Learning through Music


Exposing kids to music at an early age increases brain plasticity and opens the brain to learning conditions that can help the child in other disciplines.

For example, the academic achievement of 6,500 low-income students was analyzed by James S. Catterall, a Professor at UCLA. He discovered that over 41% of students who took art courses early on were in the top half of the class by the 10th grade. He also noted that only about 1 in 4 students in the top half of their class had never engaged themselves in learning any form of music instrument.  Exposing a child to music at an early stage helps the kid perform much better later in school.


As noted by the Portland Chamber Orchestra, multiple components of the central and peripheral nervous system are needed to play any musical instrument. When playing a musical instrument, the motor system in the brain controls both the fine and gross movement needed to produce sound.

This sound is processed by the auditory circuitry, thus enabling the motor control centers to adjust signaling. Emotional responses can be processed through music by the brain - that is why we can get really emotional listening to some notes and or lyrics.


“Children exposed to a multi-year program of music tuition which involves training and increasingly complex rhythmic tonal and practical skills display superior cognitive performance in reading skills compared with their non-musically trained peers” – Journal Psychology of Music Report.

Simply put, reading skills in kids can be greatly enhanced through music education. Music has the capacity to awaken the visual, cognitive, emotional and auditory responses in children. It was also noted that music facilitates the learning of a new language and improvement of vocabulary more effectively than speech. 

These are only some of the benefits of picking up an instrument. As seen from the benefits enumerated above, there are many things that come with playing. You’re not too young, neither are you too old. 

Indeed, Music is for everyone!

A Brief Insight to the Benefits of Music


Put in the most basic form possible, there is no downside to playing percussions. Drums are a gateway that allow you to open yourself to a vast array of opportunities and to enrich your life in a way that can rarely be achieved in other disciplines. The best part is, it is everyone has a place in the circle. Music made together can connect you with others.

The physical learning experience is a given; however playing also offers a feeling of serenity. Playing percussions has both physical and mental benefits. 

• Exercise and range of motion

Percussion instruments require a repetitive movement of the arms and if done for long enough, can help enhance blood circulation and even burn calories and body fat Percussions can be played standing or sitting and as you have to use your hands, arms fingers and feet, playing in itself is a great form of workout. This is particularly great for physical rehabilitation patients as these repetitive movements help with motor skills as well as range of motion.

Therapeutic for addiction

Various studies have shown that brainwaves are enhanced through active engagement with musical instrument, which can fast track recovery for addicts. 

• Improves immune system

In 2001, a scientific journal called Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine published an article noting that drummers experience higher levels of natural killer cells, which enhances the body’s immune response. This improves the immune system and helps in keeping diseases out of the body.

 Increased coordination

Similar to most other instruments, playing percussion instruments requires a great deal of coordination and motor skills. Your feet, both arms and brain all have to be on the same page to produce something melodious. Timing, simultaneous movement of arms, fingers and feet must be perfect in order to form a melodious sound. This helps with hand-eye coordination, spatial temporal reasoning as well as strengthening cognitive skills. 

• Improved ambidextrousness

Dexterity is a skill that supports precision movement. The ability to be equally competent with both right and left hand is a truly rare skill, and that is what is termed ambidextrous. Learning instruments like percussion over time naturally improves one’s ambidexterity, and as you spend more time practicing and playing percussion, your fingers and hands become more comfortable with it. Speed and performance is naturally improved. 

• Relieves stress

You can play percussion at your own pace, just like any other musical instrument. You can decide to go slow or fast; it’s up to you. Your mind syncs with your music production, so when you start playing any instrument, you can ease up pent-up worries. The connection between your mind and any instrument you enjoy playing is one that can rarely be seen in any other field; therefore, musical instruments are a perfect stress relieving therapy. 

• Enables self-expression

Playing instruments generally is a great form of personal expression. You can find your own rhythm, open yourself up to new perspective and with your hands, feet and mind, you create a peculiar sound that you can relate with and have the world appreciate your personal experience through your music.

• Enhances mood

Playing releases endorphins that provide feeling of happiness and energy, which means that being part of a drum circle will instantly put you in a better mood. Making music is fun, because it allows for spontaneity and self-expression. The sounds made are vibrations that express your level of energy and in the process. The mood of those listening to you playing can be improved too.

• Increases brain development

Studies have shown that kids who pick up an instrument at a young age tend to have better verbal memory and reading capacity. Learning music is a process that lasts a long time and every new lesson is built on some prior lessons mastered. Studies show that learning through music can enhance abstract thinking, increase creativity and improve memory.

• Discipline & Patience

Learning any musical instrument isn’t something that can be done without a great deal of patience and discipline. The discipline and patience developed while learning the percussion for instance can easily spill into every other part of our lives.

• Promotes sociability and communication skills

Instruments like percussion can be played individually or in groups. Playing can provide a therapeutic escape if you feel like being alone with your thoughts and your instruments.

On the other hand, drums and percussion offer a sense of community and powerful unified experience when played together with others. Your brain is at work even when making simple rhythmic music together - you learn to listen and respond to the beat, which enhances communication skills.

Our developed society hungers for the simplicity of real interactions in a down to earth manner, free from pressures of skills or responsibilities. By joining your local drum circles, you can be a part of creating rhythms with people from different walks of life, and can even learn a thing or two from shared experiences. The value the drum circle brings to one’s life is immensely empowering and lingers within one’s memory for a long time.



Music is for Everyone Featured on Fox 33 News

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'Music is For Everyone is a one-of-a-kind new local progam' - Karen Edwards, Fox 33 News

Karen Edwards from Fox 33 News recently sat in on one of our therapy sessions at Southern Oaks Rehab Center. Here's a little glimpse behind the scenes of our therapeutic program as well as a short excerpt from the article. You can read the entire feature here Arklatexhompage.com



"Music is a collective," Hardy explained. "That's beautiful. We're a collective. Nobody... nothing is more important than the other."

The session brought out a talent in Sam Cicero that started years ago when he played drums in junior high. "I'm 72 years old and... I'm not gon' stop," said Cicero who is a resident of Southern Oaks.

That's what this program is all about.

"It feels great. It really does," Harris explained. "It really feels great to be a part of something that's so amazing... to be able to heal people."