You’ve probably heard many stories about musically inclined individuals excelling in academics. Well, it looks like these are not just coincidences. Many people believe that music does something to the brain, which makes it more active and capable of absorbing and processing information. That said, many parents are encouraging their children to learn to play at least one musical instrument or to learn how to sing.
Parents know that proper education prepares children for a challenging and demanding future, especially in the corporate world. Even if some modern companies such as Google don’t require applicants to have a degree anymore, most industries still base their hiring process on their applicants’ educational background. After all, having a degree is still useful even if you are preparing your child to assume your role as a company executive or CEO.
They say music, in some way, can help with a child’s mental development. For example, studying music theory and composition, as well as taking violin lessons and other musical instruments, affect how the human brain functions.
Here’s how music affects a person’s ability or capacity to learn:
A Positive Learning Environment
A stressful environment is not suitable for learners, especially the younger ones. Our mind and body must be calm and comfortable to become ready for learning. While some schools have placed restrictions on the use of music in classrooms, other educational institutions are using background music to set a good mood in the class. It helps the students and their teachers feel more comfortable in the classroom.
A calm and peaceful classroom environment encourages better student participation and academic performance. When students sing along, nod their heads, or dance a bit while listening to background music during class, it means they are engaged, enjoying the activities, and learning.
A Strong Foundation of Concepts
Do you remember singing along your favorite nursery rhymes back when you were just a small kid? Perhaps you still know the words of the songs that made your childhood learning experience more exciting and enjoyable. Do you know that those tunes have a more important purpose than to keep you and your classmates entertained?
Educators believe that students should have a simple understanding of the basic concepts and vocabulary before they can learn broader concepts. The content-based songs you grew up singing have helped you build a strong sense of deeper concepts or subjects. It’s faster to memorize things when you sing them, right?
Relaxation and Happiness
According to research, happier students tend to perform better than their classmates. Other experts claim that the happiness of the students has something to do with their performance at school. That said, teachers are finding ways to create a more engaging environment for students. Integrating music into classroom activities is one way to do this.
Many experts believe that happy and upbeat music can help improve a person’s mood. Listeners become happy because the brain releases dopamine, the hormone and neurotransmitter responsible for good feelings or pleasure. Our dopamine levels increase when we enjoy the music we are listening to. Many students also reported an improvement in their mood when listening to great tunes while doing their homework.
Perhaps you still know the lyrics of the songs you loved in your childhood years. Hearing them playing on the radio takes you back in time. Experts stress that there is a strong connection between music and memory inside our brain. According to them, students can have improved memory and recall if there is music playing in the background.
It makes sense that content-based songs have catchy lyrics. We easily memorize the words because there are melody and music. It also explains why we can remember the lyrics of the tunes we love, as well as the chords of the songs we are learning to play during our guitar, violin, or piano lessons.
Better Motivation and Engagement
Students’ engagement is essential in their learning journey. If they are engaged, they are investing time and effort in learning and mastering specific skills, knowledge, or crafts. Improved motivation and academic performance are the fruits of engagement. Music is a good source of inspiration for many students. For example, they can be more pumped up and willing to learn when they are listening to upbeat songs.
Music plays a significant role in our lives. Can you imagine living in this world without music? Perception is one of the foundations of learning, and without tunes to guide our mood and energy, we will find it difficult to learn things. One thing is for sure: Living and learning is better with music.