by Nobu Sakurai
During my studies for a Master’s Degree in Education, I researched the benefits of learning how to play music.
It was absolutely amazing to discover how much music can affect one’s life in many different areas.
This helped shape my teaching philosophy for music.
Research proves that music affects human brain waves. While listening to music creates passive appreciation, playing music engages both active attention and motion. Research also reveals that playing music involves both sides of the brain and helps make them equally stronger. This helps people to understand complicated ideas faster and remember them better and longer.
Playing music can also improve one’s academic achievement.
Math⇒Math proficiency is helped by music performance because both involve numbers, repeating patterns and ratios. Standard musical notation consists of symbols such as whole-notes, quarter-notes, half-notes and eighth-notes that represent the duration of sound. Students have to read scores and count the notes correctly in order to play music. This exercise helps reinforce the understanding of math concepts.
Reading Skills & Critical thinking⇒Students who learn to play music also develop brain architecture that supports math and reading skills. Learning music helps the student connect his/her cognitive world and the world of print. Thus, music increases critical thinking skill.
Any other benefits?
Certain life skills are necessary for success in one’s life. Studying music helps one learn skills which can help in accomplishing future goals and achieving successful personal lives.
Life Skills⇒ learn ①discipline, ②the ability to manage stress, and
③the expression of feelings
①Discipline comes from the individual commitment to practice playing the piano. Discipline helps one focus to achieve his/her goals.
②Research reported that music can heal a patients’ body and beneficially alter mood and brain function to create peace and reduce depression.
③Music can heighten awareness of one and behavior to give expression to inner feelings. Learning music is like a language that talks to us and allows us to talk back.
Clearly, playing an instrument can be a powerful educational resource that will help you or your child succeed and live a balanced and healthy life.
Why don’t you experience the power of music on your own by playing piano!?