Academic Benefits of Music Lessons from a D.C./Baltimore Music Teacher

Many times, I am asked by parents about the academic benefits of having their children take music lessons. We hear all the time that learning music improves math scores and assists in other areas of academic performance, but why?
My take on it is that music lessons and learning to read music are ‘brain exercises’ that develop a greater ability to concentrate and interpret a different language. Much like Sudoku puzzles, learning an instrument stimulates the mind and is in itself very much like a puzzle. This puzzle, though, is not only centered on playing in time and reading correct notes—it is also a creative puzzle in which each student can have a unique interpretation and method of conveying musical meaning.
If linked to math, sure music does have fractions in the form of beat subdivisions, but I don’t equate learning to read music to doing algebra. The process that is being learned is problem solving, and musical training improves focus and discipline in this area, which is highly linked to success in developing math and writing skills. Musical education is beneficial overall in enhancing a sense of academic persistence and provides a fun and rewarding way of using a different part of the mind.

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