Music Strengthens The Brain
Neuroscientist Kiminobu Sugaya and world-renowned violinist Ayako Yonetani — teach “Music and the Brain,” exploring and explaining how music impacts brain function and human behavior:
- reducing stress, pain and symptoms of depression
- reduce heart rate and blood pressure by activating the hypothalamus
- improving cognitive and motor skills
- improving spatial-temporal learning and neurogenesis, which is the brain’s ability to produce neurons- in the hippocampus, allowing production of new neurons and improving memory
- enhances function of the frontal lobe, used for thinking, decision-making and planning
- improve your ability to communicate better by exercising Broca’s area
- teaching our brain to function with left and right hemispheres simultaneously, coordinating body movement with complex thoughts that require logic (left side) and intuition (right side)
- helps us process triggers and emotions, by exercising the amygdala
Comprehension of musical language can benefit a child’s overall mental development. Figures show that students who study music are more successful on tests and are also likely to achieve better grades in school.
Musical training physically develops the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language and reasoning.
We are all born with more neurons than we actually need. Typically by the age of 8, our brains do a major neuron dump, removing any neurons perceived as unnecessary, which is why it’s easier to teach language and music to younger children.
Music is Fun
Music increases dopamine in the nucleus accumbens, improving our mood and providing pleasure and satisfaction. Furthermore, if we encourage their interest, passion, and skills by listening actively or even singing along, children are taught that learning is fun. Every musical milestone or song children learn is a personal achievement they can find joy in.
Music is Math
Although they look very different, math and music are actually quite similar. “When children learn rhythm, they are learning ratios, fractions and proportions,” said Professor Gordon Shaw from the University of California. “It’s a great way of learning math in an artistic way!”
Music Can Improve Social Skills
Music is often created and played in small or large groups. Team-work skills are developed when players work together harmoniously towards a unified goal. “Children who take part in music develop higher levels of social cohesion and understanding of themselves and others,” says Dr. Alexandra Lamont, Lecturer in the Psychology of Music at the University of Keele.
Music Develops Emotional Intelligence
Music helps children to manage their feelings by teaching them to express them through musical language. It gives them the chance to exteriorize their emotion with their voice or the instrument they are playing.
Music also enhances emotional regulation skills, as students are taught to utilize emotions to express specific sounds. They’re taught to harness their passions and feelings and exercise them artistically for the benefit of themselves and their greater audience- to bring a soul to the sound through self expression.
Music Improves Behavior
Jointly listening to music, making music, or moving to music has been shown to boost prosocial behavior. Prosocial behavior, or intent to benefit others, is a social behavior that “benefit[s] other people or society as a whole.” Examples of prosocial behavior: helping, sharing, donating, co-operating, volunteering.
Children experience that practice and hard work is directly related to reaching their goals, teaching them the art of discipline, a very valuable life-lesson, best learned early. The positive reinforcement that comes from successful creation of a musical project is not to be underestimated.
Music Boosts Confidence
By improving their abilities with a specific song or instrument, children can feel very satisfied and this can greatly improve their self-esteem. Taking risks and facing challenges is essential for a child in order to fully develop his or her potential. By seeing a difficult task through to completion, a child proves to him or herself that they can accomplish hard things. They learn grit.