When we hear the words “music lessons”, a variety of memories may come to mind. Perhaps we think of our own history with piano lessons at age 7, performing our first Christmas or Hanukkah song at a festive holiday gathering.

Maybe we remember anxiously awaiting our first recital, which wouldn’t have been complete without sweaty palms, shaking fingers and wrong notes played in our nicest dress-up clothes. Boys in ties, girls with ribbons in their hair. We may not have sounded like a virtuoso, but we sure looked the part.

Then again, those memories may not have existed for those of us who never picked up any instrument of any kind, but always longed for the experience – well into adulthood.

Think music Lessons are just for kids? Think again. A wealth of scientific research over the last several decades attests to the tremendous benefits of music education and its power to maximize intellectual, social, and creative potential in the adult population, particularly in older adults.

According to researchers, most activities use only a few areas of the brain at a time. Playing a musical instrument, on the other hand, sets off a symphony of activity all over your brain.

Watch this short TED video for an explanation of exactly how playing a musical instrument affects your brain.

Still, by far the deepest benefit music gives us, is the ability to connect with our emotions. Moreover, playing a musical instrument in a group with others allows us to share and build camaraderie.

So, whether it’s a private lesson or a group class, students of all ages exercise and develop attentiveness, cooperation, and collaboration—all necessary for personal and professional relationships.