From an article by Holden, Constance:
Studying a musical instrument may bolster children’s ability to remember lists of words, according to a new study from Hong Kong. In the past 25 years, researchers have found correlations between music training and improvements in verbal memory and spatial reasoning skill [emphasis added]. In 1998, clinical neuropsychologist Agnes Chan of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and colleagues reported that adults who had been taking music lessons for more than 6 years had better memory for words [emphasis added]. The scientists subsequently tested 90 students aged 5 to 15, half of whom had 1 to 5 years of music lessons, on their ability to recall lists of words, recognize shapes, and draw shapes from memory.
So, if you are in a profession where you have to remember words, or going into one, it may help you in your career to learn to play an instrument. Yet another reason for retaining music in the schools, and why other countries, which place an importance on music in school, are gaining educationally on the United States. If you are a parent, work to keep the arts in your child’s school; if that doesn’t work, find a music teacher nearby and enroll your child in lessons. Those lessons may very well pay for themselves!