Musical training is proven to enhance children’s attention, control their emotions, and reduce level of anxiety. Studies continue to surface that show the benefits of musical training in children. As we age, we may lose these benefits, but early exposure to music lessons will build our defenses against memory loss, cognitive decline, and speech recognition. Music also offers a deep brain workout to listeners.
Enhances verbal intelligence
There’s some evidence that training in music-listening skills affects verbal intelligence. Previous research indicates that verbal IQ correlates with academic achievement. In fact, studies have also shown that IQ measured in early childhood is closely related to those measured in later childhood and adolescence. Music training may be a useful way to boost verbal intelligence and academic performance in both older children and younger children.
The study also noted that musical training extends the development period of auditory and cortical areas of the brain. The extended time for auditory processing is also linked to improvements in speech segmentation. These findings suggest that musical training can boost literacy skills. However, further research is needed to determine how music training works in children.
Improves executive function
Research shows that the study conducted by Dr. Nadine Gaab showed a strong association between music education and executive function, a set of cognitive processes that help humans achieve goals. Participants were children in the first through eighth grade, 58% female, and 86% African American. They were chosen by lottery to take an out-of-school music program that offered individual training on orchestral instruments. The researchers then assessed the participants’ academic performance and executive function through a computerized battery of common EF tasks.
While this study was not able to show a direct link between musical training and executive function, it did show that children with a musical background scored higher on measures of attention, working memory, and processing speed. However, these results were more pronounced in musicians than in non-musicians. Whether this association is true in adults or children, musical training increases executive function in many ways, including learning to play a classical instrument. Learning to read music requires flexibility, prioritizing, and concentration. Playing an instrument with an orchestra requires flexibility, self-monitoring, and a multi-sensory executive function workout.
Improves auditory acuity
The study of children who studied music found that children who received music training were better at identifying pitch and rhythm in the environment. This study also found that children who received music training also improved their beat perception, a fundamental skill for discerning the rhythms of music. The study also found that students with music education showed improved auditory pathways and increased IQ scores. The study also found a positive correlation between music education and increased general attendance rates, two positive signs for children who learn to appreciate and enjoy music.
During the study, the researchers used four different types of auditory acuity tests to assess the abilities of the participants. Participants were told that they had a special talent in music in order to ensure that the study was double-blind. The tests were administered in an anechoic chamber, where all stimuli were normalized to the same level (60 dB). The participants did not use earphones in listening mode, and the tests were designed to simulate normal hearing in daily life. The participants were assessed for their music test scores over a period of 60 to 70 minutes.
Aids emotional and behavioral maturation
A recent study found that music training could speed up the development of a child’s motor skills and emotional and behavioral maturation. Researchers from the University of Vermont College of Medicine examined the brain development of 232 children. They used MRIs to examine the children’s brains and discovered that their cortex changed in thickness as they matured. MRIs also showed that music training could boost a child’s emotional and behavioral development.
Studies have shown that exposure to music can improve reading and language skills. Research has also shown that listening to music helps reduce aggression and stress. Likewise, students who engage in music classes are more likely to have higher IQs. Furthermore, music can foster soul-centric maturation. It can even improve self-esteem and foster emotional and behavioral maturation.
Improves auditory processing
Recent research shows that musical training enhances auditory processing in humans. Researchers conducted experiments in which participants listened to pairs of syllables and noted whether they sounded alike. The scientists made the task harder by using similar-sounding syllables. The musicians performed better than their non-musical peers in both behavioral and neurophysiological tests. It is also important to note that musical training improves the brain’s ability to distinguish speech from background noise.
In a recent study, researchers from elite high schools and higher-income groups found that students who received musical training had stronger auditory skills in adulthood. The benefits of music education do not stop there, however. In fact, auditory skills in adult musicians are stronger than those of non-musicians, and they continue to improve throughout their lives. Music education improves auditory processing and contributes to greater overall productivity, according to the researchers.