What is it about playing music that stimulates the mind? According to John J. Ratey, MD in A User’s Guide to the Brain “The musician is constantly adjusting decisions on tempo, tone, style, rhythm, phrasing, and feeling--training the brain to become incredibly good at organizing and conducting numerous activities at once. Dedicated practice of this orchestration can have a great payoff for lifelong attention skills, intelligence, and an ability for self-knowledge and expression.”

Better attention, increased intelligence and an ability for self-knowledge and expression? All of these skills are bound to benefit you in any career you choose, whether you become a professional musician or not. Studying music also increases self-discipline. And of course the obvious benefits are a greater appreciation of sound and the camaraderie of playing an instrument or singing with others. Music requires patience, communication and understanding. These personal qualities will enrich your own life and the lives of others around you.