Playing Guitar Boosts Brain Power, Research Finds

Mastering instruments results in problem-solving improvements.

logo
Ultimate Guitar
38

A new study conducted at Boston Children's Hospital has drawn an interesting conclusion, claiming that mastering a musical instrument at a young age results in brainpower improvement for life.

As Daily Mail reports, researchers found that children who underwent musical training, guitar lessons included, were better at processing and retaining information, as well as problem solving in general.

"Since executive functioning is a strong predictor of academic achievement, even more than IQ, we think our findings have strong educational implications," said head of research Nadine Gaab.

The study was conducted through functional MRI brain scans performed on a group of 15 musically trained nine to 12-year-olds and 12 untrained kids of the same age.

Similarly, two groups of 15 adults were compared, featuring professional musicians on one side and non-musicians on the other.

The groups were matched in terms of IQ and have underwent a series of cognitive tests and brain scans. Ultimately, they've gathered similar data for the research teams, confirming that musically trained individuals have an enhanced brain power.

"Our results may also have implications for children and adults who are struggling with executive functioning, such as children with ADHD or [the] elderly," Gaab added. "Future studies have to determine whether music may be utilized as a therapeutic intervention tools for these children and adults."

37 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    jacobdubya
    I don't think this is much of a surprise. But I'm sure that playing any musical instrument increases brain power, such playing music in general involves a lot of cognitive processes.
    solexhn
    a new dragon ball movie is being produced. Warlord Poh-Tay-Toe is threatening every lifeform in the universe. Goku, in a desperate attempt to match Poh-Tay-Toe's power, visits the great Kai and proceeds to learn the secret technique of playing guitar to boost his ki to the maximum level. Goku turns supersaiyan 86 and destroys poh-tay-toe and his spud minions. Not only that, as you well know, with great power comes great responsability. Goku destroys the whole universe without even trying... His power boost was too great... he should have known. He destroyed all he ever cared of. All because of the almighty power of the guitar learning technique. He wishes he could take it back, but he can't because it is impossible to unlearn something. The movie ends in deep sorrow and regret, but Goku could find one tiny ray of hope in all this misery. The one thing he had longed for for as long as he could remember: He finally was the strongest being in existence. The End. Moral of the fable: If you learn to play guitar, you better be ready for all the sadness that will befall you, until you realize that you are the strongest being in the universe. Your power cannot be matched by no one....but then...in the silence of the nothingness...you start to hear a melody. You think you recognize it. it's...Nothing else matters by metallica and...yeah...stairway to heaven from led zeppelin...and is that deep purple's 'smoke in the water'? Maybe you are not alone after all....To be continued
    angusreynolds78
    i will not listen to an article about brainpower while the phrase "have underwent" is present
    Pablo Mortis
    I will not pay attention to a comment on an article about brainpower with missing capital letters and full stops. (Sorry )
    Hamburger89
    The article pretty much says: If your brain works more it will improve more than when it doesn't do as much work. Besides only 27 people were involved, with 27 people I can provide evidende of anything.
    RichieJovie
    Being a guitar teacher for over 20 years, I suppose I must be Steven Hawking by now.... alas not.
    TomusAM
    "...that mastering a musical instrument at a young age results in brainpower improvement for life." Well, I started at a young age, but I still haven't mastered it so I guess I'm screwed.
    Jacques Nel
    Does the study make provision for the effects of those that make music and use drugs?
    hak_hap
    playing 3 chords isn't really "mastering" so your comment is invalid.
    ninjamo
    Wait, so you're telling me that doing something where you are learning is good for your brain? Get the f*** right outta town. So tired of these "studies".
    qrEE
    new study shows that being smart is for nerds and nerds smell like my butt.
    ][v][ETAL
    I can confirm this. I once played a G chord and I wrote my entire Physics report in no time.
    Kueller917
    Music and instruments have been long shown to be brain working. Nothing really new.
    QOTSA-SFTD
    The axeman first deactivates his brain, then brainpower is boosted. Sounds legit.
    Bollockser
    I always prided myself on being smart; I've noticed I'm definitely smarter since I started playing guitar.
    Eirien
    ... and humbler too!
    GameSkate
    That's the price you have to pay for beign smart.
    bahast
    A smart person don't need to brag about being smart, if they're a smart one, than it'll be pretty obvious for those around them that they are smart.
    derpdragon
    This isn't new research at all. This has already been studied and widely accepted for a very long time. Why are we wasting funding on studies we already know the answer to?
    mattjamesrenn
    Study finds that lifting weights strengthens your muscles. Scientists who used 10 million dollars in resources receive Nobel prize.
    Tempoe
    try a study involving hundreds at least to make any conclusions, this is just dumb
    rcm93
    This is bullshit, if i practice guitar 5 hours a day like i would like to, i'd fail my engineering degree.
    sirsteelstrings
    "As Daily Mail reports..." The Daily Mail isn't that far off satirical news sites like the Onion. The difference is one is a satirical news site whilst the other pretends to give real news. Anyway, we all know that using your brain and learning things is good for ones mental state.
    minotaur199
    I know this guy, Sven, he's a drummer (and he sucks). Now I know why he can't play the guitar.