A recent study in the Netherlands has found that music lessons improve children’s cognitive skills and academic performance.
Structured music lessons increase children’s cognitive abilities – including language-based reasoning, short-term memory and planning – which lead to greater academic performance. The research, published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, is the first large-scale study adapted into a school curriculum. Studying the arts was also found to significantly improve children’s visual and spatial memory.
Learning a music instrument can be viewed as a luxury pastime rather than a necessary part of education. This is reflected across the globe as music education continues to suffer from a lack of funding. Indeed, a separate study has reported that attending a concert increases our feeling of wellness.
Researches in the Netherlands found that children who received music lessons had significant cognitive improvements compared to other children in the study. Furthermore, children attending visual arts classes were found to have significantly improved short-term memory compared to students who had not received supplementary arts lessons.
I have long been a fan of Sir Ken Robinson who advocates the importance of learning the arts.
The researches hope their work will highlight the importance of the arts in human culture and cognitive development.