How Music Helps Language Development

It’s often said that music is the language of the soul, but the connection between the two doesn’t stop there. According to experts, music is a vital aspect of one’s learning process. This is why music is often utilized in different forms to help improve one’s learning abilities. According to the Founder and President of California Music Studios, Jennifer Patterson, this is especially true in language acquisition. As it happens, music has links to language development because sounds play a vital role in both cases.

Sounds: The Key To Language Development

Sound is the very first thing that infants recognize in their surroundings. They will learn how to speak after a few years based on the sounds that they always hear since then.

In an interview with Medical News Today, the professor of theory and music composition, Anthony Brandt shared a few insights about the subject. According to him, newborns can “dissect” parts of sound from pitch to timbre and rhythm. This is why when they are exposed to sounds like music, they can effectively learn the art of language.

Connection Between Music and Language Development

Scholars of today suggest that spoken language is a type of music. This is the “backbone” hypothesis of the prominent paper titled, Music and Early Language Acquisition. The researchers tried to prove that music has a huge impact on language development. Accordingly, one would learn to speak effectively if music is well-comprehended in the first place.

There is a reason why many parents today send their kids to attend music lessons. While most of us are familiar with the apparent benefits of music to brain development, the aspect of language development and improvement is, most of the time, overlooked.

Aside from theories and hypotheses, there are now published papers as well that center on the relationship between music and language development. And based on the study conducted by Robert Desimone, it has been found that children who attend piano lessons, as young as five years old, improve the “speech perception.”

Teaching Language Through Music

Traditionally, the better part of language knowledge is taught in schools. Although the basic language development starts at home, schools teach the proper forms and the improvements needed. However, it has been found that this kind of dynamic and method typically fails.

With these thoughts at hand, along with all of the studies conducted, it is only logical why the focus has been shifted to music. In fact, many institutions in recent times are now using music to teach language.

Use Music to Help Language Development

Here are the points as to how music specifically helps language development:

Helps Develop Reading Comprehension Skills

Reading is an important aspect of language development. This is because it increases the exposure to the art of language. As a result, language skills can be fully maximized.

Now, music is found to help develop reading comprehension skills. Several studies have been conducted in the past years about the subject. And it has been found that the rhythms in music are essential to speech and language, which plays an integral role in reading comprehension.

Helps to Recognize Tricky Spoken Verbal Cues

Verbal cues are essential parts of a language. Anyone who communicates effectively uses verbal cues all the time. As it appears, all languages are “pretty much” the same. And one of the reasons behind is because of these prompts and cues that can be conveyed in every language and any type of communication.

According to studies, the specific part of the brain that is responsible for language skills is “closely connected” to the part of the brain that is focused on music comprehension.

With music, these prompts and verbal cues can be easily distinguished. While it may take time for kids to identify these aspects of languages, music can essentially develop this skill.

Repetitive Patterns Within the Song Help Us Memorize Words

Vocabulary is also essential to language development. Learning new words that will widen your vocabulary can be done in many ways. In fact, you can learn new vocabulary even when you reach old age. Nevertheless, it has been found that music is the best way to learn new words for much better vocabulary knowledge.

Songs are undoubtedly creative outputs made by musicians. And in every track, there will be new words that one may add to their set of vocabulary. Accordingly, the more you are exposed to music, the higher the chance of learning new words. Additionally, it has been found that music patterns allow individuals to memorize words.

Playing Music Also Can Help to Recognize the Way Sounds Are Put Together

Language, in a much simpler perspective, is putting sounds together. And through music, one can learn how to put sounds together. That is why this notion has become one of the bases of music’s importance to language development.

Although listening to music is a good and effective way to reap this benefit, experts suggest that playing and learning music is much more efficient in recognizing how sounds are put together.

In a study conducted among students, young people who are musically inclined are found to be more perceptive of language skills. And in most cases, these students are revealed to have taken drums and guitar lessons previously.

Music Training Helps to Improve How Sounds Are Processed for Language and Emotion

Neuroscientists have reasoned that music training enhances sensitivity to speech sound. In the titular research, it has been concluded that musicians are more “effective at utilizing” patterns both in music and speech. This is because learning how to play an instrument “engages” one’s ability to “extract” patterns.

Given the notion that hearing systems are synced with the previous experiences with sounds, it allows one, especially those who are musically trained, to comprehend how sounds are processed for the usage of language. As a result, the full development of language can be effectively achieved.


These points are all pointing to one thing: music does help language development. Whether you are a parent who is concerned about your kids’ language and communication skills or simply a concerned individual in the same spectrum, involving music regularly can help in developing language.

Research and studies are conclusive enough to prove the said hypothesis. So, the only thing that is left to do is to start the involvement with music. Although listening to music is beneficial enough, you may want to extend the reaping of these benefits by understanding music in theory and application via learning how to play musical instruments.

Author bio: Curtis Dean writes on behalf of Sage Music School where they base lessons on the science and research of the psychology of learning. Their effective teaching methods create confident and capable students who enjoy the happiness of making music.