10 Ways that Playing an Instrument Makes You Smarter

10 Ways that Playing an Instrument Makes You Smarter

From early childhood through the golden years, studies have consistently shown that playing an instrument has a positive effect on one’s intelligence. In today’s social media driven society, playing an instrument builds some timeless qualities that may otherwise be lacking. Here are 10 ways that playing an instrument increases intelligence:

1. Playing an instrument builds and strengthens connections between brain cells.

2. Playing an instrument improves memory and the ability to differentiate sounds and speech.

3. Playing an instrument at a young age builds connections between the right and left brain, linking the logical and creative functions.

4. Playing an instrument often forces one to learn to communicate without words.

5. People over the age of 65 who play an instrument for an hour a week improved their hearing, memory, and coordination.

6. Playing an instrument builds self-discipline.

7. Playing an instrument increases one’s attention span.

8. Playing an instrument improves long-term and short-term planning skills.

9. Playing an instrument makes it easier to pick up other languages.

10. Playing an instrument helps build and promote social skills (if taking lessons and/or playing in an ensemble.)

If you already play an instrument, keep going! Grow, learn, and share. If you don’t play an instrument, begin today. Age doesn’t matter. Inquire locally to find out which programs are available.

If you’re a string player and want to improve your music making, attend one of our camps!

Sources: VH1 Save The Music, The Telegraph

11 Ways to Support Your Local Music Education Scene

11 Ways to Support Your Local Music Education Scene

Do you support your local music education scene? Here are some ways to get involved:

1. Attend concerts, even if you don’t know anyone involved. Performing for a large audience can be very encouraging for both students and teachers. Clap hard and don’t be afraid to hoot and holler! The students and teachers have worked hard and will appreciate it. Bonus points for initiating a standing ovation!

2. Volunteer at events. Many programs would appreciate your time as a chaperone, preparing meals at workshops and special events, selling tickets, helping with set-up/clean-up, etc. Bonus points for helping with anything involving water (dishwashing, mopping, laundry)! If you’re a musician, donate your skill by coaching young musicians.

3. Donate new and used instruments. Many music programs have sub-par instruments and can’t afford to update their inventory. There may also be a few promising students who can’t afford an instrument of their own (teachers always know who these students are). Bonus points for repairing broken instruments before donating!

4. Donate money. The financial needs of virtually every music program (public and private) usually outweigh the available budget. Needs include: hall rental, buying instruments, teacher compensation, scholarships, field trips, etc. Bonus points for shaking down your friends!

5. Help recruit by recommending eligible students to sign up for local music programs. Can you hear one of the neighboring children belting out the chorus of the latest Taylor Swift song at 11pm, while you’re trying to sleep? Encourage them to sign up for their school choir. Do you know kids who are “Guitar Hero” experts? Encourage them to sign up for real guitar lessons. Bonus points for having business cards/flyers on hand!

6. If your kid is involved in a music program, encourage them to practice regularly. Teaching a band/orchestra/choir with 15-40 students, playing 4-10 different parts is not an easy task. Help out your local music teachers by making sure your child learns their part. Bonus points for YouTube-ing unfamiliar music!

7. If you like the job that your local music teachers are doing, let them know! Bonus points for thank-you cards and gifts!

8. Host or facilitate a fundraiser. Ask your local music directors where they need help. Trust me, they need help somewhere. Fundraiser recitals, bottle drives, bake sales – big or small, it all helps. Bonus points for promoting heavily (radio, online, newspaper)!

9. Get involved politically. Tell your local and national politicians why music education is important. They seem to forget regularly and need constant reminders. Bonus points for inviting them to attend local events!

10. Talk to school leaders. Attend school board meetings and ensure that arts programs are receiving proper attention and focus. Bonus points for joining a committee!

11. Stay informed. When the local community is not engaged, major cuts to music programs often go unnoticed. Not on your watch! Right??

The Thrive City Music Group offers many music programs to a variety of string players. If you’d like to support us in any way, give us a holler!

written by John Littlejohn