Is Musical Training the Key to a Successful Life?

Is Musical Training the Key to a Successful Life?

Researchers are coming to the realization that there is a scientific link between playing an instrument and brain development. James Hudziak, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont said, “What we found was the more a child trained on an instrument, the more accelerated cortical organization in attention skill, anxiety management and emotional control became.”

It has been shown that playing music alters the parts of the brain associated with behavior regulation. For example, it advances the thickness in a part of the cortex, which pertains to “executive functioning, including working memory, attentional control, as well as organization and planning for the future,” according to the authors of a study at the University of Vermont. Hudziak has hope that his findings will influence the use of music to treat certain psychological disorders, including ADHD.                             

Music has also proven to enhance recall and retention of verbal information, along with advancing math achievement. And it doesn’t stop there. Music boosts reading and ELA abilities and improves average SAT scores.

Complex math processes are more accessible to students who have studied music because the same parts of the brain used in processing math are strengthened through practice in music. Students’ brains are already accustomed to performing the processes used in complex math if they have or have previously had training in music (Helmrich, 2010).          

But going beyond academics, musical training promotes self-esteem and creativy. These are important character traits to develop early on. Being sure of yourself and your ideas opens up so many doors, and music could be how to achieve the skills and traits needed to make opportunities for yourself.  

So, is musical training the key to a successful life? Most scientists would argue that it is.