When you think about listening to music or playing a musical instrument, we tend to think about the impact it has on our ability to think and feel:
We don’t necessarily think about the physical benefits of music, but actually there are many…
Can learning music improve motor skills?
Fine motor skills relate to the ability to coordinate the smaller muscles in your hand to complete an intricate task. Refined motor skills for young children for example are things like tying shoelaces, doing up buttons and then as they grow these develop to things like writing and typing.
These skills are important to encourage early, so children don’t fall behind in their development. Poor fine motor skills can lead to a myriad of issues such as poor behaviour through frustration, reduced academic performance, low self-esteem and unwillingness to try new tasks that may be challenging.
Learning a musical instrument, and in particular taking regular music lessons means that children are consciously repeating finger positioning. Add to this the regular (we hope!) practice, they can improve their fine motor skills; a physical benefit of music.
Gross motor skills are the larger movements – i.e moving a whole arm across the body when playing a violin or dancing expressively to music (think back to incy wincy spider and the actions of climbing up the spout!). Combining movement with musical activities actually helps children to be more generally attentive and alert.
By choosing musical activities such as playing a musical instrument, children can improve their hand-eye co-ordination and develop both fine and gross motor skills.
Can learning music improve spatial skills?
Another of the physical benefits of music; is the improvement of spatial coordination. This is helpful for children in their ability to problem solve - for example, doing a jigsaw puzzle, arranging things in a certain way, making connections.
Spatial reasoning travels on the same brain waves as classical music, so listening to classical music in particular can help your brain in thinking the same way.
Whilst listening to classical music will help spatial awareness to a point, learning to play an instrument will definitely increase spatial coordination and this will improve depending on the longevity and frequency of the lessons.
For more information about what taking music lessons entails, do visit our music lessons page here.
Can music alleviate pain?
There have been a number of studies on the physiological changes that result from listening and playing music. These include:
- Reduced heart rate
- Relaxed muscle tension
- Improved respiration
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved cardiac output
If children and teens are very ill and in severe pain, music therapy is often used alongside their medication to help relieve pain and reduce stress and anxiety.
Music therapy has been shown to also have a significant effect on a patient’s perceived effectiveness of their treatment too, as they feel more relaxed and less anxious.
Read 6 benefits of music lessons on parents.com
Read more about the Benefits of Music here.