Importance of Music Lessons

Proverbs 14:23 “In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.” 

In MACHE’s winter 2017 homeschool magazine (volume 32, issue 1), the founder and director for the Institute For Excellence In Writing, Andrew Pudewa, makes an intriguing case for giving your children music lessons. He writes, “Music must not be an extracurricular thing in education, it should be a the core of early education and continue throughout the school-age years. Many parents think, ‘Well, if our child shows a bit of talent, and if we have enough time and money, maybe we’ll invest in music lessons.’ This is totally wrong. Parents should think that by investing in music lessons they will be doing the single most powerful thing they can do to create raw intelligence. And if the child determines to quit as a teenager, all that time and money is not lost; to grow up playing music is to become a smarter person. Music education is essential.” 

From our text, Proverbs 14:23, we learn that “all labour” is profitable. Did you notice the phrase I underlined in Andrew Pudewa’s quote? “All that time and money is not lost….” “All labour”, including tossed aside instrument lessons, are profitable. So often parents neglect to give their children all that they need because they feel it will be wasted on them, but God says that all labor is profitable. 

The National Association for Music Education has an article on their website with 20 benefits of learning a musical instrument. ( You should check it out. #10 is really interesting to me: “Students who have experience with music performance or appreciation score higher on the SAT. One report indicates 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on math for students in music appreciation courses.” If you’ve been reading our previous articles on music, these facts should come as no surprise considering how God made all mankind such intrinsically musical beings. 

In the publication Neurological Research, Volume 19, No. 1, February 1997, Dr. Frances Rauscher published her six-month study while at the University of California Irvine Clinic. She studied the spatial-temporal IQ of preschoolers who played piano on a daily basis versus those who sang music, had free play, or played video games. She concluded, “Music training causes long-term enhancement of preschool children’s spatial-temporal reasoning.” In fact, the children who played piano on a daily basis scored 43% higher on a spatial-temporal IQ test than the other children! 

As Andrew Pudewa wrote in the previously quoted MACHE article, “When you play a musical instrument, you do something to your brain that no other activity can accomplish – you stimulate it with sensory input and motor output of a perfectly ordered set of information through three neuronal pathways simultaneously. Playing the piano (or any other instrument), you not only hear the information, you see a visual representation of it (either by notation or keyboard), and you also feel kinesthetically in your muscles and fingertips that same set of perfectly ordered information at the same time. Consequently, you make neural connections throughout the brain in a way that nothing else can do. On top of that, learning music requires repetition that ensures more precise, exact pattern storage, and the end result is more brain cells connected to other brain cells – in other words, more RAM in your CPU!” 

Our two kids are learning piano. My wife plays piano. As a teen I learned some piano, and right after my brain infection, I picked up guitar to help rebuild broken nerves (There are a number of studies on possible brain repair through learning a musical instrument.). We definitely suggest your family learning even the simplest of musical instruments. It not only will help, as we have seen, mentally, but also emotionally and give you a talent by which God can be glorified in your life and in your church! 

Psalm 150:3 “Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.”