Music is an integral part of our lives and has the ability to inspire thoughts, emotions and endless memories. Listening to your favourite song can change your darkest mood lift your spirits or make you nostalgic about a time long past. The benefits of learning music are not limited to recreation; music creates cultures, forms trends, and is a form of education that improves many aspects of your development as a human being.
We reached out to a number of Toronto based music professionals who are teaching music, to get their opinion on the greatest benefits of learning music. The following is a list of the top responses we received from music instructors in and around the Toronto area.
#1. Music is life-giving
“One of the greatest benefits of learning music is that it adds a whole new dimension to one’s life. Music gives you something to love, practice, share and pursue as a life-long passion.
Music opens doors of opportunity and builds careers while at the same time provides an escape from reality and a gateway to paradise where you can let your imagination run wild.
Music breathes life into our souls, opens our minds and our hearts and allows us the freedom to not only express ourselves but to celebrate that expression.
Music is a shared life that we all are invited to be a part of.”
~ Ian Garrett, Canadian Academy Of Vocal Music
#2-Music develops individuality
This is something I have been thinking a lot about lately, it came to me after Eddie Van Halen passed away.
Just after that, my sister sent me a recording of my late mother, and I only had to hear a few bars to know it was her.
We are all unique:
Music Develops Individuality.
Everyone in the world is unique in some way. Music brings out that individuality. Just like a fingerprint, the sound of someone’s voice, or the way that they would play a certain passage on their instrument is different for everyone.
If you know someone’s playing style, and you hear them playing, it is instantly recognizable as their unique sound. Even after someone has passed away, that uniqueness can live on in recordings.
~ Steve Long, Long & Mcquade Musical Instruments
#3. Music provides a deeper connection within
“Music is a language that speaks directly to the soul. As a performer, I love that music passes through me, takes me to a deeper connection within myself and with the musicians I am creating with, as well as those who are listening.
It is a truly magical experience, one that keeps me coming back for more.
As a teacher of music I hope that my students gain knowledge and skills so that they are able to tap into this expansive experience and know themselves to be more compassionate, more loving and more intelligent than they have realized.”
~ Mandy Lagan, Mandy Lagan Music
#4. Music improves brain function
“Out of every pursuit of art, be it fine painting, drawing, learning classical ballet, or even pursuing artistic sports such as gymnastics and figure skating-it all comes back to learning an instrument.
Learning the most versatile of instruments such as piano, strings and organ, or similar keyboard instruments pushes our brain muscle to work with more complexities.
Think about it.
Musicians who try to master the mentioned instrument ranging from the very early beginner to the absolute mind-boggling impossible are processing a vast amount of information in a matter of seconds.”
~ Mila Molchanov, Piano Spectrum
#5. Music changes your life for the better
“The greatest benefit of learning music is that it can change your life.
Music lessons can deliver the essential skills needed to help students succeed in life… better grades, more confidence, and good social skills.
I’ve seen this proven over and over, and I know that I’m teaching so much more than just music.”
~ Jesse Boxer-Meyrowitz B.Mus. T.O. Music Lessons
#6. Music fosters a love for learning
“For our piano students and teachers, music is a lifelong passion and medium of self-expression that can be shared with others. Piano lessons help our students build self-confidence, foster a love of learning, and are also a lot of fun.
Playing music requires high levels of concentration and focus, engaging all parts of the brain – and playing the piano requires students to create multiple musical parts simultaneously, further enhancing the mental exercise of music-making.
As a universal language, music connects people from all backgrounds and walks of life.
Our in-person piano teachers in Toronto encompass a high range of cultural and musical diversity, and our online piano lessons are connecting piano students and teachers across the globe, fostering new possibilities for cross-cultural awareness and collaboration.”
~ Jonah Cristall-Clarke, Piano Teachers Connect
#7. Music develops good character traits
“One of the greatest benefits of learning music is the self-improvement
that goes in tandem with the learning process. Learning to play music well involves a great deal of self-awareness, honesty with oneself and of course discipline.
Developing these and other aspects of good character traits when learning music helps one to become a better, more mature person.”
~ Mike Milligan, Toronto Bass Teacher
#8. Music teaches the art of self-improvement
“The benefits of learning a musical instrument are now widely discussed and studied. For me, the greatest benefit of learning music is that you can learn and practice the art of self-improvement.
There is nothing more satisfying than working hard at something and eventually seeing your own growth. That can be applied to all areas of life.”
~ Howard Goldbach, The Toronto Institute For The Enjoyment Of Music
#9. Music builds your confidence
“One of the greatest benefits of learning music is how it greatly increases your confidence. It allows you to express yourself in a genuine way and causes a meaningful human connection to the world around you.”
~ Cyndi Shi, Studio Vivian
#10. Music develops a sense of accomplishment
“One of the great benefits of learning music, besides the sheer joy of creating music, is the pride in setting and achieving a goal derived from hard work and discipline over a long period of time.”
~ Jackie Anderson, Anderson Music School
#11. Music develops a set of social skills
“We all know learning music helps the brain and makes you stronger academically. Learning music in a performance-based setting, also teaches team-building skills, social skills, acceptance of others, confidence-building and creativity.”
~ Shelly Davine, School of Rock
#12. Learning music lays the foundation for musical enjoyment
“Whether you learn for fun, to improve your performance skills, or to deepen your appreciation and understanding of music, we believe that the greatest benefit of learning music is that it lays the foundation for years of musical enjoyment.”
~ Karen Hibovski, Bloor West Music Studios
#13. Music calms the mind and strengthens the soul
“Music washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Extensive research has confirmed the link between music instruction, both voice and instrument, and cognitive growth in math, memory, spatial-temporal reasoning, reading and literacy.
Researchers continue to study the effects of music on learning and memory in both children and adults.
Learning to sing or play an instrument as an adult has proven beneficial in the ageing process. It helps the mind remain active and alert which sharpens the memory. Studies have shown that patients with Alzheimer ‘s disease can benefit from music at all stages of the disease.
Singing and/or playing an instrument will help with memory, relieve stress and the calming effect of the music will ease symptoms of depression.
Children will learn discipline as they learn to sing or play an instrument and spend time practicing. The learning process is a challenge but once the first piece has been mastered, there is a real feeling of satisfaction.
Learning to sing or to play an instrument also has the benefit of calming and soothing the mind, and at the same time is a lot of fun and can provide hours of enjoyment for everyone.”
~ Jimmi A Daoud, Rogers Music Centre
#14. Music fosters personal balance
“For me, one of the greatest values of learning music lies in the inherent possibility of fostering a special balance of the three main facets of the person: the mental, the physical, and the emotional.”
~ Richard Summers, Toronto Guitar Institute
#15. Music keeps us healthy & happy
Music engages our entire brain and bodies the way no other activity does.
When we play an instrument, sing along to our favourite songs, or dance to the music, we experience active processing: input and output.
Music stimulates memories, songs with lyrics activate the areas of our brains that process language, it stimulates emotion and activates the areas of our brain which fuel our impulse to move our bodies to match the beat.
Music keeps us healthy and happy!
What does music mean to you?
The insight from so many professionals may stir your own feelings of what music means to you. At the end of the day, that’s what its all about-a personal experience that has its very own meaning to you.
Music is both a universal and personal experience.
What’s common for most people is the added dimension of enrichment it brings to our lives.
Music is a celebration of the human experience.
Whether that comes as a memory that brings pain or gives you a surge of inspiration, the entire concept of music is a transcendent experience.
Music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.
~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
It has been said that being a coach, teacher or instructor is a thankless profession. Whether you’re teaching an instrument or giving singing lessons in Toronto, there are very few moments of true appreciation for your work.
When those moments come, however, they provide you with strong evidence of living a fulfilling life and make all of the efforts worthwhile.
Thank you to all of our contributors who have spent thousands of hours teaching the gift of music and making the world a better place.