Can learning a musical instrument raise your IQ? Does music affect your brain? The answer to both questions is: yes.
The brain is a powerful mechanism. Since its creation, it never stops learning. Unfortunately, a lot of people are not aware of what their brain is capable of, and somewhere in life, they stop investing in knowledge.
We must understand that the brain is like a muscle. For it to function, it needs to work or it will weaken.
One of the great brain exercises is learning to play an instrument.
Playing music is like a full-body exercise for your brain
When a musician plays an instrument, it activates multiple areas of the brain and creates a lot stronger neural connections.
Playing music requires memorizing notes, concentration while playing, listening to the rest of the group, playing in tempo, etc.
When you are learning to play an instrument, your brain makes some new connections, your muscles acquire new muscle memory which will in the future help you play better and more accurately.
As we said, a whole workout is happening in your head when playing, and we didn’t even mention all of it!
Musical education makes your brain bigger
A study from Harvard neurologist Gottfried Schlaug showed that adult musician’s brains contain a lot more gray matter than those of non-musicians. Also, it was found that fifteen months of musical education in childhood resulted in structural brain changes associated with auditory and motor improvements.
Music helps your brain work hard because it requires different regions of the brain to work simultaneously with cognitive functions.
If you want to learn to play guitar, the first thing you will practice is pressing the notes with one hand while strumming the rhythm with the other. At first, it might feel weird, but after you put in the work and your brain memorizes it, you will never forget how to do it, or will it ever feel weird again. Your brain is awesome!
Music improves mental abilities
Upon many other abilities that music improves, visuospatial reasoning is one of them.
That includes complex problem solving like mathematics and playing chess.
Learning to play the keyboard will improve your cognitive abilities.
Like we already mentioned, the brain is like a muscle and it needs its daily workout.
People who continuously practice playing an instrument are continuously improving their neuron connectivity, enhancing their memory.
It is never too late to start
Music makes a great hobby, and it’s never too late for a new hobby. Or even a potential career change.
Any day is better than never, right?
Seniors also greatly benefit from music! Researches have shown that elderly people who participated in musical activities just for fun, had sharper memory, better motor skills, coordination, and orientation.
The best time to start your music education is right now. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll benefit from it!
Check out our online music programs or take a look at how our music school looks!
And yes, learning to play raises your IQ
IQ is a number that is not set in stone. That means, if you took an IQ test ten years ago, you will most likely get a different score today.
Various researches show that music has a great impact on the brain and IQ.
Glenn Schellenberg uncovered a greater IQ increase in children enrolled in music classes compared with well-matched children who received no musical lessons.¹
Also, as said by Lutz Jäncke, “even in people over the age of 65, after four or five months of playing an instrument for an hour a week, there were strong changes in the brain (…) the architecture of the brain changes.”.
To end this all with the thought: maybe it’s The Time to enroll in a music school…