Learning To Play The Piano: Increase I.Q. and Brain Power
I am an avid instrumentalist (I use a broad term for this since I play more than one instrument), so naturally I wanted to see if playing these instruments really contributed to my intellect. While browsing I found an article that made me feel pretty considerate to have learned how to play the piano:
Music: Increase IQ and Brain Power
Over the last 15 years several studies have revealed how music can boost brain power.
- One study found students with music training scored 52 points higher on the verbal portion and 37 points higher on the math portion of the “old” SAT than students with no such training
- Another study found learning music at an early age leads to long term gains in math and science reasoning skills
- The Mozart Effect: listening to a Mozart sonata (or other complex music) can temporarily increase IQ by 8 points
A good article out of The Miami Herald yesterday (link no longer available) revists the issue of how truly beneficial music can be for your brain. Music researcher Donald Hodges says scans of the brain (while actively playing music) show both hemispheres (ie, left & right sides of the brain) lighting up “like a pinball machine”.
I suspect this is probably the key as to how music training boosts brain power and helps you increase IQ. When reading piano notes and playing, one has to willfully recruit and rapidly coordinate almost every major area of your brain:
- the occipital cortex (vision)
- large portions of the motor cortex (control of finger/hand muslces)
- the basal ganglia and cerebellum (important coordination areas of brain)
- auditory cortex (hearing)
- as well as sensory cortex (joint/position sense of fingers/hands)
- on both sides (right AND left hemispheres!)
There probably just aren’t many other activities that make such extensive demands of your brain….
For those also interested in spiritual health, the article notes Theresa Lesiuk is studying how music therapy can help reduce the high burnout rate of computer system designers. She notes music can “help unblock anger”.
Leave comments about your opinion on this!