From a study by Gottfried Schlaug, Andrea Norton, Katie Overy, and Ellen Winner (pdf) :
Preliminary results of our longitudinal study in five- to seven-year-old children suggest that cognitive and brain effects from instrumental music training can be found [emphasis added]. After 14 months of observation, these effects are still small and in domains such as fine motor and melodic discrimination that are closely related to the instrumental music training. Data from our cross-sectional study of nine- to eleven-yearold children with an average of four years of musical training suggest that the predicted effects become stronger, and that transfer effects begin to emerge [emphasis added]in addition to those strong effects in closely related motor and auditory domains.
Here’s the beginning of physical proof that music training changes your brain (which is consistent with the doctrine of neuroplasticity). I’m looking for imaging studies showing which areas of the brain correlate in fMRI studies with writing, reading, math, logic, and so forth: they will be posted as soon as I find the imaging. In the meantime, for those of you enrolled in music lessons, enjoy your brain development!
Here’s an image showing the affected areas of the brain. The areas of development are marked showing the statistical likelihood of improvement in the areas:
The affected areas of children with music training are in some cases twice the size (or larger) of development than the areas of children without music training. Draw your own conclusions!