Music Motivates Growth

Confidence in Music

Music lessons at a young age have been scientifically proven to improve speech capability, attention span and empathy.

In an article by the Royal Conservatory of Music, studies of children who took music lessons show that they have improved language abilities, increased emotional resilience, empathy, attention span, focus and self-confidence.

“It helps a lot with confidence,” said Maddy Robinson, a student at the University of Calgary. “I think it also teaches a lot of determination, and working towards a goal.”

“I didn’t really care about school so I didn’t put much effort in; music was the only thing I cared about,” said Alex Labbé, a piano teacher at Music Makers Calgary. “So that was kind of my introduction to hard work and discipline.”

Musician and Music Teacher Alex LabbŽ poses for a photo with his guitar at Music Makers in Calgary on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. LabbŽ is a guitar, piano and ukulele teacher at Music Makers. (Photo by Miriam Johnston/SAIT Polytechnic)
Musician and Music Teacher Alex LabbéŽ poses for a photo with his guitar at Music Makers in Calgary on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. LabbŽé is a guitar, piano and ukulele teacher at Music Makers. (Photo by Miriam Johnston/SAIT Polytechnic)

A study by Dr. Sylvain Moreno that showed that 90 percent of children who participated in the study showed a gain in intelligence after just 20 days of music training.

Music lessons have the potential to reap all these benefits, but only if there is motivation in the child’s study. Only active engagement in music confers a positive impact on intelligence.

Alex Labbé also spoke about his experience with unmotivated students.

“Those who are truly interested in music and learning succeed in lessons,” said Labbé. “The ones that are pushed by their parents always plateau early.”

Ben Koch took piano lessons when he was eight years old and never succeeded because he wasn’t motivated and his parents forced him to take it, when he really wanted to take guitar.

“Reflecting back, I have always struggled with my sexuality and I thought guitar would make me less gay,” said Koch.

He quickly flamed out in piano and he attributes this to his lack of motivation. When he got to switch to guitar he gained that motivation back and increased his self-confidence.

An article using the work of James Hudizak and his colleagues also showed that not only do music lessons improve specific brain functions, but also it is said to affect cortical thickness, a part of the brain, which relates to anxiety, depression, and attention problems.

Music lessons have also been shown to accelerate cortical organization in attention skill, anxiety management and emotional control.