Does Playing Musical Instrument Make You Smarter?


The future of our nation depends upon providing our children with a complete education which includes music.”

Gerald Ford.

Does Playing A Musical Instrument Make You Smarter? 

Or do only smarter people play a musical instrument?

The brain is the most amazing and complex organ in the human body. Neurologists are still trying to find out exactly how it works. 

What they do know – thanks to neuro-imaging technology – is that playing a musical instrument requires some unique mental gymnastics. Neurologists also determined that playing a musical instrument encompasses almost all areas of the brain.
The Brain And Neuro-Imaging  Technology
The more difficult the piece of music, the more adaptable the brain becomes with processing the information. That newly acquired ability can then be translated to other non-musical activities.
Perhaps this explains why musicians score higher than non-musicians in many other disciplines as well.

The question still remains, however, whether playing an instrument makes you smarter, or do only smarter people play a musical instrument?


Benefits Of Learning To Play A Musical Instrument

Playing a musical instrument has many benefits which can bring hours of pure delight and unforgettable memories to you and others. Among these are:

Stress reduction                                               

Increase productivity                                                         

Instill self-discipline                                                     

Develop creativity and

Boost confidence

How Playing A Musical Instrument Makes You Smarter

Heard about the Harmony ProjectBased in Los Angeles, it is a non-profit organization that provides free music education to children in poor and gang-related neighborhoods.

Young Upcoming Child Violinist

Amazingly, students from this school were defying all odds, heading directly into UCLA  and other notable universities after graduating high school.

This startling discovery by the Project founder prompted Researchers at the Northwestern University to investigate.

In their research, 44 students were tracked over a two-year period, as they learned to play an instrument. There were also before and after  IQ test as well as other measurements of success.

Results showed clear evidence of measurable changes in the brain.

Researchers concluded that these changes were caused by the students’ musical training which, in turn, allowed the students to more readily process sound.

That increased ability also translated into the students’ proficiency in reading and fluency in speaking.

Smart U.S. Presidents who also played an instrument


Current  US President Donald Trump tops the list of musical Presidents. Trump, I understand, plays the accordion.

 Other former musically minded Presidents of the modern era are Bill Clinton who plays the saxophone and Barak Obama who sings. 

Other Most Musical Past Presidents And Their Achievements

He was the 3rd US President who also drafted the  Declaration Of Independence.

Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)  played the  Violin & Cello

 As sixth President Of The United States, he formulated the Munroe Doctrine.

John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)  played the flute.

This sixteenth President of the US issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865) played the violin.

 As the 30th President was credited with preserving America’s old moral and economic principles.

Calvin Calvin Coolidge (1872 – 1933) played the harmonica.

President No.28 was also the creator of the League Of Nations

Woodrow Wilson (1856 – 1924) played his violin and also sang tenor

One of the most musical Presidents was Warren J. Harding (1865 -1923)

As 29th President of the USA, he organized the Citizens Cornet Band which performed at both

Warren J. Harding Playing The Tuba

Democratic and Republican Rallies.

“I played every instrument but the slide trombone and the E-flat Cornet,” he once said.

However, despite his musical acumen, he has been described as one of the worst Presidents due to the various scandals which plagued him.




Of course, many other famous Presidents who played musical instruments have been excluded in the interest of time and brevity.

In looking at the evidence, however, one must conclude that most of the Presidents who played an instrument also achieved much success during their tenures in office.

Can we “blame it on the music?

What do you think?


Your kind comments, questions and suggestions are greatly appreciated.



Sources: World Journalism Institute, Summer, 2018.

National Association For Music Education Feb 13/2015

Wikipedia, the free enclyopedia.

___________________________________________________________________________________LEARN HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN WEBSITE AND BECOME YOUR OWN BOSS 





2 thoughts on “Does Playing Musical Instrument Make You Smarter?

  1. This topic has always been in debate amongst both musicians and non-musicians. As a musician myself, who started out in secondary school (Middle School in the USA), I don’t really feel smarter, but it did reduce my stress levels as well as boost my confidence by alot. Which in turn helps to better my studies.

    There are also alot of people that I know of that started instruments at the age of 6 and has yet touched an instrument since. Yet they continue to strive on in their studies and careers. So my question to you is that, does learning an instrument leave a permanent impact on your intelligence even after quitting? Or is constant practice the key to making you smarter?

    1. Hi Levon,

      Thank you for you comments. In answer to you question(s), my short, honest answer is that I do not know. I shall have to dig deeper into this. However, I should think that if you put down the instrument indefinitely, you will eventually loose the accrued benefits. What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *