Students should absolutely have to learn to play an instrument as a college requirement for a multitude of reasons; however the strongest argument in my eyes is the fact that it has been proven to increase intelligence, and sharpen the mind.
“When brain scans have been done of musicians, you find the enormity of the areas of the brain that are actually being activated,” said Norman Weinberger, a neuroscientist at University of California Irvine who pioneered research on the auditory system and the brain.
Playing an instrument requires a great deal of concentration and teaches students to acquire patience while learning to play, this is important because college requires concentration and patience as well because if you let it college will get the best of you.
Nina Kraus, the Hugh Knowles Professor of Communication Sciences and Neurobiology at Northwestern University, conducted research that has shown musical training can change the auditory system and enhance verbal skills.
This is important because students who have learning disabilities or mental disabilities can exercise the muscle in the brain that holds these skills and will help them process information better as well as being able to communicate clearly what they are thinking.
The average person may not think that they don’t have anything wrong with their hearing, but it isn’t so much that there is something wrong but rather that learning an instrument is enhancing your auditory reception.
“Enhanced sensitivity in musicians is not surprising given that musicians must attend to the detailed acoustic properties of sound on a daily basis,” said Kraus. “Due to its spectral complexity, wide frequency range and large variations in tone duration, music serves as an extremely effective vehicle for auditory training.”
Not only has science proven that learning an instrument is beneficial to the mind, but it can also give students a niche they can fall into that they probably would have never given the time of day had it not been a requirement.
Some people go their whole lives not knowing where they fit into the world, but when students can find that niche and find something that they love and excel they can find a great deal of happiness.
Learning an instrument, if done properly, can also teach students about time management as well as organization. In order to be a successful musician you have to take the time you are given to practice seriously because if you don’t actually put in an effort you most likely will not learn how to play. You also need all your equipment and music sheets with you and organized in a way that won’t damage it.
Lastly learning to play an instrument teaches perseverance, without perseverance no musician would have made it through their first song. It shows that if you work hard enough you can achieve your goals and even create something beautiful.