The Affects of Daily Music Practice on a Child's Brain. -By Jacqueline Banks, M. Mus.

For every month of music lessons, your child’s IQ will increase by ⅙ point.

With the success of The Capital City Music Project's first day complete, the topic of daily practice has my attention.  Our innovative after school program actually has a daily practice block built into it's curriculum, so parents no longer have to worry about "the practice battle" and children no longer have to worry about whether or not they're doing it right.  This had me thinking about the full breath of benefits that children receive from consistent, daily music practice.

Music has been a constant form of therapy and entertainment since the beginning of time, spanning throughout every culture in existence. The power of music, and it’s capabilities to develop, soothe, and inspire, is seen throughout history. While speaking to a child will aid in their own speech development, music taps into every sub-portion of the brain. When babies are born, their preference of music is the same as what they listened to while in the womb. For instance, if the mother always listened to jazz music while pregnant, playing jazz music for a baby will soothe them better than any other music the mother did not listen to while pregnant. The effects are so pronounced that departments of education all over the world, have their teachers incorporate music time into each day. There is stimulation of the alpha waves in brain, creating a sense of freedom from agitation. Consistently exposing a child, or baby, to music has shown to improve language, reading ability, fine motor coordination, and even the ability to judge distance which is a skill used for math.  

Daily music practice for kids also has a great effect on the emotions and motivation of a child. Music, whether it is through standard children’s music lessons or music therapy, enhances a cognitive development which relates to the mental processes of judgment, memory, reasoning and perception, as contrasted with volitional and emotional processes, as well as emotional development, and physical abilities.

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It is known that children who grow up not only listening to music, but also learning to make music, have an increased chance of being academically successful. Another result of daily music practice is that it raises your child’s IQ (Intellectual Quotient). The longer the practice and lessons continue, the greater the effect on your child’s IQ, mental abilities, and academic performance. Practicing music also increases the brain’s ability to respond to sound, and allows the brain to correctly identify differences of that sound.  This can be seen when children who play music for even a small amount of time, then naturally develop the ability to play by their favorite songs from the radio by ear. The great thing about music is the fact that it transcends language. Classical music everywhere is the same and has the same effect on the human brain. When seeking to learn a new language, musical training allows a child, even an adult, to learn a foreign language quicker than those who have no past formal musical training.

Music Lessons will allow your child to have a greater chance at academic advancement, cognitive development, spatial reasoning, and listening skills. Daily music practice for kids will increase your child’s ability to process emotions, differentiate between subtle sounds, and it also raises your child’s IQ, putting them above other children who do not have regular music lessons. Consider this fact: for every month of music lessons, your child’s IQ will increase by ⅙ point. Now, imagine how one year or more, of music lessons can impact not only your child’s IQ, but their performance at school and overall trajectory in life. Daily music practice is just the investment in your child’s current development, and their future development as well.