Submitted by Jovita Bernard, Academy of Performing & Creative Arts
School and work today make intense demands on your thinking, processing and analytical skills. You are challenged to think faster, analyze more complex issues, make creative and original decisions and retain vast amounts of information just to stay ahead of the game and carry the flag of success.
Then consider taking up the learning of a musical instrument.There are numerous medical studies relating early music training to cognitive capacities. One of the more recent studies conducted by Harvard researchers link musical training to the development of mental skills that control functions like managing our time and attention, organizing our thoughts and regulating our behavior-abilities that are crucial to success in school as well as later life. (Plosone.org, volume 9, Issue 6, e99868)
However the study of music cannot be used as a quick fix equivalent to the latest diet fad. The learning is consistent and in steady steps over time with material that is graduating in difficulty. The aim is to not focus on the brainiac bonuses but the enjoyment of music itself. Over time, you will notice the increased mental abilities but you will also be able to communicate through a language as old as time with nuances and emotive displays no spoken language has been able to emulate.
Yes, I use my musical training extensively. I teach it, perform for work, church and other social events. I have reached for the piano during the overwhelming stress of a loss, the celebration of a happy occasion or just because. Yes, I am fortunate to receive the mental bonuses that musical training has given me but it’s the memories and comfort it has given me that makes it so precious.