Will Playing a Musical Instrument Enhance Memory?

Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here!

J.K.Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, 1997

I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love music. Listening to it brings a lot of happiness to people — and a host of other advantages. For the purposes of this blog, let’s go beyond listening to playing and let’s consider this question, “Will playing a musical instrument enhance memory?” Here is an excerpt from an article on the benefits of playing a musical instrument.

Will Playing a Musical Instrument Enhance Memory?

1.  Increases the capacity of your memory.
Research has shown that both listening to music and playing a musical instrument stimulate your brain and can increase your memory.  A study was done in which 22 children from age 3 to 4 and a half years old were given either singing lessons or keyboard lessons.  A control group of 15 children received no music lessons at all. Both groups participated in the same preschool activities.  The results showed that preschoolers who had weekly keyboard lessons improved their spatial-temporal skills 34 percent more than the other children.  Not only that, but researchers said that the effect lasted long-term.  (Source:  http://brainconnection.positscience.com/topics/?main=fa/music-education2#A1)

According to an article from The Telegraph online magazine, “New research suggests that regularly playing an instrument changes the shape and power of the brain and may be used in therapy to improve cognitive skills.”  There is continually more evidence that musicians have organizationally and functionally different brains compared to non-musicians, especially in the areas of the brain used in processing and playing music.  If you learn how to play an instrument, the parts of your brain that control motor skills (ex: using your hands, running, swimming, balancing, etc.), hearing, storing audio information, and memory actually grow and become more active.  Other results show that playing an instrument can help your IQ increase by seven points.   (Source:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/6447588/Playing-a-musical-instrument-makes-you-brainier.html)

Read about other benefits here.

Will playing a musical instrument enhance memory?

Will playing a musical instrument enhance memory?

It appears that learning to play a musical instrument is advantageous not only to children but to every age group. Many of the benefits described in the article such as concentration, focus, coordination, listening skills, and stress relief work hand-in-hand with improving memory.

Will playing a musical instrument enhance memory? Tell us what your experience has been.