Dear Musician - Music Makes You Smarter
By Dendy Jarrett | (edited)
During the past two weeks, two people tagged me on social media about two different articles regarding music and intelligence. I don’t know if the fact that I’m a musician prompted the tagging, as I certainly doubt I come across as the intellectual type.
The title of one of the articles is Studies Show That If You’re A Drummer…You’re A Little Bit Smarter Than Everyone Else.
Of course, being a drummer, I could raise my hand and state with enthusiasm—it’s true! But, it's with humility that I’d simply say, "Thanks for the vote of confidence!" In the article a cited a study showing that drummers not only exhibited a greater level of intelligence and teamwork but also had a higher pain threshold, as well.
The second article is titled The Benefits of Playing Music Help Your Brain More Than Any Other Activity and was presented by Inc. Magazine.
This article points to several studies regarding brain development in humans, and, how in musicians, science has proven that musical training can change brain structure and function for the better. The article even points out that even if you are no longer playing a musical instrument, but once did, you have lasting benefits.
The article further points to some facts that we (as musicians) most likely already realize:
- Playing music strengthens bonds with others. As we like to say, makes you a good team player!
- Being a musician strengthens memory and reading skills. As we know, these attributes also reduce the risks of dementia later in life.
- Playing music makes you happy – well, duh. Most of us didn’t start playing music because we thought we’d get rich doing so. Many of us realized that we need to make a decent living and parlayed our love of music into a career in the music industry. But the happiness and joy making music brings cannot be denied.
- Musicians can process multiple things at once. For certain, we know this comes as a benefit that can carry over into every aspect of a musician’s life, as multi-tasking skills are honed and refined setting you up for success in life.
- Music increases blood flow to your brain. Forget the 5-Hour energy drink – play music!
- Music helps the brain recover. I know that the article refers to motor skills from an injury (brain or body), but I believe music can help you recover from myriad challenges – from physical to emotional.
- Music reduces stress and depression. Music is simply a great way to get in your cardio, which in turn will start to melt your stress away. It also can stimulate endorphins, which help lift your spirits and reduce depression. Want to feel better? Play music!
- Musical training strengthens the brain’s executive function. These developing traits will help you become a better decision maker and leader. You’ll approach challenges in life with the ability to see multiple solutions. This will serve you both on stage and at work.
Music makes you smarter, or at least that’s what they say. With all these fantastic attributes music brings, don’t you at least feel smarter? And at the very least, you should be inspired to make better music! –HC-
Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Executive Director of Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines.
Edited by Dendy Jarrett