4 Ways Music Helps Your Brain

It’s not a coincidence that some of the most brilliant minds in history were (and are!) also musicians. That list includes famous names like Leonardo da Vinci, Sir Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Galileo, and Steven Spielberg. Research study after research study continues to show that music education or to be more precise – actively engaging in musical activities on a consistent basis – significantly affects the cognitive development and abilities of participants.

Consider these four big ways music affects the brain.

How Music Affects the Brain

Improved Math Abilities

Long before research studies showed how music-making positively impacts a child’s math abilities and understanding, the great mathematician Pythagorus said, “Music is math made audible.” Now we know that children engaged in math show increased abilities in spatial awareness, pattern recognition, and numbers and measurement. As children grow and continue to participate through high school, music students even score 23 points above average on SAT tests.

Can you identify the pattern in this classic Kindermusik circle dance?


Improved Reading Abilities

We could write a whole book on the connections between music and reading. In fact, we have! (You can download our free ebooks from this page). Children who participate in music classes experience boosts in phonological awareness, auditory discrimination, auditory sequencing, and vocabulary. Plus, reading music even models for children how to read left to right and top to bottom.

Improved Memory

When compared to their peers, musicians have better memories. In addition, musicians show improvements in auditory verbal memory and auditory memory. Dr. Nina Kraus, a prominent brain researcher at Northwestern University, has likened the effects of music on the brain to the effects of exercise on the body. Increasing the working memory capacity of the brain improves thinking ability.

For fun, see how well you do in this Kindermusik Memory Game from our Kindermusik @Home Materials.

Kindermusik memory gameImproved IQ

Children who participate in music classes over time experience a boost in their IQ. In fact, the longer a child participates in a consistent weekly music class, the greater the effect.  But you don’t have to just take our word on it, here’s an interesting article recently put out by the American Psychology Association about this very correlation between music classes and IQ.

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Want to give your child access to the brain-changing power of music? Find a local Kindermusik Educator and visit a class today.

Make it a musical, TOGETHER Christmas!

Although this is the time of year when many Kindermusik programs take a brief holiday break, no one has to take a break from musical, family-oriented activities over the holidays!  In fact, the holidays are the perfect time to take a few minutes here and there to de-stress, make a memory, and enjoy all that the holidays were meant to be.  Here are a few ideas and resources to get you started:

Favorite holiday-themed books (teacher-tested and kid-approved!)
Dream Snow by Eric Carle
The Snowy Day
by Ezra Jack Keats
by Lois Ehlert
Flannel Kisses
by Linda Brennan
Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney
The Mitten by Jan Brett

Favorite music downloads  from play.kindermusik.com
Jingle Bells Play-Along
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Over the River
The Jolly Snowman
The Little Drummer Boy
Ding Dong Merrily on High
The Night Before Christmas

Family activities to bring a smile and create a memory!
Pretend Sleigh Ride: Turn on “Over the River.” Pull a laundry basket with a sturdy rope or slide it around.  Add bells to the side of the basket to get the full effect.
Make a Snowman out of Dad: Play “The Jolly Snowman” as you use toilet paper to wrap up a family member like a snowman.  Add a hat, scarf, mittens, etc for fun.  Don’t forget to take LOTS of pictures.

Pots and Pans Play-Along: Get out some wooden spoons and some pots and pans.  Play along to “Jingle Bells” or “Rudolph.”

Easy food crafts
Marshmellow snowmen
Gingerbread house from graham crackers
Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix
Reindeer Hand Print

Posted by Theresa Case, whose Maestro Kindermusik program at
Piano Central Studios in Greenville, SC, is proudly among the top 1% of Kindermusik programs world-wide.