Experts Say: The Effects of Music on the Brain

I’m planning to sign my four-year-old up for music lessons but just what effect does music have on a child’s brain?

Music ignites all areas of child development; intellectual, social and emotional, motor skills, language, and overall literacy. It helps the body and the mind work together. Exposing children to music during early development helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words. 

Science has shown that when children learn to play music, their brains begin to hear and process sounds that they cannot otherwise hear. This helps them develop a “neurophysiological distinction” between certain sounds that aid in literacy, which can then be translated into improved academic results for children. It boosts many functions of the brain, especially cognitive functions, like attention, memory and language development.

According to new research by The Telegraph, the earlier a child starts learning how to play a musical instrument, the stronger his/her language skills and memory will be impacted and improved. Playing any instrument also gives the brain a rigorous mental workout, which then helps develop a surprising number of skills.

Moreover, many musical instruments require using both hands, creating new neuro-connections in a child’s brain between the left and the right hemispheres. The ability to use the brain’s right creative part and the left logical part simultaneously becomes a very valuable skill for a child. According to the psychologists at the Vanderbilt University, this skill carries into the rest of their lives as children then learn how to solve problems faster and find different ways to approach problem-solving. Studies by Lutz Jancke, a psychologist at the University of Zurich, also show that playing music can increase a child’s IQ by 7% in average.

In addition, children also learn that these skills and their musical achievements are rewards from their practice, discipline, and persistence. Introducing music at a young age can help foster a positive learning environment and attitude towards learning and curiosity. Music also encourages creativity, self-expression, and emotional development, boosting their self-esteem and teaching them to cope with difficult problems. Thus, important character attributes like tenacity, self-confidence and self-discipline are inculcated at a young age. 


Question answered by:

Florence Fok

District Manager

Brighton Montessori

Thanks for sharing!