Can You Increase Intelligence by Being Musically Inclined?

Does music make you smarter? Can you increase intelligence from studying it?

I’m sure you have asked these questions quite a few times. In fact, this is one of the most commonly asked questions within the realm of music and it’s lovers.

So… is it true that it makes you more intelligent? YES! Let me tell you how…

Around April of 2015, Boston’s Children’s Hospital held a study and found that musical training enhances the executive function of the brain in both children AND adults. But… what is the “executive function” that I speak of exactly?

Executive functions are mental skills that enable people to think effectively. These functions lend us a hand everyday by helping us juggle multiple tasks at a time or remember instructions.

Boston Children’s Hospital has also found that there is a correlation between musical training and cognitive abilities.

Circuits of the brain are shaped by systematic training. This leads to relying less on memory and even more extensive connectivity within the brain. Make sense?

Brain activation has been found to be enhanced within other brain regions that are not linked to executive function, such as the insula and the cerebellum. 2014 University of Liverpool has found that training musically enhances the flow of blood in the left part of the brain.

This left hemisphere of the brain is used to control not only the right side of the body, but it is also used in logic and academics, such as science or mathematics.

It is also found that the fine arts themselves can improve your… wait for it… STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES! According to a study by The College Board, the arts help increase these scores (ex: SAT) by a whopping 100 points!! Neat, huh?

Another cool fact is that a professional musician’s brain is way different than a normal person’s.

Scans show that the musician’s brain is more symmetrical. These means that areas of the brain for motor control, spatial intelligence, and auditory processing are larger.

Just in case you were not aware, spatial intelligence is the ability to understand how things work together. Composers use this skill all the time to write harmonies in their compositions!

However, besides being a musician, this skill can help in careers such as engineering, computer science, architecture, or even mathematics.

Within the brain of a professional musician, there is also a larger corpus callosum. This is a band of nerve fibers that enables the left and right hemispheres of the brain to communicate with one another. What else is pretty awesome is that playing music AND listening to music can stimulate certain molecules of the brain.

Listening increases the neurotransmitter dopamine, also known as the “motivation molecule”. The motivation molecule is integral for the pleasure-reward system.

Neurotransmitter dopamine is the same chemical of the brain that is responsible for the feel-good states acquired from eating chocolate and “runner’s high”.

Playing music as a group or listening to live music stimulates a brain hormone called oxytocin, also referred to as the “moral molecule” or “trust molecule”. It helps us bond with others and put trust towards others.

Music improves language development and it also even puts a small increase onto a person’s IQ.


There you have it… music CAN make you smarter, even if you’re just listening to it! So the ones out there who listen to their tunes all the time, keep up the good work 😉

I hope this article has helped you understand the vital importance of music and what it can do for you and your mind. Please share with your friends and family. Got any questions or thoughts on this matter? Leave me a comment… I would love to read what you have to say 🙂



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One thought on “Can You Increase Intelligence by Being Musically Inclined?

  1. Alan

    June 3, 2017 at 5:43pm

    This is wonderful Jillian. Now I know why I’m so brilliant. Lol. No, for real, I have been a singer/song writer my whole life, and I can attest to what you are saying. Very interesting read.

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    • Author


      June 3, 2017 at 5:48pm

      Hi there Alan! I am very happy you enjoyed my article! It is quite remarkable what music can actually do for us in the long run. It’s a shame that it goes so under appreciated! Thank you so much for reading my work and I hope you can come back and visit us sometime soon 🙂

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  2. Haley

    June 4, 2017 at 3:40am

    I enjoyed this article…

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    • Author


      June 4, 2017 at 3:43am

      Hello Haley! Your comment is greatly appreciated! I’m glad you enjoyed reading my work 🙂 Hope to see you back to visit us here at Mastering the Music soon!

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  3. Linda

    June 4, 2017 at 12:02pm

    Hi, Jillian!
    It was a pleasure to read. 🙂 Thank you! Great information and article!
    I think I always knew, that music can help us to become smarter. Thank you for reminding me! It is great that people are listening to music, but sometimes we all need silence then we can hear ourselves and use our creativity. I love periods of silence then my greatest ideas come to me, and I also love beautiful music, and sometimes I sing while listening to music. I am sure that both things are needed.
    Thank you again!

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    • Author


      June 4, 2017 at 5:07pm

      Hey there Linda! It’s amazing how much music can help us! We all definitely need silence every once in a while, though, for sure! I know that for me, it works both ways… sometimes, my most rad ideas are stirred from silence and sometimes from music. It’s quite interesting how it all works! Thank you so much for stopping by and I am so very glad that you enjoyed reading 🙂

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  4. Sherry

    June 19, 2017 at 10:13pm

    Hi Jillian,
    Interesting to read! I’d heard of studies done on how playing music can improve our brain to function in other areas such as math, but I never knew that just listening to music helps you become smarter!

    That’s awesome to hear, since I listen to music as much as humanely possible. I find it helps me to concentrate when working on my various projects, cleaning the house, or thinking of new ideas to write about. Anyways, I also have to admit I enjoy playing guitar now and again, just for fun, but haven’t had too much time for it lately, so this is good news to hear.

    Thanks for sharing! Keep up the awesome job!

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    • Author


      June 19, 2017 at 10:22pm

      Hi Sherry! I honestly never knew it myself until I did a huge research on the subject! You play guitar? That is fantastic! That’s something I would like to learn to play haha. Thank you very much for checking out my post and I am so glad that you enjoyed reading 🙂 Hope you get the chance to come back and visit us again soon!!

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  5. Paula

    June 29, 2017 at 6:10am

    Thank you for such an honest post! I am definitely a believer in music boosting the brain to a higher intelligence myself. Very informative and I truly enjoyed reading your article. Thanks! :o)

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    • Author


      June 29, 2017 at 2:45pm

      Hi Paula! Music is such an amazing thing and definitely has so many benefits to it! It’s awesome haha! Thank you very much for your kind words and for checking out my post! Hope to see you back here at Mastering the Music again soon!

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