There have been countless studies done, such as those done at the University of Toronto and the University of Wisconsin, that indicate that playing the piano enhances a child's IQ. The premise of these groundbreaking studies is that children have higher levels of plasticity in their brain, which comes along with learning and developing, and playing the piano stimulates the brain, making it stronger. Buying a keyboard after the age of 15 in the hopes of boosting your overall IQ probably won't garner the same results that are expected of a child. But the question remains;
Why does playing the piano improve the IQ of children; why does playing the piano makes kids smarter?
The first step in understanding the salutary aspects of the piano lies in the brain, or rather, the observation of how it works. The brain is comprised of countless millions of neural pathways, all of which have the capability of being stimulated and transformed. When neural pathways are used often, those pathways become easier to access and utilize in the future. Playing the piano activates many neural pathways through various activities associated in playing it.
First of all the act of reading music, recognizing a symbol and translating it into sound
This helps tremendously with linguistic/language-oriented parts of the brain. Reading music and associating each symbol with a sound is language in its rawest form. When a child learns to read music, even on a basic level, they are hitting those neural pathways associated with auditory learning, thus improving their cognitive abilities in that area. Playing the piano helps the child better recognize, decipher, and interpret sound and language.
The second part of how a child's IQ is boosted from playing the piano is in the coordination that the child must use to play the piano. When the child learns to hit certain keys on the piano to play notes (and with a specific technique), the child is improving their coordination both cognitively and physically. However, in regard to IQ, we will focus of the cognitive benefits of playing the piano. When a child learns the order of the keys of the piano and how they arranged according to pitch and intonation, they have encoded a distinct pattern. In practicing the pattern, they are better able to recognize patterns and are better able to coordinate their approaches to those patterns.
The third part of how a child's IQ is boosted from playing the piano is perhaps the most exciting part of a child's development; learning ability. Given the significant aforementioned plasticity of the young brain, it only makes sense that a child's learning ability is profoundly distinguished in these early stages. Learning how to play the piano activates the neural pathways for learning, posing those pathways to learn new, more complex concepts that don't necessarily have anything to do with the piano. It all has to do with the way the brain encodes the systematic learning processes that go along with learning the piano. In a way, it is like experience for the brain, valuable experience that poses the child to learn more intricate systems with much more ease than his/her peers.
It seems as though there is no end to the benefits brought upon us through the piano.
The education of children is, of course, is an extremely important component to the future of our society, if not the primary one. For more information on pianos and their many benefits, do not hesitate to contact us!