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The Benefits of Learning to Play a Musical Instrument

Guest Post by Laura Young

Laura is a Master Teacher with 25 years of experience teaching music and 18 years of teaching at CMA in Ventura and Westlake Village. Laura will be receiving her MFA in Music Composition next August and as a mentor teacher, she shares her skills not only with her students but also with her teachers. 

Children receive more benefits from piano lessons than just learning to play an instrument. Surveys by educators, government, and the music industry have shown that students develop social and academic strengths as their piano training progresses. Studies have also shown that weekly lessons that feature a keyboard instrument and group singing dramatically improve a kind of intelligence needed for high-level math and science. And, according to the Neuroscience Journal, children who play an instrument for at least 15 months will alter the structure of their brain, which leads to enhanced learning ability and memorization skills.

Music increases the number of synapses that control motor function and engages the brain through gross and fine motor skills, listening and music reading skills. The theory of bilateralism of the brain has been thought by many to be the reason for increased intelligence in the artistic child. The theory states that the brain is divided into two halves, the analytical brain, and the subjective artistic brain. When both halves of the brain are stimulated, the brain develops as a whole, resulting in increased development of total intelligence.

Studies have also found that those who study music show more leadership skills, poise, vigor and self-confidence than those who have not. Through the study of music, a child gains more self-esteem and more control over the intellectual, emotional and physical aspects of life. Even if a child does not continue to play the piano as an adult, important life skills have been learned. Students show more confidence in facing new experiences, are more willing to complete a task until it’s finished and has increased poise in social situations.


Children’s Music Academy offers weekly one-hour lessons for students during the school year. Classes are offered on weekday afternoons and early evenings.

Beginning in September, two classes are offered on Thursdays at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. for homeschooling students ages 4 ½-7. CMA is a parent participation program and requires that an adult attends with the child (except the Senior and Masters courses). Parent involvement encourages musical togetherness and play, and is key to a child’s musical growth. The Ventura studio is also host to the CMA Singers, a choir for students ages 7-12, which meets on Monday afternoons. CMA teachers and alumni also perform in the free “Music Speaks” concert held in April of each year.

Free trial classes are offered monthly. Please visit the Children's Music Academy for more information. Parents can also contact Enrollment Director Judy Kennedy at (805) 658-6661.

Children's Music Academy of Westlake Village

31836 Village Center Road, Westlake Village, CA 91361

Children's Music Academy of Ventura

5725 Ralston St. Suite 222 Ventura, CA 93003


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