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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

6 Reasons Everyone Should Take Music Lessons | The Federalist

This article is dedicated to my first piano teacher Bonnie, my second piano teacher Doris, my parents who paid for and drove me to all those lessons (may they rest in peace), and my sister Kathy, who would like everyone to know that she was the one who taught me my first song.

Photo: Cheryl Magness
"You don’t have to major in music to reap the benefits of music lessons. You don’t even have to get very good at it." notes , writer, musician, and homeschool mom.

Photo: The Federalist

A few weeks ago on Facebook I found my first piano teacher. I only took lessons from her for about two years, but almost 45 years later I still have a clear picture in my mind of the petite and pretty young blonde woman who first showed me how to put my thumbs on middle C.

Turns out she was only 19 when she took me as a student, although she seemed very grown-up to my 5-year-old self. When she married and moved away I nervously started taking lessons with her mother, who taught on the big piano in the fancy room with the silver tea service instead of on the spinet in the basement.

As a result of those early lessons, piano, and music in general, became a lifelong pursuit. I got a degree in music and have made good personal and professional use of it for 30 years. But even if I hadn’t done so, I would still be thankful for parents who believed paying for lessons for all those years was worth it. You don’t have to major in music to reap the benefits of music lessons. You don’t even have to get very good at it. Below are six reasons everyone should take music lessons at some point in their lives.

1. It’s Good for You 
A quick Internet search yields multiple articles about the benefits of music study on the physiology of the human brain, on overall cognitive functioning, and on learning and academic performance in subjects other than music. It appears that the greatest impact on brain development occurs in those who begin taking lessons before age 7, but studies have also shown the positive effect of music lessons on the aging brain, even if those lessons don’t happen until later in life.

Not only does music strengthen the brain, it strengthens the rest of the body. The emotional and psychological benefits of music are obvious to anyone who has ever been cheered up or calmed down by listening to a beloved song, but there is good reason to believe music also benefits those in need of pain management and immune functioning as well as to the human nervous, skeletal, and cardiovascular systems.

Source: The Federalist