As we move into a more technical and mass media age, we are seeing the steady decline of the sale, and use of musical instruments. Computer technology has just about changed every aspect of modern life, and sitting around to practice an instrument is just something that is looked at with little interest these days. David Pitt of the Huffingtonpost.com wrote an article about the decline in piano sales, “The best year for new piano sales in the U.S. was 1909, when more than 364,500 were sold. But after gently falling over the years, piano sales have plunged more recently to between 30,000 and 40,000 annually” (2015, Para 4). With the decline is the sale of musical instruments and the general lack of interest to play them, we may see a complete phase out of these classical instruments.
Learning to play a musical instrument has been repeatedly shown to improve overall brain function, memory, and cognitive function for children and adults. Additionally, musical therapy has been used in many cases to assist with depression, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. Alexandra Preston of NaturalSociety.com cited a study done by School of Psychology & Neuroscience at the University of St Andrews, “The results show that those with more accumulated hours of practice had a faster response speed than non-musicians and no less accuracy. More well-practiced musicians had a “better engagement of cognitive control processes,” meaning they had faster reaction times and better ability to correct mistakes” (2015, Para 3).
For children, An introduction into playing music will not only allow them to improve their overall cognitive function, but it introduces them into different cultures and groups. Most musical instruments and songs have a background in the culture it was created in, and understanding that background helps to open the mind to the traditions and meaning that the instrument or song has. Angela Kwan of Parents.com wrote, “By learning about and playing a variety of instruments, kids can discover how music plays a critical role in other cultures. For instance, bongos and timbales may introduce children to African and Cuban styles of music.” With that in mind, the introduction of music and the instruction of playing an instrument can assist in preparing a child for the world that they live in.
With the large amount of activities that are offered today inside and outside of the education system, learning a musical instrument appears to be getting swept to the side. Most children are involved in a variety of other activates, and don’t find it appealing to practice an instrument. While most adults believe that they have passed the window to even learn. However, learning an instrument can be a fun and engaging process for anyone, and anyone can start to learn at any time. Picking up an instrument can introduce you to a whole new community of musicians and allow you to develop a hobby that will be beneficial for a lifetime.
Pitt, D (2 January, 2015) Piano Stores Are Closing As Fewer Children Take Up The Instrument Retried on 18 February, 2016 from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/02/piano-stores-are-closing-_n_6407120.html
Preston, A (4 January, 2015) This Creative Practice Can Protect And Boost Brain Function Retrieved on 18 February, 2016 from http://naturalsociety.com/playing-musical-instrument-can-protect-cognitive-function/
Kwan, A (18 February, 2016) 6 Benefits of Music Lessons Retrieved on 18 February, 2016 from http://www.parents.com/kids/development/intellectual/benefits-of-music-lessons/