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01/19/2015
In a recent post, we here at The Tutoring Center in Bear told you a little about the benefits of learning a foreign language. Today, we would like to offer some information on a similar theme; the educational benefits that your child can gain by learning a musical instrument.

Playing music is a full-brain workout

Studies have shown that listening to music activates various regions of the brain simultaneously, but when the brains of musicians engaged in playing music are analyzed, we can see that brain activity is practically off the charts. Multiple regions of the brain being active at the same time indicates that new neural networks are being built between sections of the brain and that active areas of the brain are being strengthened.

It strengthens the link between the brain’s hemispheres

Engaging multiple parts of the brain also means engaging both hemispheres simultaneously. The left hemisphere is focused more on linguistic and mathematical thinking, whereas the right hemisphere is focused on the creative and novel. Playing music has been shown to increase the volume and activity of the corpus callosum, the ‘bridge’ between the hemispheres, which in effect means the two hemispheres of the brain can communicate faster and more efficiently. This leads to increased problem-solving skills and imaginative thinking.

It increases ‘executive function��� and memory

Studies indicate that musicians are more adept at making decisions and planning and strategizing. Many also show a direct link between playing a musical instrument and enhanced memory function, possibly due to remembering information through many different associations (auditory, visual, and kinesthetic associations all help recall in different ways).

It requires practice, patience and determination

All of the personal attributes required to excel at an instrument are exceptionally useful when applied to your child’s school career. Dedicating themselves to learning an instrument will doubtless help them form a good work ethic when it comes to academic concerns.

Of course, learning a musical instrument won’t turn your child into a math prodigy by itself. If your child is struggling in any academic area, you could consider hiring a tutor to provide some extra support. The Tutoring Center’s staff offer personalized one-to-one tutoring in Bear so don’t hesitate to contact us at (302)-832-2400.

(Primary source for article: ‘Instrument specific use-dependent plasticity shapes the anatomical properties of the corpus callosum: a comparison between musicians and non-musicians’ in Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience, July 16, 2014 edition)

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