Music Lessons Improve Language Development

Courtesy yet again of Deric Bownds’ Mindblog, a study by Sylvain Moreno, Carlos Marques, Andreia Santos, Manuela Santos, São Luís Castro and Mireille Besson

We conducted a longitudinal study with 32 nonmusician children over 9 months to determine 1) whether functional differences between musician and nonmusician children reflect specific predispositions for music or result from musical training and 2) whether musical training improves nonmusical brain functions such as reading and linguistic pitch processing. Event-related brain potentials were recorded while 8-year-old children performed tasks designed to test the hypothesis that musical training improves pitch processing not only in music but also in speech. Following the first testing sessions nonmusician children were pseudorandomly assigned to music or to painting training for 6 months and were tested again after training using the same tests. After musical (but not painting) training, children showed enhanced reading and pitch discrimination abilities in speech. Remarkably, 6 months of musical training thus suffices to significantly improve behavior and to influence the development of neural processes as reflected in specific pattern of brain waves. These results reveal positive transfer from music to speech and highlight the influence of musical training. Finally, they demonstrate brain plasticity in showing that relatively short periods of training have strong consequences on the functional organization of the children’s brain. [emphasis added]

Yet another study showing the extramusical effects of musical training on young children. Here, positive results on reading and understanding speech. As the evidence continues to add up, it’s increasingly clear that there is no excuse worthy enough not to enroll a child in music lessons.

pink and purple background with ripples, human head illuminated from left, over that is a conceptual drawing in white of EEG brainwave graph

Artwork of a Human Head with EEG Brainwaves
Mehau Kulyk

The amount of research I have waiting to be posted is overwhelmingly in favour of classical music lessons. So get your child enrolled today!

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