Studies about the positive impact of music on intelligence – both listening to music and playing a musical instrument – have been around for hundreds of years. In many of these studies, simple things such as listening to music that has the correct tempo or beat can improve brain function in different ways. Playing a musical instrument produces more positive effects.
Recently, a study explores how music can help science students perform better in school. The study was followed by a similar study designed to measure the impact of music and playing a musical instrument to the performance of civil engineering students on NJIT Online. The results are more than just interesting.
Listening to music and playing musical instruments help boost the ability of the mind to capture and process sensory information. When you play guitar, for instance, the brain practices identifying the position of your fingers, the sound the instrument produces, and the array of notes that you are supposed to play to construct a song.
A simple act of playing a guitar trains civil engineering students’ touch and sight, enhancing their ability to measure, recognize details, and perform motoric tasks at the same time. While the act of playing guitar is simple, the way the brain manages that act is far from rudimentary.
When the same training is done repeatedly and periodically, the impacts are also amplified in an exponential way. Civil engineering students can really benefit from practicing playing musical instruments or listening to music on a regular basis.
Early Exposure to Music
The study by civil engineering students at New Jersey Institute of Technology also confirms the positive impact of early exposure to music. Based on several trials and data from multiple sources, students who began their musical training at the age of 7 or younger are better at performing calculations and other engineering-related tasks.
The same performance can also be seen when the students are working on technical drawings, engineering calculations, and structural design. When the brain is used to processing complex information quickly and accurately from such a young age, this impact is to be expected.
Don’t forget that these are skills that can be developed through training. The brain may not respond as quickly when musical training begins at an older age, but it will still benefit from the activity greatly.
Any Music Genre Works
Until several years ago, classical music is considered the go-to genre when talking about musical training and intelligence. A more recent study revealed that the genre of the music played or listened to doesn’t really matter.
You can listen to your favorite Hip Hop tracks or play your electronic synthesizer to create unique tools, all while training the brain and helping it boost its complex-thinking ability. Different genres produce different degrees of benefits, but beats and tunes are considered the more determining factor in these cases.
Of course, you can benefit from the same training even when you’re not studying for a civil engineering degree, but music helps you be better and smarter; that much is true.