Developing a Learning Culture

Your Brain on Bass: The Benefits of Music in eLearning

Check your phone’s app store and you’ll find literally hundreds of apps dedicated to helping users learn a musical instrument. And whether it’s to brush up on your bassoon or to impress a girl with your moonlight guitar-playing skills, playing a musical instrument might be more beneficial than you think. When put into eLearning terms, it’s clear that your fondness for flute might be more than just a way to relive your band days.

So, how can musical instruments become instrumental in an eLearning settings? Check out how music affects your brain before dusting off your drum kit.

Music and the Brain

Watch this TED-Ed video and you’ll learn a thing or two about how playing a musical instrument affects your brain for the better. When you start playing, an amazing thing happens: The bridge between your left and right brain becomes stronger. While musicians are often thought of as creative types, playing an instrument actually benefits both memory and executive function. Blame it on the precision of playing each note: Musicians might actually be more left-brained than you thing.

Meanwhile, the fine motor skills that it takes to play an instrument makes the guitar a full body and brain experience. Engaging auditory, visual, and kinesthetic senses at once mean a musician is better at retaining and recalling information.

Musical eLearning

Apart from having an HR onboarding jam sesh, music might be more effective in eLearning than you realize. Utilizing background audio through your modules, for example, can help learners more easily retain and recall information later on. What’s more, audio can be used to elicit emotional cues from your learners, which can create a stronger bond between student and scenario. By using background sounds judiciously throughout eLearning programs, learners can have a more enjoyable experience while you sneakily instill the benefits of bass.

Taking Cues

Besides using the right soundtrack for your eLearning modules, music can teach you a thing or two about keeping time with your learners. Notice that when musicians’ brains were actively engaged, they reported better memory, cognition, and even decision-making skills. Therefore, the more senses you engage throughout your eLearning module, the better your learners retain the information.

So, instead of just a block of text in a PowerPoint, what if learners first watched an animation set to music and then participated in a drag and drop activity at the end of a chapter? You’re evoking auditory, visual, and kinesthetic responses for better results.

By taking a page from musicians, it’s possible to see eLearning design in a new light. Music can enhance learning, but more importantly, can become a pattern for eLearning composition. Instead of a flat experience, eLearning can be a full-body, immersive experience for learners: And that is music to our ears.