Benefits of Music Lessons

From the article, “Early Music Lessons Have Longtime Benefits”

By PERRI KLASS, M.D.

Recent studies have proved that music lessons help children strengthen a range of auditory skills and also have discovered that children who had received musical training showed more robust responses, electrical brain waves in response to complex sounds. Their brains were better able to pick out essential elements, and amazingly it was true even if the lessons had ended years ago. The benefits extend all through life. Scientists have been discovering the connections between musical training in childhood and language based learning. Reading and learning to play an instrument may provide surprising benefits. The recent studies also proved that this ability could develop their language skills. Professor Nina Kraus said, “To learn to read, you need to have good working memory, the ability to disambiguate speech sounds, make sound-to-meaning connections. Each one of these things really seems to be strengthened with active engagement in playing a musical instrument.”

Skill in appreciating the subtle qualities of sound, even against a complicated and noisy background, turns out to be important not just for a child learning to understand speech and written language, but also for an elderly person struggling with hearing loss.  Older musicians tend to preserve the brain functions better than others; the central auditory processing skills that can help you understand speech against the background of a noisy environment.  Researchers found out that the older adults who are musically trained perform better on speech in noise tests. They also said it involves the brain rather than the peripheral hearing system…

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/10/early-music-lessons-have-longtime-benefits/

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