A new study by Northwestern University’s Nina Kraus and Bharath Chandrasekaran and published in the science journal, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, has indicated that music education promotes certain cognitive abilities. Children undergoing musical training are better adept at managing certain auditory skills.
Since musician’s ears are more cultured to the subtleties in audible sounds, the auditory cortex of the brain shows higher activities than non-musicians. These advantages translate to enhanced speech comprehension.
Studies show children with musical training have more neural activity in response to changes in pitch during speech than those without such training. An enhanced ability to detect changes in pitch might help musicians better judge emotion in speech or distinguish a statement from a question. Musically trained children have better vocabularies and reading abilities than children who don’t have this musical education.
The musically trained may also fare better when learning a foreign language. Musicians are better able to put together sound patterns into words for a foreign language, the researchers say.
There is also potential for musical training to alleviate or remedy certain learning disorders like dyslexia. The music-learning process involves strengthening the neural activities that are lacking in dyslexia-diagnosed individuals. Because most studies researching how music education improves language recognition are conducted on students wealthy enough to afford musical training, this study aims to use school-administered programs to provide more accurate understanding of its brain benefits.
LiveScience: “Music ‘Tones the Brain,’ Improves Learning”