NFportrt.jpgAbout the Benefits of Musical Training

A note from Nancy Fox Founder and Director

Some time ago, I received a letter from a parent of one of our students. This student has faced difficulties in learning and adapting to life's challenges. I think this parent sums up the benefits of music and music training as well as I can imagine.

 

 

 

Dear Nancy,

My son has been taking piano lessons and voice lessons at Fox Vocal Arts Studio for a year and a half.  During this time, I have realized the numerous benefits of studying music for children including those (and sometimes especially those) with special needs.  Not only is music fun and enjoyable, it has been shown to have so many positive impacts on a child’s development.  

It is obvious that learning to play the piano works on eye-hand coordination, finger dexterity, and fine motor skills, but many do not realize that it can have a huge effect on intelligence and neurological development.  Research has shown that playing the piano can improve spatial-temporal abilities.  These are the same skills that are involved with mathematics, science, and engineering.  Playing the piano can also stimulate “talk” between the right and left hemispheres of the brain as both hands play simultaneously.  In addition, the right side of the brain plays a large role in interpreting the music as the left side of the brain “reads” the musical notes.  This interaction during playing can carryover over to other activities and improve one’s overall ability to access and integrate information from both sides of the brain.  Learning to play the piano also teaches hard work, dedication, and discipline as practicing is necessary to improve one’s skills.  

The benefits of learning music are not just limited to playing an instrument.  Singing can also play an important role in cognitive, physical, and social/emotional development.  Learning music and lyrics strengthens the part of the brain that controls memory.  Singing can also improve listening skills as one learns to listen for notes, when to come in, rhythm, and pitch.  Singing lessons can improve one’s ability to focus on sound and perceive differences in sounds.  In a world where we are surrounded by noise this “filtering” of sounds can be an extremely important skill.  There are also physical benefits of singing.  Singing not only works the lungs and diaphragm, it can strengthen the core muscles of the body.  Singing can increase oxygen to the brain and can release endorphins in the brain causing an improvement in mood.  Singing also impacts social and emotional development.  Children who learn to sing often demonstrate increased confidence and self-esteem as they become comfortable performing in front of others and interacting with an audience.  

In conclusion,it is obvious that there are many great benefits to taking music lessons, but I think the most important is that it can be fun. Playing the piano and singing are skills that can be used throughout one’s lifetime to bring joy and entertainment not only to oneself, but also to those around you!