6 Mental Benefits Of Playing The Violin For Children (Backed By Science)

By Craig Birchfield

Special guest blog by Neil Nguyen

Learning an instrument, especially the violin early gives your children many decisive benefits, both mentally and physically. More importantly, these benefits won’t fade but last long throughout their lives.

Knowing deeply about these benefits will help you have a better sense of how important violin learning is and have the right attitude towards music education for your children.

That’s why today, our guest Neil from sublimelody.com brings us 7 mental benefits of playing the violin for your children.

We will start with the studies about Music and Brain from Brenda Hanna-Pladdy, a neurologist at the Emory University School of Medicine: Article at livescience.com

Also Lutz Jäncke, a neuropsychologist and a cognitive neuroscientist at University of Zurich: Article

These studies show us 7 mental benefits of playing an instrument:

1. Develop both short-term and long-term memory
2. Improve verbal functioning
3. Learn foreign languages easier
4. Increase attention span and focus
5. Become more self-disciplined
6. Better at planning

Let’s dive in each of one from the list:

1. Develop both short-term and long-term memory

When learning a new violin piece, students must read and memorize the notes and the rhythms of a small piece on the sheet music first. It is the use of short-term memory.

Then, they combine the memorized notes in their mind with proper techniques to bring the melody into reality.

After that, they have to repeat that small piece again and again until the sound is smooth. The repeat transforms short-term memory into long-term memory. And the melody goes deep into their mind.

You can see, it’s just the process of practicing a small piece of music. The students have to repeat that process with other small pieces to complete a whole sheet music.

Eventually, they can perform the whole piece without the sheet music.

It leads to the development of both short-term and long-term memory.

Most subjects in our current education system require memorizing lots of information. So, your child will probably be brighter at the school.

2. Improve verbal functioning

This is the by-product of having good short-term and long-term memory: Your children can learn words faster by ears, and these words also go deep into their mind. As a result, they can easily express their thought and opinion in the verbal manner.

3. Learn foreign languages easier

This benefit is also the by-product of having good short-term and long-term memory.

4. Increase attention span and focus

To successfully perform a violin piece without any mistake, all of the student’s energy and effort will focus on the playing alone in at least 2-3 minutes (it depends on the length of the piece).

The longer the piece, the more attention span is increased.

5. Become more self-disciplined

To get the most out of each practice session, the student must follow a list of tasks as a ritual:
Rosining the bow > getting a proper position > playing scales for 15 minutes > practicing changing positions > and so on.

It forms the self-disciplined in each violinist. They seem never to be in a hurried and do all things with nonchalance.

6. Better at planning

With the guidance of the tutor, students will gradually develop the ability to learn to play the piece themselves. Which means they how to plan and set their own goals properly to complete a violin piece.

For example: To complete an intermediate piece (about 3 pages), they need to divide it into smaller pieces, estimate the completed date, and then set a specific goal for each practice session: “In 30-minute, I will be able to play these 8 bars smoothly”

Last thoughts

The 6 mental benefits above is just a small number of numerous advantages to playing the violin.

With just 6 benefits listed above, your children will have a solid mental foundation to become sharper when grown-up.

Hopefully, now you know that the investment in learning violin for your children is always the wisest investment. It’s the investment that is never a loss.