Are Children Who Play Musical Instruments Better at Math?

Parents are looking to give their children an edge in our hyper-competitive world. Meanwhile, budget cuts have forced schools to pull back on funding for the arts while maintaining the funds required to operate math and science departments. This means that your child will be required to take math while music and art have become electives.

But what if there was a way to choose an elective that could boost your child’s performance in required math classes? Studies have repeatedly shown that playing a musical instrument helps children to perform well in math class. And the ability to play a musical instrument looks good on college applications, too.

All Music Is Math

Some argue that music is a craft rather than an art because of all the math involved. Learning to play an instrument begins with notes and chords on a mathematical scale. It then progresses to time signatures that start off simple and then turn incredibly complex. Then there are beats per minute and formulaic progressions. Your child will be learning math unsuspectingly while acquiring the skill of playing an instrument.

This develops new neural pathways in the brain, and these pathways are reinforced with every math-type thought that is processed. By sending your child to music class, you are creating powerful math pathways in your child’s brain.

The Ability To Visualize Math

Music allows your child to think of math in different terms. Your child will be able to visualize equations while her peers are struggling with the two-dimensional math problem lying flat on the paper in front of them. And music brings math into the real world.

The math strewn across a sheet of music comes to life when played on an instrument. This can inspire your child to think of math in the real world. They may begin to look at math problems as a way to solve actual, physical problems. And its this application that can help them excel in the sciences.

Left vs Right Brain

Listening to different tones can stimulate different parts of the brain. Minor tones stimulate the right brain while major tones get blood flowing to the left brain. This can strengthen the entire spectrum of your child’s mind to tackle all sorts of cognitive problems including math. This is now known as the Mozart Effect, and listening to music has even shown to improve math scores by 40 percent.