What learning music does to a developing brain


Want more reasons to get your kids into music?

A large number of studies have been done over the years to map what learning music can do to a child’s growing brain. What’s more interesting is that significant trends and links have been found with positive behaviour and future prospects.

The Chinese University of Hong Kong has done a study that shows learning to read music and playing an instrument leads to a permanent increase in learning rates. Learning how to read music can be extremely beneficial to everyone as it is incredibly similar to learning a new language which does wonders for your brain’s thinking skill. It’s cognitive effects however can be even more great, as a physical movement must also be linked to the brain’s decoding of the symbols on the page. Once this skill has be honed the study shows that it remains in the brain; your logic and ability to process information becomes quicker and sharper.

What’s more, when musicians were hooked up to an fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine, playing an instrument lit up a huge amount of the brain, showing connections being made between the auditory, visual and motor cortexes as well as strengthening the connection between the left and the right side of the brain.
Memory creation, retention and retrieval in musicians was also found to be more efficient and rapid in musicians than their non-musical counterparts.

All of these learnt skills and brain functions are easily and in many cases subconsciously applied to other areas of life, logic, thinking and reasoning.

Another MIT study showed that the cerebral cortex of a concert pianist is on average 30% larger than that of other non – musical intellectuals. Interestingly enough, in one particular Chicago High School, drop out rates fell dramatically after an intensive music course was introduced to the school curriculum.

There has never been better proof and more reasons to encourage your child’s musical side and it’s effects are only beneficial!

Partly contributed by Adventus and TED-Ed 


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