There are many benefits to learning to play a musical instrument, but can it actually make you smarter? We discuss that and more in a Q&A with Dr. Brad Clark, Ogden Clinic Pediatrician.
Q: Do you play an instrument?
A: I do. I play the piano. My mom started teaching me the piano when I was seven years old. Like most kids, I wasn’t crazy about it at first. I hated practicing and didn’t want to go to piano lessons. But, as I grew older, I slowly developed a love to play. I played throughout high school and college, and I still play regularly today. I feel like it’s been a huge benefit in my life.
Q: What are the benefits of learning to play a musical instrument?
A: There are many benefits of learning to play an instrument:
- Refines organizational and time management skills
- Increases the capacity of memory
- Teaches discipline
- Sharpens concentration
- Teaches perseverance
- Increases sense of responsibility
- Enhances mathematical ability
- Improves reading and comprehension skills
- Enhances coordination
- Boosts listening skills
- Creates sense of achievement
Q: Can learning to play an instrument actually make someone smarter?
A: I don’t know that playing the piano necessarily made me any more intelligent than I might otherwise have been. But there have been studies that suggest that learning to play an instrument can raise a person’s IQ score by as many as seven points.
My wife and I have two children of our own. Both of them have been taking piano lessons for the past several years. We plan to encourage them to continue to play throughout their lives.