Thursday, March 8, 2007

New Blog Category: Benefits of Musical Training

These days there is more and more scientific research being devoted to the cognitive and intellectual development of humans. Not surprisingly, recent studies considering musical training and study (such as lessons and music classes) are revealing more and more substantial evidence for the benefits, direct and indirect, of participating in musical activities.

I've always wanted to know more about this topic than I currently do, so I think it would be perfect timing to try and compile some information on the subject here at the Cincinnati Pianist Blog.

Of course, there is an obvious "selfish" reason for me to do this here -- it could help to convince parents to begin and/or continue lessons for their child, with me as the teacher! But I also think that it is good for us to just be more aware of what we actually gain in the pursuit of musical study. I know that all parents want the best for their child's development as they grow, and I think that knowledge of the benefits reaped by musical training should help us better understand and appreciate the not-so-insignificant investment in private lessons.

To start, here are some links to brief articles on this subject from the recent past:

ScienceDaily report from 2004 on the "The First Solid Evidence That the Study of Music Promotes Intellectual Development" (this study involved keyboard students)

ScienceDaily report from 2006 on how music enhances "Intelligence, Mental Health, and the Immune System" (hmmm...could you practice more and not get sick? Well, maybe that's a stretch...but more practice wouldn't bother me!)

A longer report from 2002 on the benefits of music education for various kinds of success at the National Association for Music Education: "Music Education Facts and Figures"

As time goes on I am sure that more research will yield additional articles to include in this category. If anyone would like to suggest links to related articles they may have seen elsewhere on the web, please let me know via the comment function below or through email.