Power of Music: How Music Can Boost Your Child’s Cognitive Development

From listening to your favorite tunes to learning to play an instrument, music offers countless benefits to growing minds. Discover how music can boost your child’s cognitive development!

The power of music

For many people, music is an essential part of daily life. Listening to music serves as both a pastime when relaxing, as well as “background” entertainment while focusing on other tasks (driving, studying, etc.) The psychological benefits of music are well established, with studies reporting that music can have significantly positive effects on a student’s mental health. Listening to music on a daily basis encourages:

  • Higher emotional intelligence
  • Improved general health and well-being
  • Proactive maintenance of mental health
  • Emotional expression
  • Cultural exploration and social education

For many readers, this won’t come as a surprise. After all, listening to music is a common stress-reliever for billions of people (quite literally) every day. What may surprise you, however, is that music’s benefits even extend beyond mental and emotional health.

Music: A complete cognitive workout

When it comes to stimulating our cognitive abilities, it’s hard to beat the power of music. Even if you don’t play an instrument, the act of listening to music itself is a cognitive exercise. Memorizing lyrics, recognizing musical patterns, and actively listening to individual parts and sections all encourage cognitive activity. As summarized by Harvard Health, music “activates just about all of the brain.”

Learning to physically play a musical instrument extends these benefits even further. If you really think about it, the act of playing an instrument checks almost every cognitive training box:

  • Reading and writing lyrics, chords, and music
  • Memorization and sustained practice
  • Problem-solving abilities
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Sound and pitch recognition
  • Self-expression and emotional output
  • Language development

Put simply, music truly is a complete cognitive workout for your brain! Click here to learn more about the many benefits of music for developing brains.

Music’s impact on learning

Listening to music can promote a healthy learning environment, which is why many students rely on background music while studying. Research suggests that listening to instrumental music (from classical to lo-fi) aids with memory consolidation, improving concentration, and our ability to maintain focus for extended periods of time.

Studies also report that learning to play a musical instrument has a lifelong impact on a person’s brain, with research indicating that the cognitive benefits of music even extend into retirement age! Not surprisingly, playing an instrument tends to become a lifelong passion for individuals who stick with it in the long term.

Finally, learning to play an instrument encourages resilience. As we’ve talked about many times on our blog before, failure can actually be a good thing – setbacks teach us to develop new strategies and try again until we succeed. There’s no doubt that learning an instrument can be difficult to do, often requiring years of practice to reach performance-level playing. However, the learning process itself is incredibly rewarding, and as many musicians will tell you – it’s all part of the journey! 

Ready to inspire your child to become a musician? Check out Encouraging Your Child to Pick Up A Musical Instrument!