Music learning brings boys on song

Learning a musical instrument, the art of DJ’ing or singing in a choir – music learning can have a significant impact on many areas of a boy’s learning.

Music training can have benefits to language and maths learning, social capabilities, perseverance and coordination skills, to name a few.

There have been numerous studies into the benefits of music training for children, most finding the act of learning music can have obvious impact on a child’s brain function. Music learning engages the left side of the brain, an area also responsible for language learning.

Researchers from North Western University in the US also found it was never too late to start reaping the benefit of music learning, in their 2015 study into the impact music training had on teen brains.

They suggested music training encouraged teens to establish “learning to learn skills” which assisted them in other areas of their high school curriculum.

Teens learning music in the study were found to have heightened hearing and language skills when compared to another group which took part in sports activities.

Boys’ engagement in learning has also been studied in relation to music training by researchers in the UK. Disengaged from school-based learning, boys in the study were found to become involved in musical activities of interest to them – i.e. learning to mix music and DJ’ing.

The boys, from a low socio-economic area, engaged in learning processes of DJ’ing and music mixing with added benefits of showcasing self-discipline, self-reliance and engagement with support networks.

Researchers said the boys became part of an activity they valued, enjoyed and saw as relevant – they were able to feel moments of success which also led them to question their perception of themselves as learners in the past. The group became confident in its music-making skills, which led to improvements in self-esteem and willingness to work and achieve an outcome.

Music can give boys an opportunity to express themselves in a different way, to showcase their talents and creativity – building confidence, resilience and perseverance.

Other benefits of music learning, supported by the Australian Government’s Learning Potential website, include;

  • Maths skills: Music can aid the development of maths skills. When children listen to beats they can also learn basic fractions, pattern recognition and problem solving. Spatial awareness is also boosted along with the ability to form mental pictures of objects.
  • Memory and concentration: studies have shown musically-trained people have better working memory skills – creating effective multi-taking minds. Music learning also trains children to focus their attention for sustained periods, building their levels of concentration.
  • Coordination: Playing music aids children’s development of motor skills. Music making can involve many parts of the body, including: voice, fingers, ears, eyes, arms, legs etc.
  • Achievement/discipline: music learning can help children work toward and achieve goals through routine practice and self-discipline.
  • Social skills: learning music with others, playing in a band, or performing in choirs helps children to learn teamwork and social skills – working with others toward a common goal.