How Does Learning a Musical Instrument Improve Brain Function in Children?


In a recent study, a team of child psychiatrists found that learning a musical instrument may reduce the level of anxiety experienced by children. To stimulate mental growth and development in children, professionals recommend involving children in creative activities. Learning a musical instrument is one way of providing children an excellent opportunity to express themselves while acquiring new talent. Researchers suggest that musical training of any kind can improve and sharpen the mental ability and agility of children.

In this article, you will learn just a few of the amazing ways that learning music can benefit your children.

Improves Memory

Studies show that by playing a musical instrument from early childhood, memory functions are significantly improved over those children who lack this experience.

This is because our brains typically perform based on whether the task is creative (right side) or logical (left side). As we grow into adulthood, most are inclined to one form of tasks over the other which is why we need to undergo brain training exercises to keep our cognitive faculties sharp. However, the task of learning an instrument uniquely crosses the barrier utilizing both the right and left sides of the brain to create a combined way of thinking and processing information. The result of this improves memory function in children, paving the way for higher reasoning powers, as well as, increased and quicker memorization of new vocabulary.

Makes Kids Smart

Research shows that children and students who play musical instruments, typically achieve higher grades in school than those who do not. Reading music, and playing any kind of instrument, stimulates certain cognitive and neural mechanisms within the brain. This stimulation can enhance the reading skills that children would otherwise exhibit.

You may know that Albert Einstein was a great violinist. His mother, Pauline, was a lover of the arts and an accomplished pianist.  Pauline encouraged young Albert to study the violin at only five years old. This early integration of music into Einstein’s life would later be credited for the role it played in laying a crucial foundation in an otherwise genius brain.

Increases Blood Flow

The playing of musical instruments has been shown to increase blood flow in the brain. As a result of this, children can experience higher levels of energy throughout the body as well as focused energy in the brain. Studies have shown that when a musical instrument is played, the blood flow increases in the left hemisphere of our brain thereby increasing the energy and our ability to complete logical tasks.

This uptick in logical/left hemisphere activities can lead to improved analytical and problem-solving skills. Research has shown that when we learn a new language, the mind follows the same cognitive learning paths used by the brain for learning a musical instrument. As such, it can be concluded that the establishment of this path through music makes learning new languages a quicker and simpler task then it would be for children with no musical experience.

Helps with Depression and Stress

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of learning a musical instrument is its utility to help manage certain mood disorders.  It is widely accepted that music can have a deep connection with our emotional state. Music, as well as musical instruments, therefore have the ability to influence our moods. This correlation can be used to help manage stress, anxiety and even depression.

A musical instrument can calm the human mind and increase self-confidence. Children who play a musical instrument, may develop a unique kind of shield to help guard against stress and depression.

Improve Multitasking

Ever heard of that musicians are often the best multitaskers? Or maybe you heard that multitasking is a misnomer. In fact, our brains are single process systems.  Our brain cannot multitask, it just switches one task to another. If this is the case, then how can a musician be the best at something that doesn’t exist?

Put simply, musicians learn to switch tasks more effectively and efficiently. The best example of this may be the piano. While playing, the pianist requires use of both hands in addition to their feet to work the pedals. This is not to forget the obvious need to read music simultaneously. Our eyes read, ears listen for accuracy, while hands and feet perform.

As a result, a child’s brain learns advanced “multitasking” skills from a young age. Note that although piano may arguably be one of the most advanced instruments in terms of multitasking, all instruments require some.  However, if you are interested in pursuing piano for your child you can check beginner’s piano guide from Musical Instru.

It’s Fun

Last, but definitely not least, playing a musical instrument is fun. The struggles of learning in the beginning, pale in comparison to the benefits it yields. Once learned, children are able to connect to the music by playing or even creating their own music, the joy of which is boundless. Playing on the stage and succeeding in performances can develop a sense of achievement, confidence and expanded social interactions over time.


In today’s technology dominated world, parents are often challenged with providing their children meaningful experiences that everyone can embrace. Learning an instrument is a fantastic option for parents and children alike. Children will be equally challenged and rewarded as they learn a new activity that speaks to their soul while developing their mind and body. The skills that children acquire through learning a musical instrument transcend the musical world in ways least expected. From fortifying our emotional intelligence to strengthening our analytical skills, the benefits of learning an instrument cannot be understated.

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