Upping the IQ with Musical Education


Cast your mind back, way back to when you were young.

Get caught up in the nostalgia of childhood music lessons. When you first played a piece perfectly. The sense of accomplishment you felt when you tackled and (finally) took down a seriously sticky score.

Perhaps you even continued to play your instrument and now enjoy a rich musical life as an adult. Maybe you play at parties, with friends at home, or for pleasure in local bands.

All the good stuff, the fun and experiences, that feature throughout your journey as a musician shouldn’t be understated. Alone, they’re enough of a reason to encourage your own children to pick up an instrument.

But what if we told you that process of practicing and mastering strings, brass, and woodwind can also improve your kids’ IQ?

So many scientific studies have shown that youngsters who get involved in music and learn to read sheet music enjoy better odds when it comes to academic pursuits. By extension, music lessons are thought to even improve an individual’s IQ!

Let’s take a look at just five ways that playing a musical instrument can improve your child’s intelligence, reinforce neural pathways, and instill study habits.

  1. Memory: There is no doubt that the ability to read sheet music and commit sweeping scores to memory does wonders. Less Dory, more Debussy as studies have shown that musicians have far better auditory memory than those who don’t play an instrument.
  2. Coordination: There’s a whole lot of stuff going on when musicians play. Balancing sheet music, adjusting hand positions, nudging the tongue and lips, into exactly the right contortions – wowza! Being a musician requires motor skills and coordination, both mentally and physically. That’s going to benefit young minds in countless ways.
  3. Time Management:  Music takes practice. If you don’t invest time into your instrument, you will quickly fall behind or fail to progress at all. Students who are dedicated to their music will learn to plan and manage their time efficiently in order to be prepared for playing publicly. Or, simply to ensure they schedule in some mindful, pleasurable playing in between the whirlwind of homework.
  4. Confidence:  The smartest person in a room will only achieve their goals if they can pair their talent and smarts with the confidence to be seen and heard. Playing an instrument with passion, verve and skill in a concert, recital, or even in front of friends, will build confidence. That’s an attribute that will help them excel in all stages of life.
  5. Cognitive Function:  In addition to seeing an improvement in memory, coordination, and confidence, your child’s general overall cognitive function is given a boost when they play an instrument. Neural pathways are forged in the brain, and scientists believe that this may even make learning languages and mastering maths skills easier.

More than anything, kids love to have fun.

And, guess what, playing an instrument can be a whole lot of fun!

While they are engaging in something that they enjoy, their minds are expanding and their future success is increasing. Musical education is too important to neglect!

1 comment

  • Jon F

    Interesting comments above. From the beginning, I’ll offer the opinion that what you say above doesn’t demonstrate that music improves IQ, but aslo that this doesn’t matter. IQ is a narrowly defined assessment of how effectively the mind functions. It’s generally only though of as important among people who happen to score highly in IQ tests. The attributes you mention above, which I DO think playing music improves, are much more broad and rounded. They’re much more important than being able to cope well with the arcane tests used for IQ assessment and much more important in a child’s intellectual development. Memory, co-ordination, time management and confidence are not tested at all in IQ tests, and only limited aspects of cognitive function are. However, these are all important developmental attributes, which I happen to firmly believe are benefitted by playing musc.

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