For years, research has shown that there is a significant correlation between knowing how to play an instrument and having higher intelligence. However, this didn’t mean there was a causation, and there could be other variables that could have impacted the outcome of the tests.
More recent studies, however, have shown even more of a correlation between learning an instrument and a person’s intelligence, meaning there is likely a direct link between the two. Children and adults can take advantage of these potential benefits.
The Correlation between Music and Increased IQ
Research has been done many times to see if there’s a correlation between learning an instrument and intelligence, and it has been found that those who have learned to play an instrument often are better at multi-tasking and are able to problem solve better than those who don’t know how to play music. Children in some of the recent studies have been tested for higher-level thinking, and those who knew how to play an instrument did better in this area than their counterparts who didn’t.
Studies are now being done to eliminate the potential for outside factors to also have an impact on the results, which can help narrow down whether there is an actual causation. Future studies have plans to watch the participants over a significant period of time to see just how learning how to play impacts their intelligence.
The Right Age to Start Learning to Play Music
Parents who want to help their children excel in school may look to learning to play an instrument to help. Many parents have heard stories or learned about research showing those students who play an instrument tend to do better in school. However, they might not know when it’s a good idea for the child to start.
Some children will begin learning instruments at a young age. Three to five-year-olds can play simple instruments, and this can help them with their intelligence as well as fine motor skills and more. But a child of any age is going to be able to receive the benefits of learning an instrument, no matter how old they are when they start. It’s beneficial for any age and can be seen with just about any instrument the child might want to play.
Can Learning to Play Music Still Benefit Adults?
Anyone can learn how to play an instrument, although it’s often easier if a person starts learning while they’re young. Adults who learn piano and other instruments will still receive some of the benefits of learning how to play and can strengthen their brain, helping to ward off failing memories as they get older. Studies in both children and adults have shown correlations between learning music and brain activity, suggesting that there is no limit to how old a person can be to obtain the benefits of playing music.
What About the Time it takes to Learn How to Play?
Many people worry about how to learn how to play music properly. There are, in fact, a variety of ways to learn how to play, which range from lessons with an instructor, to software programs that teach you on a computer. Some of them require a larger time commitment than others and the cost can vary depending on how a person wants to learn and how it’s easier for them to learn.
- On Their Own Through Books: A person can always use books to learn how to play on their own. This provides the advantage of learning at their own pace and in their own home, but they won’t have anyone to help them if they get stuck or to correct them if they’re making a mistake.
- Formal Lessons with a Teacher: Formal lessons can help a person learn to play as they’ll have someone to show them how to do it and to help correct any mistakes they might make. However, the downside with this is often the cost and, for some people, the regular time commitment.
- Lessons in School with a Teacher: School-aged children and adults in college often have the option of taking a music class. This can be an inexpensive way to start learning but does have the downside of not obtaining one-on-one help from a teacher.
- Online Lessons: Those who want to learn to play on their own might benefit from online piano lessons through innovative programs like Quincy Jones’ Playground Sessions. They can practice whenever they have the time and, with some programs, can get the feedback they need to ensure they’re learning how to play the instrument correctly.
If you’d like to start learning how to play an instrument or you’d like to help your child start learning, make sure you look into the various options that might meet your needs. It’s been shown that learning to play the piano and other instruments can have a significant impact on a person’s intelligence, so it’s a good idea for anyone to go ahead and start learning today.