Over the years, countless studies have been conducted on the effects of music on the human mind. One of the most popular beliefs is that music can stimulate mental development in children. While a good deal of observers has agreed to the theory, some critics claim the effect of music on children to be a myth, something that people simply want to believe.
Before moving on, there is a twist in the story. Though the theory of mental development by listening to music is still being debated, cultivating a child’s ability to play musical instruments is a different matter altogether. Scientists have observed how children who learn how to play musical instruments at a young age speak better, understand their own emotions more and are better at multitasking as they grow older.
The main reason, researchers suggest, is the enhancement of executive functioning skills, which are given a boost via music lessons. Executive functioning skills involve switching in the middle of tasks, focusing on the task at hand, following complex instructions, and finding solutions to immediate and long-term problems. Music lessons are seen to have an incredibly positive effect on all these skills. What’s more is that researchers have found that these children go on to have a marked higher level of proficiency in academics compared to children who were not enrolled in music lessons.
Hi there. My name is Dr. Wayne Imber, a retired professor of social and developmental psychology. I spend most of my time playing golf and experimenting in the kitchen. For more on my work and interests, follow me on Twitter.