Benefits of Music

Learning music makes you smarter and helps you work harder.

Finley JenningsASU Student and Performer

Growing up, my parents were persistent in their efforts to nurture my love of the arts. I learned to play the violin, guitar, and piano which, was accompanied by voice and dance lessons. Throughout my childhood, I frequently heard my mother complain about her lack of ability to play an instrument. As a child, I was annoyed by their efforts and complained often about having to practice. As an adult, I can say with 100% certainty, that I am grateful for the ability to read music and play multiple instruments.

Aside from the creative advantages and opportunities that come from learning to read and play music, reading music can be very beneficial for the developing brain. Learning to read music as a child significantly benefits literacy and memory. Children who learn music can read more effectively.

A study in 2011 at the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University concluded that:

“Both musical ability and literacy correlated with enhanced electrical signals within the auditory brainstem. Structural equation modeling of the data revealed that music skill, together with how the nervous system responds to regularities in auditory input and auditory memory/attention accounts for about 40% of the difference in reading ability between children. These results add weight to the argument that music and reading are related via common neural and cognitive mechanisms and suggest a mechanism for the improvements in literacy seen with musical training.”

So, in English, learning an instrument can improve children’s reading abilities. I began music lessons when I was 6 years old; when I was in the fourth grade, I was already reading at a 6th-grade level. 

Music is also beneficial for babies, providing them with better communication skills later on. Another benefit of learning music is more effective brain plasticity later on in life. Adults who play/played music respond faster to speech.

There are several benefits when it comes to learning to read/play music. Even if you decide to stop playing an instrument, a study showed that a musician who has stopped playing an instrument for up to 10 decades was still positively affected by the benefits of learning an instrument. So, as much as you or your child complain about putting in time and effort, learning music can significantly increase your day-to-day life. 

For a list of classes that INSPIRE offers, visit our website! You can read more about the benefits of learning music HERE and HERE!