Most can attest that when you hear a memorable song it brings to mind a familiar feeling or place in time. According to a report from the University of London, new research shows that the brain is greatly influenced by active engagement with music. More specifically, the cerebral cortex, which plays a big role in the process of thought, self-organizes when we participate in musical activities. Therefore, if various processes or skills resemble one another, they can be transferred to other similar activities.
From a young age cognitive learning is shaped by sounds and rhythms. Researchers state that music can improve a child’s listening skills, reading comprehension, and even speech. Musical experiences also play a large role in forming relationships, and have shown to improve how well individuals interact with one another.
The following areas support how music impacts social skills and why music is an important component for building relationships:
Music is a form of self-expression.
For generations, music was used as a way to express oneself freely, which remains true to this day. At a young age learning musical skills and discovering new types of music provides a person with a sense of identity. Music is seen as a means of support when young teens or students feel troubled, or lost. Music can act as a mood booster, instill a positive attitude, and help maintain a sense of belonging. When young people are in social situations, music allows them to associate themselves with various peers and groups; thus creating their own personal network and support system.
Music creates confidence and self-worth.
Playing a musical instrument or engaging in a musical band provides life lessons that an individual may not learn in a formal education setting. Learning how to play an instrument gives an individual a sense of achievement. This can increase their self-confidence and give them the skills to be persistent when learning becomes difficult.
Learning an instrument teaches self-discipline, and increases motivation for other general studies. A study by the Norwegian Research Council for Science and Humanities found this to be true when they connected that students who have musical competence and high motivation were more likely to succeed in school.
Being in a band builds trust and respect.
One study found that 95% of parents believed that participation in a band provides educational benefits that are not found in the classroom, and 78% agreed that band was more educational than other extra-curricular activities.
Joining a musical group or band with like-minded people requires students to develop mutual trust and respect for one another. From building friendships and generating a bond with other band members, a person’s social skills will increase. They will learn a sense of commitment and responsibility from group obligations, such as attending band practice and live concerts. Lastly, being in a musical group with other like-minded musicians recreates a sense of belonging connectedness.
As you can see, there is a significant connection between playing music and forming relationships. Here are some takeaways:
- The connection is so influential, that those who participate in musical experiences are impacted socially.
- In early childhood development we see beneficial perceptual skills from involvement with music.
- From learning an instrument ones motivation, which depends on self-esteem, and ambitions, is increased.
- Joining a band creates a community.
- And lastly, musical experiences provide an outlet of growth through creativity and self-expression.
So tell us, how has music been a positive influence in your life? And, in what ways has music helped you or your child build relationships?