At TEDxTeddington, Mike Hanson explains why music is the purest form of human expression and how it unifies us despite language barriers.



For me the most proficient way to teach the values of collaboration, flexibility, imagination and innovation–all skill sets needed in today’s world–is through the performing arts. If you have these tools, you can do well in any field from software engineering to the biosciences.

— Yo-Yo Ma

These quotes are taken from an article, “Behind the Cello”, which appeared here in The World Post.

In a TED-Ed video, Anita Collins explains the fireworks that go off in musicians’ brains when they play an instrument, and some of the long-term positive effects of this mental workout.

Top 5 Academic Reasons

(Adapted from here)

  • Research shows that music is to the brain as physical exercise is to the human body. Music tones the brain for auditory fitness and allows it to decipher between tone and pitch.
  • Children who study a musical instrument are more likely to excel in all of their studies, work better in teams, have enhanced critical thinking skills, stay in school, and pursue further education.
  • A study from Columbia University revealed that students who study arts are more cooperative with their teachers and peers, have higher levels self-confidence, and are more equipped to express themselves and their ideas.
  • Learning and mastering a musical instrument improves the way the brain breaks down and understands human language, making music students more apt to pick up a second language.
  • Regardless of socioeconomic status or school district, students who participate in high-quality music programs score 22 percent better on English and 20 percent better on Math standardized exams.