in music
Music is made up of messages and emotions and therefore, musicians are processing all this information as they play music.